Thursday 30 November 2023

Thursday 30th November

Further lovely bright, sunny, dry, cold and "crisp" weather today with a frost and even a suggestion of ice covering some of the smaller lochans.

Ed Burrell reported 3 Jack Snipe at Cornabus, otherwise, all the reported action was on the western side of the island. Gary Turnbull was out watching at the top of Loch Indaal where he noted 2-3 White-tailed Eagles hunting and sat on the exposed sand flats up near Bridgend. Here too he noted a Little Egret, Snow Bunting, 2 Brambling amongst 100+ Chaffinches and over 800 Dunlin and 100 Golden Plover at Carnain, with a Golden Eagle up at Carrabus.

I was back and forth to Bowmore in late morning and counted 40+ Whooper Swans and 20 Brent Geese still present, feeding with masses of Wigeon in Loch Indaal from the Gaelic college.

Stuart Meredith had a further 2 White-tailed Eagles up at Gruinart, one of which took a Herring Gull for lunch! Also note were single Greenshank and later a Jack Snipe at dusk off the shoreline at Bruichladdich.

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Wednesday 29th November

Another lovely cold, calm, bright and sunny day. Stuart Meredith noted the/a Glaucous Gull at Traigh an Luig this morning and again this afternoon. In between he found the American Wigeon still down at Cornabus. Other than that a Great Spotted Woodpecker and White-tailed Eagle were seen at Lily Loch.

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Tuesday 28th November

A mostly cool, bright and sunny day, though odd, light showers at time.

Our visiting birders (Stuart Meredith & co.) were out there taking advantage of the mostly decent conditions, finding a couple of Cackling Geese with the Barnies at Bridgend. Later at Blackrock they counted 7 Long-tailed Duck, 130 Common Scoter (a quite high number for Islay), 3 Slavonian Grebes and the usual Red-throated and Great Northern Divers. At Bruichladdich they found a single Purple Sandpiper at high tide.

Further down the Rhinns, Mary Redman noted a couple of Merlins near Cultoon, a Buzzard at Claddach and 2 Chough on the beach there, plus feeding on the food put out for Mary's hens!

Monday 27 November 2023

Monday 27th November

Firstly a huge thank you to Mary Redman and Annie Rudd for keeping the Islay Bird Blog going in such good style over the past four weeks during my absence and at a busy time of year with lots of bird sightings to report when so many birders visit Islay to see the newly arriving wintering geese and swans.

It was a bright, cool and sunny day today, with David Dinsley finding a late migrant or perhaps wintering male Blackcap at Kinnabus on The Oa. Up at Kilchoman Margaret Brooke had both male and ring-tail Hen Harriers passing by her house. Regular visitor Steve Lister scanned and counted Loch Indaal from the Gaelic College, reporting 62 Whooper Swans, 60 Brent Geese, 18 Shelduck, 18 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Slavonian Grebes, 88 Curlews, and c. 40 Bar-tailed Godwits. As light faded at 4.30pm, he also noted a Barn Owl between the Gaelic College and Bridgend.

Sunday 26 November 2023

Sunday 26th November

Morven has been in touch with the Goose Count numbers for the 21st/22nd of November for the island and the totals are: 27,069 Barnacle Geese, 3,948 White-Fronted Geese, and 1,393 Greylags!

Ed Burrell reports that the American Wigeon was still at Cornabus this morning. Ken’s Crew had two adult White-Tailed Eagles at Finlaggan, 28 Tufted Ducks, and two Little Grebes at Loch Skerrols; and 11 Coal Tits at the Woolen Mill feeders.  

Thanks very much everyone for your sightings!

Saturday 25 November 2023

Saturday 25th November

Ken, from Steve Lister’s group, kicked off a beautiful day to a good start with the Red-Breasted Goose being its typically-illusive-self in amongst the Barnies at on the mudflats between Bowmore and Bridgend.

Dave Wood spotted three Waxwings at Risabus but they quickly flew north. Mary Redman had a good day too, with a White-Tailed Eagle on the light house island this morning, another at Claddach, a Kestrel on the way up towards the craft shop, and just outside Portnahaven she had a male Bullfinch!

Her Harriers were out and about in good numbers too, Sam spotted a Ringtail at Skerrols; Steve Lister’s crew had a ringtail at Port Charlotte, a male at Cornabus, and 2 males and 3 ringtails on The Oa; and I had a ringtail at Finlaggan and two males at Gruinart. That’s a total of 11 Hen Harriers reported around the island.

Thanks everyone, great day today!

Friday 24 November 2023

Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th November

Steve Rogers had bird of the day yesterday with a very late Swallow at Laphroaig. Miraculously, despite the weather, there were plenty of other sightings around the island too, Steve Lister, Ken, Robert, and Derek had five Purple Sandpiper on the rocks opposite Bruichladdich Shop and eight Ringed Plovers, two Little Egrets, and about 67 Whoopers at Bridgend. Sam had a male Hen Harrier over Finlaggan in the morning and two Barn Owls in the evening. And finally, Chris Mills had two White-Tailed Eagles over Jura, spotted from the ferry.

Today was beautifully wintry – cold and clear, not a storm-cloud or a bird darkened the sky. Steve Lister was the only person who has spotted any birds of note, with a Cackling Goose just north of the Gaelic Centre and everyone’s favourite Glaucus Gull up at Uiskentuie.

Thanks all of you for your contributions, fingers crossed for more sightings tomorrow! 

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Wednesday 22nd November

It’s a bleak blog today – to match the weather. Lauren Stewart had a Merlin at Killinallan. Mary Redman also spotted a Merlin, hers was at Claddach, and she had a small flock of Song Thrush there sheltering from the rain. Chris Mills was at Bridgend woods and had several Treecreepers, two Great-Spotted Woodpeckers, a single Siskin, and a Peregrine.

Hopefully we’ll get better weather and a few more birds tomorrow!

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Tuesday 21st November

It was a nice day here today – the first (and looking at the forecast, perhaps the last) in a little while. Chris Mills has been out birding again and had a good haul at Loch Inaal: 30 Long-Tailed Ducks, 25 Slavonian Grebe, and two Purple Sandpipers.

Gary Turnbull was at Finlaggan, which really seems to be the place for winter travellers, he saw three Waxwing, and a Snow Bunting in amongst the Skylark and Meadow Pipit.

James How was goose counting today and gathered up a list of raptors as he was going round: three White-Tailed Eagles, one Golden Eagle, a Merlin, and a Sparrowhawk.

Thanks all for your contributions.

Monday 20 November 2023

Sunday 19th & Monday 20th November

It's a short update from Islay today. 

Yesterday was a slow day for birds, maybe they (like me) were huddled up and hoping that the rain would blow over. Even so, Chris Mills spotted the Glaucus gull at Uiskentuie Shore; five Purple Sandpipers, eight Chough and 15 Twite at Ardnave; and a flock of 170 Twite at Coull. The only other report from yesterday is Ed Burrell’s righting a Red Kite at Balaclava.

Today was a little better weather-wise and bird-wise. Chris Mills had Snow Bunting at Finlaggan, two Cackling Geese in amongst the Barnie flock at the top of Loch Indaal, and 74 Whoopers. Finally, David Dinsley spotted a Black Throated Diver at Kilnaughton.

Saturday 18 November 2023

Saturday 18th November

Mandy Myers spotted a strange leucistic Fieldfare yesterday, it was in amongst a flock of about 200 Redwing by Neriby. Also yesterday, Chris Mills picked out about 49 Great Northern Divers, 15 Red-Throated Divers, 15 Kittiwake, 10 Common Scoter, and a Purple Sandpiper on his crossing to the mainland.

Yesterday’s WeBS at Loch Gruinart gave us some impressive numbers:

Two Red-Throated Divers, three Cormorant, eight Herons, 10 Little Egret, 5 Mute Swans, 34 Whooper Swans, 42 Shelduck, 465 Wigeon, 1,373 Teal, 156 Mallard, five Goldeneye, 43 Shoveler, 84 Pintail, 2 Gadwall, 18 Red-Breasted Merganser, three Little Grebe, 252 Oystercatcher, 430 Ringed Plover, 326 Golden Plover, 455 Lapwing, eight Knot, 76 Sanderling, 829 Dunlin, 1,233 Bar-Tailed Godwit, 3 Black-Tailed Godwit, 202 Curlew, 110 Redshank, 72 Turnstone, 31 Black-headed Gull, 43 Common Gull, 28 Herring Gull, 3 Great Black-Backed Gull, 3 Greenshank, eight Snipe, and 3 White-Tailed Eagle.

Today, despite the downpour, Chris Mills was still on the lookout for birds, at Loch Indaal he saw 67 Whooper Swans, 19 Yellowhammer, 70 Common Scoter, two female Scaup, and 56 Pale-Bellied Brents.

Friday 17 November 2023

Friday 17th November

Beautiful start to today with clear skies and sunshine. Lauren Stewart and I spotted a Peregrine flying over the moor south of Ardnave. Lauren also spotted two White Tailed Eagles on Loch Gruinart, I spotted a third, and James How saw two more on the flats. James also spotted a Merlin at Gruinart this afternoon. This evening, Lauren Stewart, Ella Simpson, and myself watched five Hen Harriers (three ring-tail and two male) come in to roost at Gruinart.

Elsewhere on the island, Margaret saw a male Hen Harrier flying along the crags at Kilchoman this morning. Garry Turnbull had five White-Tailed Eagles (one by Ballygrant, two by Keppols, one at Bridgend, and one at Carrabus), and three Golden Eagles (one by Carrabus, and two by Loch Skerrolls).

Malcom Ogilvie spotted an adult Dark-bellied Brent and adult Light-Bellied Brent in same Barnacle flock by Craigens turning this morning, and juvenile Light-Bellied Brent with Barnacles at Caracas.

I’ll update you with Loch Gruinart WeBS results tomorrow – so stay tuned!


Thursday 16 November 2023

Thursday 16th November

This morning at Gruinart, James How was treated to three Water Rail skulking about on the flats. Also bright and early, I had a pair of Little Grebe feeding and eight Whooper Swans all gathered close in to the South Hide and “whopping” loudly, in the background there were the usual dozens of Lapwing, Wigeon, Teal, and Shoveler. Last night, also at Gruinart, Lauren Stewart saw three Barn Owls along the flats.

Crossbills were spotted by Gary Turnbull, he saw them working their way along the edge of the plantation at Finlaggan on the visitor centre side.

Neil McMahon took these lovely pictures of Twite last time he was on the island 


Wednesday 15 November 2023

Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th November

Sorry for the absence of a blog yesterday, unfortunately the Islay Birds Blog is currently at the whim of the RSPB office WiFi – a notoriously labile beast.

Yesterday we had the high drama of a White-Tailed Eagle taking a Barnie in mid-air, then being joined by a second bird on the ground, where they were both seen enjoying their feast – spotted near Leorin and first reported by Martin Armstrong. Two more White-Tailed Eagles were seen at Finlaggan by Gary Turnbull. A third pair flew over the machir at Kichoman, spotted by Margaret. And the seventh White-Tailed Eagle of the day was flying low by Black Rock, sighted by Mary Redman.

Ed Burrell took this picture of the well-fed pair at Leorin

Today, however, Islay could only muster up 6 White-Tailed Eagles, Ed Burrell had a pair at Cornabus, Gary Turnbull saw two by Bridgend, and Lucy Atkinson spotted two on the flats of Loch Gruinart.

Mary Redman seemed to have a lovely walk in the Bridgend woods this morning, accompanied by Goldcrests, Blue Tit, Great Tit, and Wren.

Driving around today I saw two Golden Eagles flushing Barnacle Geese east of Kilchoman; the Glaucus Gull was causing some sort of fuss amongst the Herring Gulls at Uiskentuie; and a Sparrowhawk was disturbing traffic, sat (with its Starling prey) on the road to Port Askaig.

Monday 13 November 2023

Monday 13th November

I want to start with a huge thank you to Mary Redman, thanks for keeping us all updated and entertained with birdy business while Peter has been away!

It’s been exceptionally soggy today but there’s still been a few nice sightings despite the downpour. David Dinsley had a Merlin, a Peregrine, and a drake Gadwall all at Kinnabus this morning. Lauren Stewart saw a male Hen Harrier at Smaull Farm.arrierH Margaret was also treated to a Hen Harrier as well as a Sparrowhawk at Shepherds Cottage, Kilchoman. Another (or perhaps the same) drake Gadwall was spotted by Ed Burrell at Port Ellen, he also had a juvenile Pale-Bellied Brent amongst the Mallards. Finally, Mary Redman saw a Little Egret at Craigens this afternoon.

That’s all from sodden Islay today – hopefully there’ll be a bit more sun tomorrow!


The Weekend, 11&12 November

 A weekend neatly divided into one glorious winters day with sun shine and no jackets, then on the Sunday a windy, cold day building up to the edge of Storm Debi on Monday.

Fairly quiet, the better weather on Saturday bringing the sightings before everybody battened down the hatches and did their 'big shop' on Sunday.

Gary was at Finlaggan enjoyin a 'raptor day' with one kestrel, one sparrow hawk, 5 buzzard, 2 golden eagle and 3 WTE.  

Malcolm reported a solitary waxwing drinking water off the driveway of his house. 

In the afternoon, it felt like most of the island were down at Ardnahoe for the first Christmas market of the season.  A beautiful part of the Island and a nice start to the season.

Thanks to all for your contributions and for bearing with me late entries, poor grammar and spelling.  Annie returns to the blog today and I'm sure things will improve tenfold!

Saturday 11 November 2023

Friday 10 November

 The waxwings once again taunting and teasing us today - in Port Charlotte Neil could hear it calling around the hotel, finally getting a glimpse of it in the gardens opposite. Ed also had a 'brief encounter' with a single waxwing just outside Port Ellen.  There must be slim pickings for them after the thrush flocks have ravaged the verges. Indeed on my school run between Port Wemyss and Port Charlotte I lost count of the blackbirds.

On his way to the ferry, Neil spotted the Glaucous gull at the usual hang out, and on the quiet ferry crossing back there was a pod of porpoise, 3 otters, c20 long tailed ducks, three common scoter, and some red-throated and great northern divers at the Kennacraig side.

I too had an otter near the coal yard, swimming in with what looked like a big fish.  The conditions look good for otter spotting with lovely calm sea in the Loch over the weekend. Out West it is still huge swells. Near Port Mor in a field to the south, there is a lot of activity with brown hare, lapwing, curlew and thrush all actively feeding.  My daily kestrel had moved to  Port Wemyss this morning.

Robs highlights today was a single brambling in flight over Port Ellen, and 2 snow bunting at Kilchoman.

At Loch Gruinart, James had 2 barn owl, 2 golden eagle, 9 little egret, and 790 lapwing.

Todays photo from Billy of turnstone.

Thanks to all for the contributions, as I write this the sun is coming up on Saturday morning - looks like a beautiful cold morning ahead.

Friday 10 November 2023

Weds 8 and Thursday 9 November

 Apologies for the double post, but better late than never as they say.

An other of Jims wonderful images taken during his visit.


Mikes highlights: A good eagle day. First thing 2 ad White-tailed Eagle, 2 ad Golden Eagle and 1 imm Golden Eagle riding the wind at Machir Bay with the imm Goldie coming low over the dunes by the car park at times. Also a male Hen Harrier. Another Golden Eagle at Ballinaby and an imm over the low hill behind Craigens with a pair of adult White-tailed Eagle on a kill at Gruinart, a Hen Harrier there in the afternoon. Still good numbers of waders on the fields and mudflats and numbers of Teal back up with 990 today. A Treecreeper on the woodland trail

Meanwhile, Neil had 2 greater scaup on Loch Skerrols on an otherwise quiet day. Over on Jura, a distant adult WTE, a ringtail hen harrier and around 8 great northern divers.  Back on Islay for the afternoon, he counted around 30 pale-bellied Brent geese off Carnain.


Mikes highlights: Not much today and all "local". The pair of White-tailed Eagles and the imm Golden Eagle seen at Kilchoman/ Machir Bay again, a male Hen Harrier at Coull and 6 Yellowhammers with Chaffinches at Rockside.

The waxwings are still teasing us with glimpses and rumours! Neil spotted one drinking from a puddle at the Port Charlotte Hotel before it disappeared. Gary later hearing it, but alas it didn't reappear. Louise  apparently had 5 at Craighouse on Jura.

Neil also reported carrion crow and 2 chough at Portnahaven, then on the back road from there to Port Charlotte an adult golden eagle, imm WTE and male hen harrier.  At nearby Claddach I too had 2 chough as well as a kestrel showing nicely the past 2 mornings.

As Neil continued on the Rhinns there were 2 adult WTE in Loch Gorm area, 4 chough and a imm WTE Machir Bay, Ring-tailed hen harrier Kilchoman, the Glaucous gull at Uiskentui, plus RTD, 2 GND 4+ common scoter, Slavonian grebe, 12 twite and around 12 pale bellied Brent at Carnain.

Ed and Rob reported the American wigeon duck back at Coillabus. 

Finishing up with Barn Owl at Newton and an other at Port Wemyss.

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Tuesday 7 November


A nice day here today, looking ahead perhaps the nicest day of the week with a forecast of wind and rain expected. Todays striking image kindly contributed by Jim taken last week on his day trip over.

Neil had a good start to his day with 5 waxwings overhead at Port Charlotte and an otter at the pier, then a merlin at Bruichladdich.  Later while exploring Loch Gruinart he noted that the barnacles had largely moved out from the reserve, but did find a flock with a cackling goose, a lesser Canada-type and a pink-foot. Then in the afternoon, 2 peregrine, and a ring-tailed hen harrier.  At Ardnave Point he had a juv WTE, a ringtail hen harrier, c10 chough, and 25 twite.  Stopping for a scan of Loch Indaal on the way home he recorded "ridiculously high numbers of red-throated divers", 5 Slavonian grebes and around 40 eider.

Gary also had a good day.  South of the coal yard there was a flock of gulls including the glaucous gull, along with good numbers of divers seemingly on a shoal of fish. At Carnain there was good numbers of ringed plover, dunlin, turnstone and knot.  Then a snow bunting among a flock of skylark nearby at 'Smelly Corner', 47 Brent geese, a merlin, and 10 twite.  Offshore nearby there was common scoter, long-tailed duck, and Slavonian grebe.

Mike Bells highlights: Today 46 Brent Geese at Gartmain, a Hen Harrier south of Bowmore on the low road. The female American Wigeon was still on the Cornabus pool. At Kildalton 4 Yellowhammer at the keeper's cottage. At Claggain Bay 14 Great Northern Diver, 2 Black Guillemot, a male Hen Harrier,  a Merlin and an adult White-tailed Eagle flying north. Back west an imm Golden Eagle and a male Hen Harrier on the Coullabus road, and finally a Merlin on a roadside fence post near Saligo Bay

Finally, Fiona observed an 'interaction' between a barn owl and a small cat on the Rhinns playing field...who was stalking who?

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Monday 6 November

 Quieter day here with sightings but the rain showers were particularly ferocious! Despite this there was still plenty of activity!  At Octofad-Nerebus there is spilt grain on the road at various spots, attracting a variety of corvids and finch. On my school run past Ellister woods there were 3 separate peregrine, one sparrow hawk and nearer Octofad, a male hen harrier. At Claddach, 2 chough have been reliably feeding above the high tide line on the beach every day, sometimes joined by 3 more.  Then up by the old wave power near the spring, 11 curlew.

Down by the village I noted a passage of whooper swan, only small. One adult and a juvenile, later a larger group of 6.  There has been small groups in flight overhead throughout last week.

Elsewhere on the island, Gary reported a crossbill in the woods by Finlaggan turn off, then a large mixed finch flock at the cattle feeding station nearby mainly chaffinch but also 2 brambling and reed bunting.

David D had a black cap on the Oa.

Finally Mike as sent in is daily report: I managed a dry walk at Machir Bay first thing. Three White-tailed Eagles in the air riding the wind most of the time with 1 performing some impressive barrel roles to avoid the mobbing Buzzards. Also a Golden Eagle briefly and 59 Ringed Plover and 44 Curlew on the beach, both good totals here. The only other birds of note were a Hen Harrier at Cluanach and the Glaucous Gull, today at Carnain.

What a sighting! thanks as always to all.

Monday 6 November 2023

Sunday 5 November

 A bit of a wet day here, but nice between the showers.

The American Wigeon duck is still residing at Cornabus.  A single waxwing was seen in Portnahaven getting a drink off the road by the OK corner, and Louise over on Jura was also fortunate enough to see some this morning at Craighouse.

Mike Bell sent in his days records:  Today 24 Whooper Swans arrived Ardnave Loch mid-morning and left south at midday. 3 Purple Sandpiper Traigh Nostaig and 3 imm WTE Ardnave point left for Nave Island. Even more Golden Plover at Gruinart with 2160 mid-afternoon but only 415 Teal, a big decrease on a few days ago. Finally a Hen Harrier at Carnduncan.

Thanks as ever to all.

Sunday 5 November 2023

Saturday 4 November

 A nice day here on Islay, making a lovely night ahead for the local bonfire nights.

Fiona had a count of 20-25 long-tailed tit behind the houses in Port Wemyss this morning, while at the head of Loch Indaal Dan counted a single waxwing, over 10k barnacles, 67 whooper and 50 Brent.  A little later at Loch Gruinart he located 2 cackling geese and 6 little egret, with Steve finding the red-breasted goose from the North Hide.  Around lunchtime, Martin saw a kingfisher in flight across the merse at South Lodge, Bridgend.

Jim Wells was over the water from 'Norn' Irn' for the day. He kindly send in his sightings - an American wigeon drake photographed at the south hide, Loch Gruinart. 34 whoopers at Ardnave Loch, 31 chough nearby, at Gruinart both male and female hen harrier, peregrine, merlin, and 2 adult white tailed eagle. 

Mike Bells highlights from today: Today 4 drake Pochard Loch Gorm but only 13 Tufted Duck, a Great Sp Woodpecker Loch Skerrols, an imm Golden Eagle Coullabus road.  At Loch Gruinart impressive numbers of birds on the falling tide including 2 Brent Geese, 1720 Golden Plover, 462 Bar-tailed Godwit, 43 Knot, 42 Sanderling, 1400 Dunlin and 32 Ringed Plover with another 93 at Killinallan. Also 2 WTE, 1 Hen Harrier, 1 Peregrine and 2 Little Egret. On the outer loch 2 Great Northern Diver, 2 Red-throated Diver, 5 Long-t Duck,  2 Goldeneye and 19 Merganser.

Thanks to all for their contributions.

Friday 3 November 2023

Friday 3 November

 Starting todays entry with 5 swallows that were seen yesterday at Ardistillery by the RAFOS! Sorry to have missed that.

Moving onto our winter friends: Morven at Nature Scot sent in the first Island wide goose count of the season, taken over the 1st and 2nd November. 34, 573 barnacles, 2382 whitefronts and 1846 greylags.

Dave W saw 2 waxwing (briefly) at Kinnabus before they were blown away on an easterly gust.  Ed at Cornabus noted an increase in woodcock.  Dan's sightings today as follows: snow bunting, golden eagle, 2 WTE and a merlin on the Oa. At Cornabus the female American Wigeon, at nearby Kilnaugton 5 chough. in Port Ellen bay 5 Canada geese plus Pacific black duck hybrids.  Later, a barn owl near blackrock, plus a further 2 on the Gruinart Flats and a tawny owl at the nearby woods.

At Claddach croft, 3 chough on the beach, one snipe and one jack snipe in the fields. Overhead down in the village there were 2 small flocks of whoopers arriving, with 3 later seen at claddach loch.

Thanks to all for your contributions!

Thursday 2nd November

 Apologies for the late entry.

A busy day with plenty of sightings. the highlights:

Mike Bell's report for the day: Today 4 Brambling at Rockside.  Gartbreck walk found 2 Grey Plover and 105 Twite along the shore, 2 Hen Harrier (male & ring-tail) and a male Yellowhammer along the road.   Taking advantage of the calmer conditions a count of Loch Indaal from Gartbreck to Bruichcladdich found 19 Red-thr Diver,  22 Great Northern Diver, 28 Slavonian Grebe, 127 Eider, 115 Common Scoter, 16 Long-t.Duck, 7 Goldeneye, 129 Merganser and 11 Black Guillemot.

The Knights with the RAF Ornithologist Society are over for the week and have kindly contributed their highlights for their first day: We have completed all our WeBs counts allocated to us. The numbers of birds on our section  of Indaal surprised the five counters.  Old Reliable lived up to its name. At Claggain Bay 5 Goldcrest were located in a tree by the stream with 2 Great Northern Divers in the bay. At Neriby farm 6 yellowhammers were in amongst twite and reed bunting. Buzzards were seen all over mostly perching on high points to watch the world!

The pick of todays WhatsApp groups now. Rarity of the day was a Bonapartes gull off Bruichladdich pier, reported  by Dan Brown.   Dan other highlights were a flock of just over 200 siskin NE Islay, and noted small groups of great and blue tits in 'random places' high numbers of gold crest and robin about Portnahaven. Gary over at Finlaggan also noted high numbers of gold crest and coal tit, and 'robins on every fence post'.   As the day went on and the sun continued to shine, Dan had an excellent viewing from Bowmore Pier of 34 RTD, 19 GND, 110 eider duck, 45 common scoter, 5 long-tailed duck, 8 Slavonian grebes, 6 black guillemot, 3 common guillemot, and appox 120 red-breasted merganser. 

Wednesday 1 November 2023

1 November

Pinch and a punch for the first of the month.  A day of strong winds and heavy rain showers.  

Lauren wasn't one for staying indoors today, locating the red-breasted goose and highlights of 3 merlin, 2 hen harrier, the female marsh harrier plus a good count of 786 whitefront all on RSPB Loch Gruinart.  A welcome photo contribution from Lauren, showing what the red breasted goose will look like for most: blurry and distant.

The red kite was back at Cornabus this morning, within 2 hours 2 were seen at nearby Kilnaugton. 
At Coull in the later afternoon, 2 snow bunting, 2 peregrine, 1 red kite, 2 snipe and a small flock of twite.

Thanks to all for your contributions here and on the WhatsApp group, apologies to any sightings left out.


Tuesday 31st October

 Apologies for the late entry for the 31st, Busy evening of guising with some sickness bug thrown in for good measure!

A nice start to the day with a red kite and American wigeon as reported by Ed at Cornabus.  David D meanwhile finding a brambling in the woods at RSPB Loch Gruinart.  Around the same time, a wheatear was seen near Portnahaven.  A great time of year with spring and winter migrants colliding.

There was a large passage of thrush today throughout Argyll, with Dan able to spot at least one waxwing among over 2000 at the NE of Jura. 

Gary noted 2 yellowhammer on his walk out to Lily Loch, while near Loch Allan over 40 blackbird with some redwing and fieldfare.

Mike B. sent in his report:  "3 WTE arrived Kilchoman from the SW at 0745 hr, an adult pair which landed by Loch Gorm and an imm which continued north. The Bridgend pair were on the saltmarsh shortly afterwards. A super view of an imm Golden Eagle at Cattadale which came within c.20 m of the car. A walk from Ballygrant to Lily Loch found lots of Blackbirds, small numbers  of Fieldfare and Redwing everywhere, a Mistle Thrush and best of all a Ring Ouzel near Loch Allen which showed well. Not many wee birds, perhaps due to the wind. Driving back to Kilchoman the Glaucous Gull was on roadkill at Uiskentuie so I hope it's not the next casualty."

A superb image from Peter to brighten up todays blog. Thanks as ever to all who contributed here and via WhatsApp group.