Friday, 24 February 2017

Friday 24th February

Not the best of weather the last couple of days, lots of rain on Thursday morning and a wee bit blustery. A few things around the reserve including 4 different ringtail Hen Harriers and an Otter playing in one of the ditches on the Flats (Gruinart), also Frog spawn in the ponds.

The Viking Gull - Tom Lowe has been in touch, explaining that a Viking gull is not a gull with a little horned helmet on, but is a cross of some form between a Glaucous Gull and a Herring gull. The bird in question, is the one reported on the Blog as a Glaucous gull outside Bowmore. In pictures the gull exhibits some darkness on the wings and a solid tail band. Thanks for the info Tom.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Wednesday 22nd February

An early start today - straight out to help Steve Percival with a catch of 30 Barnies on the Bridgend Merse. Then back to the reserve for a goose count - a few birds while counting the geese - 9 Whooper Swans and a Greenshank on the Floods, a Grey Plover on the Loch and 2 Hen Harriers and a Sparrowhawk around the reserve.
A couple of birds the blog seems to have missed both I think spotted by Tom Lowe, A Ring Billied Gull 2ndCY on Craigens  and a Viking gull 1st winter outside Bowmore and around the Bowmore tip both records from around 15th Feb - but they could still be about. Have to admit don't know much about viking gulls so I better do some research.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Tuesday 21st February

WWT Larry and Ed, caught another 9 White fronts to apply collars, 2 getting fancy tracking collars, just off the reserve at Gruinart on Craigens farm. Whilst processing the geese a Merlin flew over. Gary had 3 Lesser Black Backed Gulls at Machir Bay, are these the first reported of the Spring on Islay. Today Tom Garner had been at the hide at Loch Gruinart - had no sign of the Green Winged Teal, but had seen plenty of Teal, Pintail and 3 Red Breasted Mergansers as well as great views of a female Hen Harrier catching a Teal. Yesterday Tom had seen 20 Pale Bellied Brent Geese just West of Bowmore.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Monday 20th February

Sorry no posts over the weekend, I was busy and the computers wouldn't work. A few records, Tom Garner had been out at Ardnave yesterday - 20 Tufted ducks on Ardnave Loch, 30 Sanderling along with Ringed Plovers and Turnstone, a pair of Ravens, 6 Chough, 4 Shelduck and 2 Great Northern Divers all around the coast. At Gruinart Tom volunteers Dad re found the Green Winged Teal on the Floods and Michal Had a Barn Owl at Smelly Corner. I had a Barn Owl at Erasaid and a 1st winter Glaucous Gull outside Bowmore.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Friday 17th February

A few reports from the Loch Gorm area - Up at Kilchoman 8 Fulmars were on the cliffs and 15 lapwing displaying in the fields. Around Loch Gorm a report of a possible Gyr Falcon- keep a look out for this and let me know if anyone see it.

Thursday 16th February

A sunny day on Islay with the Skaylarks and Lapwing starting to display on the Gruinart Flats. A quick count of Ardnave Loch by Tom - 10 Whooper Swans, 7 Mute Swans, 17 Goldeneye, 26 Tufted Ducks, 34 Wigeon, 16 Teal, 6 Mallard, 2 Pochard, 37 Oystercatchers, 2 Lapwing, 1 Greater Black Back and 2 herring Gulls. No further reports of the Shrike at Bridgend.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Wednesday 15th February

On the blog last night, I should have said that Steve Percival's image was a Cackling goose and then later on, on the blog, and I omitted to say that it was 13 small Canada Geese reported by Fiona and Mandy which were with some Whitefronts and Greylags out of Port Ellen.
Today, James had a Water Rail on the flats at Gruinart, while visitors reported through Gary that they had seen a Great Grey Shrike on the bushes opposite the entrance  to Islay House Hotel at Bridgend.
I shall be off Islay until the 10th of March, so if you have any sightings, please can you send them in to James on 01496 850 505, or email him on  Many thanks to James for keeping the blog going in my absence...