Saturday, 24 June 2017

Saturday 24th June

Earlier on in the week while down on the Oa, Graham and Rosemary had seen 20 prs of Fulmars. Yesterday, on their way  up to Sanaigmore, they had a male Reed Bunting at the roadside, and then further on, in a clump of goat willow, a family of 3 Willow Warbler. 2 Buzzards were seen over the wooded area beside Briago. Up at Sanaigmore itself, a Corncrake was heard, a group of 8 Twite , which were all feeding before flying off, a Whinchat was present with another family of 3 Willow Warbler also noted. Out on the shingle behind the bay, a colony of around 20 nesting Common Gulls were seen. Coming back round by Ballinaby,  2 Corncrakes were heard, with a male Hen Harrier out on the wing just prior to that. Another Buzzard was seen at Foreland with another 2 noted over the trees at Islay House. In the Community Gardens, a male Bullfinch was seen. Yesterday evening, Jonti Wilson had counted over 50 Chough as they flew in to the roost on the crag, the Raven came out to try to defend its' patch... This morning Mike Peacock had seen a drake Velvet Scoter along with a  female Common Scoter off Port Charlotte. Can he claim it be a house bird??? Gary, this morning had a male Hen Harrier quartering the ground behind his house. Later on Gary saw the Rose coloured Starling over at Laphroaig, while he was there a Merlin zipped past over the rocks! Here at home Margaret and her sister Liz saw a hen Pheasant with 7 newly hatched chicks alongside her this afternoon. Earlier on, we counted small flock of 14 Lapwing as they flew across the road down at Sunderland.
If you are around tomorrow afternoon, mind the bird nerds are meeting at Rockside at 2.30 for a walk. And if we have time, we may well go in for a welcome cuppa afterwards, so any visiting birders can come along and put a name to the face!!! All welcome...

Friday, 23 June 2017

Friday 23rd June

Yesterday, Graham and Rosemary had seen 3 different sightings of Hen Harriers over at Gruinart, up at Ardnave they a count of 55 flocking Lapwings. They also saw 3 different Buzzards around the reserve, while out on the estuary there was a flock of 30 Shelduck. Finally, round at Ballinaby, on the newly ploughed field, they counted 23 Lesser Black backed Gulls.  This afternoon, we went over to Laphroaig and were fortunate to see the Rosy coloured Starling.
On Sunday, we are holding the monthly meting of the Islay Bird nerds, a change from the usual Tuesday evening time. We will be meeting up at Rockside Farm, in the car park at 2.30pm for a walk around to see what is present, so mind and bring some money to get a cup of coffee and cake in the cafe afterwards....many thanks to Kilchoman Distillery for allowing us to visit.. so see you there there, if you are around...

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Wednesday 22nd June

Yesterday, Gary had been out with clients and saw 2 Bonxies at Loch Gruinart, a White tailed Eagle in the Kilmeny area and also the drake Ring necked Duck along at Loch Finlaggan. Today, John Wilson and his family were over on Jura, and they commented on how many Whinchats were present. This afternoon, Louise had a Golden Eagle over Loch Gorm, shortly afterwards a sub adult White tailed Eagle came by and then finally, a male Hen Harrier flew past. Here at home the Redpolls are still enjoying the niger seed...

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Wednesday 21st June

Back on Sunday, Armin took this image of a Curlew, close to the roadside at Lossit, on the Rhinns. By its' behaviour it seemed be trying to distract Armin away, so probably on territory...


Yesterday, John Wilson had been down on The Oa, and had seen a Golden Eagle and also a Hen Harrier. Later on he had a Spotted Flycatcher  in the trees around  Kildalton and then another along towards Ardtalla. George Newall, before he left yesterday had 3 Greenfinches, over in the trees after Gearach towards Kilchiaran. Visitors Graham and Rosemary had seen several pairs of nesting Arctic Terns on the shingle in some of the bays around Portnahaven. An hour's sea watch out towards Frenchman's Rock produced 200 Gannets and a Bonxie flying South. later on they saw a Cuckoo being mobbed by a Mipit at Carn below Port Charlotte. Here at home, there were  5 Siskins on the feeders earlier this evening.
I received a reported sighting of a Rose coloured Starling seen over at Laphroaig today, but the info was a bit sketchy, but will let you know if I hear anything more on that one...
You should have been here last night as what a beautiful sunset was seen, should have got the camera out to show it to you all... another oops, sorry...

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Tuesday 20th June

Gary yesterday had managed to get some birds while out with his clients. On the South side of Loch Gorm, they saw a Golden Eagle out over the ridge. At Rockside, they saw a Whinchat, down at Coultoon, a pair of Whinchats were present and then down on Claddach Loch, they saw an Arctic Tern fishing. Returning visitors Graham and Rosemary, back for another Islay fix, had seen a Dabchick, Tufted Duck and also the Ring necked Duck on Loch Finlaggan. Round at Ballinaby, on the ploughed field, there were several Curlews and some Lapwings with chicks there too. Today on the guided walk on the Oa  today, they were  over the moon with seeing 2 Golden Eagles. Later on at Kilnaghton Bay, Common Sandpiper and Pied Wagtail were present. Late afternoon, Margaret saw a Golden Eagle up at Sanaigmore.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Monday 19th JUne

It is either a hunger or a burst this birding, yesterday the entry was full and full of goodies, tonight, the cupboard is bare... The mist rolled around for most of the morning and then burnt off to give us a cracker of an afternoon and evening with more sun forecast for tomorrow. This evening, outside on top of one of the old telegraph poles, a Song Thrush was singing away good style for quite some time. Earlier on, over at Gruinart, close to the road leading to Craigens there were 3 very young Lapwing chicks on the verge on the side of the road, a risky place to be, to put it politely...

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Sunday 18th June

Been a bit of a dreich sort of a day here at base today with the mist in for the most of the day, not a lot of wind, net result, the midges came out..
Some sightings through from George Newall who has been over for the best part of 3 weeks. On the 31st May, he had a Spotted Flycatcher and 4 Chiffchaff in at Loch Skerrols and also heard a Great Spotted Woodpecker there as well. At Bowmore Harbour, George saw an immature Kittiwake. 3rd of June, at Claggain Bay Arctic Terns and Common Terns were seen and the following day, 4 Sanderling were at Gartbreck. On the 6th on the Big strand, below the Airport, George had 3 Little Terns, some Arctic Tern, a male Hen Harrier and also 20 Sanderling. On the 9th, he saw Reed Buntings feeding young and heard several Corncrakes as well as several Snipe drumming while at the reserve at Gruinart. On the 11th June, he had a female Blackcap at Kilnaghton. A walk from Bridgend up the River Sorn  produced Dipper, pair of Grey Wagtail, Spotted Flycatcher, later on the same day George heard 2 Corncrakes calling at Sanaigmore. The next day (12th) George had seen 2 Bullfinches beside wee lochan between Gearach and Kilchiaran, while at Kilchiaran itself, a Whitethroat was seen. On the 15th George saw a Corncrake up at Sanaigmore. Gary yesterday had seen 2 RTD at Claggain Bay, some Little Terns on the Big Strand, heard a Great spotted Woodpecker in the trees at Finlaggan with the drake Ring necked Duck out on the water there. Over at the  former Kilchoman School, Gary had a Spotted Flycatcher and finally a ringtail Hen Harrier down at Blackpark. Also yesterday, Carl had 2 Bonxies (Great Skuas) close to Killinallan. Coming back on the evening ferry last night Peter Roberts had  350- 400 Manx Shearwater and around 150 Gannets, closer to Islay, rather than the mainland... Peter also had a Common Porpoise from the ferry as well. Steve Wrightson yesterday had a Short eared Owl out beyond Craighouse, a Golden Eagle was seen while coming back to ferry at Feolin and today, he had a Corncrake with 2 chicks down at Machir Bay. This afternoon, we had a Golden Eagle out on Borichil Mor and then a male Hen Harrier close to Culbuie.