Saturday, 26 May 2018

Saturday 26th May

What a moan am I??  Writing about this nice spell of weather yet again, the weeds got heaved out of the ground, a job not done on a wet day for sure ...
The Bowland birders headed home on the ferry today, as did Derbyshire Bob, so thanks to you both for sending your birds through...
On Thursday evening Jane, one half of the Bowland birders, had seen a Red legged Partridge up at Octomore. On Friday they had spent some time over at Gruinart and seen Teal, the Green winged Teal, Shoveler, Mallard, Heron, and some Redshank with young chicks. But no sign of either the Little Egret or the Ruff... Coming round Loch Gorm, along at the pool at Saligo, they saw Redshank, Greenshank, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Lapwing. This morning as they were leaving Port Ellen on the ferry they saw an Arctic Skua over Kilnaughton Bay, giving a tally of 112 birds seen from their present visit.
Last night as he was returning home, Distillery Dave had a Barn Owl as he approached the entrance up to Rockside. Here at home, on the feeders, here have been a pair of Redpolls eating the Niger seed as well as the Siskins.

Before I forget, it is almost another month in, so on Tuesday night, the "Islay bird nerds" will be meeting up at the South hide at Gruinart at 7pm, to hear the corncrake as well as seeing some other birds as well, so if you are around, we will be pleased to see you.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Friday 24th May

This spell of great weather continues, so rather than birding, I spent some of the day weeding and also putting another lick of wood stain on the gable end of the garage... Some birds seen at home included the Siskins as well as some Greenfinch, but no sign today of the Tree Sparrows....I hope that they have not moved on, but we will keep an eye out for them....
Yesterday, Derbyshire Bob had seen a male Hen Harrier flying towards Loch Gorm. Later on he had seen 2 Golden Eagles while driving along the "glen road" from Ballygrant over the hill down towards Mulindry. The Bowland Birders yesterday had ben over at Coal Ila where there were a lot of Tysties seen, a Yellowhammer was present up behind the distillery. They also had seen a distant Golden Eagle over Jura. A walk down to the Lily Loch and Loch Allen produced Tree Pipit, Blue Tit, Spotted Flycatcher, Great spotted Woodpecker, Willow Warblers, Heron and Buzzard.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Thursday 24th May

Might have to go and look out some sun tan lotion...
Last night, Derbyshire Bob had heard 3 Corncrakes calling round at Ballinaby. The Bowland Birders had yesterday been up for a wee saunter round Ardnave, birds seen/ heard included Chough, Mute Swan, Sand Martin, Curlew, Whimbrel, Pied Wagtail, Wheatear, Meadow Pipits, Sanderling, 50 Golden Plover, Redshank, Raven, Lapwing and Ringed Plover. On Loch Gorm, they saw 4 RTD and also a pair of Scoter.
Late morning we saw a Greenshank on the pool over at Saligo. Ian Bradey from Lancashire had seen a Little Egret over at Gruinart and one of his colleagues from the Wildlife Sound Recordists had seen a Barnacle Goose, 4 Golden Plover, 12 Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpiper and 30 Eider down on Machir Bay, all today.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Wednesday 23rd May

Well the "Farmers' tan" continues, perhaps if I wore a short sleeved shirt, rather than rolling my sleeves up, my tan might look better...
Janice and Tim Scott, from North Yorkshire had been over last week and sent through some of their sightings. They had been staying up at Sanaigmore.. They heard a Corncrake calling several times. Other birds seen/ heard included Swallows, Sand Martins, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Linnet, Lapwing, Snipe, Curlew, Starling, Jackdaw, Sedge Warbler, Wheatear, Blackbird, Wren and Song Thrush. Out on the water below their cottage, they saw GNDs and Tysties with Common Gull, Herring Gull, Oystercatcher and Ringed Plover on the beach. Other top birds seen while here on Islay included a White tailed Eagle being mobbed by a Raven, Whinchat and Golden Eagle. They saw several Buzzards but no Hen Harriers. Thanks folks for your birds.
Yesterday, Pia had seen an Osprey with a fish along below Carnduncan. Last night in flat calm conditions, some of us ventured out to carry out our corncrake surveys on our predetermined routes. Mike had heard 4 calling birds and on his way home he had a Short eared Owl. We went out on our route and sorry to say, we heard no birds at all, the first time of that happening with us..
Here at home there were 7 Collared Doves in at the feeders today...

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Tuesday 22nd May

What a difference with the weather out here today, might get a sun tan yet this year...better than being "weather beaten"
Derbyshire Bob had a male Hen Harrier out on the wing along the far end of Loch Gorm, yesterday evening. Today, he had seen some Little Terns out on Nave Island. The Bowland birders had gone over to Bunnahabhain, and complained about the weather, weather up, birds down!!! They had seen Rock Pipits feeding young, several groups of Gannets flying through the Sound of Islay, a pair of Buzzard, plenty of Tysties seen, an excellent sighting of a GND in full summer plumage, Willow Warbler and Whitethroat as well. Mike had carried out his WeBS count on Outer Loch Indaal, top sightings included 26 Common Scoter, a male Velvet Scoter, 2 Common Tern, 7 Arctic Tern and 5 GND. He also had seen a feeding frenzy by Gannets, Shag and some Gbb Gulls on a far out shoal of fish. Here at home we had 2 Collared Doves, 2 Redpolls, 3 Greenfinches and 3 Tree Sparrows.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Monday 21st May

A miserable sort of a day with a steady amount of rain falling until the middle of the afternoon.. not a lot but possibly al our sown crops will jump with the rain and some heat forecast over the next few days, better not get too excited... This evening the burn leading down to Machir Bay is not up much, a sure sign that the rain has gone into the ground, rather than a torrential downpour!!!!
This morning, Derbyshire Bob had been woken at 5am by a Corncrake calling away, down at Port Wemyss, he saw a solitary Eider Drake and then 3 different Cuckoos seen as he drove up from Port Wemyss.
The Bowland birders had not broken camp until 3 pm. ..They drove from Port Charlotte down to Port Wemyss, seeing Arctic Terns, Gannets, Tysties, Guillemot, Kittiwake, Shag, Rock Pipits and also 15 Manx Shearwaters. Round at Kilchiaran they saw some Sand Martins down towards the old Kirk there. Close to the Gearach they had seen a pair of Stonechats. Late afternoon, we had over 30 Sand Martins skimming around at Smelly corner, it was certainly living up to its' name as drove along, not  too pleasant a smell!!!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Sunday 20th May

Not sure where the summer weather has gone, but it ain't here for sure, I even made a dive for a thick jersey before heading outside earlier on...
The Bowland Birders yesterday had seen a Whinchat at the Rockside road end. Down towards Machir Bay, they heard a Corncrake calling, with a pair of noisy Chough nearby. 45 Ringed Plover were on the bay itself. Some Redshank were seen on the pool round at Saligo with a single Pink footed Goose close by. Finally, they had a male Hen Harrier at Foreland. This afternoon, they got out in a brief respite from the rain, at Gruinart they had 15 Dunlin, Shoveler, Mallard, a Wood Sandpiper, but no sign of the Ruff or the G W Teal.. They had also seen a single Barnacle goose and a couple of Whooper Swans.
A new contributor to the blog, Derbyshire Bob had heard a total of 4 Corncrake calling at Ballinaby, seen 5 Whimbrel, along at the pool at Saligo bay they had 18 Dunlin while out on Saligo Bay a single Tystie was present with a couple of Chough seen over the dunes. Here at home while I was out in the garage , there was rather a noisy clatter on the roof, sounded like a heavy shower of hailstones, but on looking outside, no way, only the local Choughs were out to annoy me and having a play time on the roof...