Friday, 22 September 2017

Friday 22nd of September

Today is the Autumn equinox, or to put it more simply, the length of daylight now is shorter than the darkness hours and will continue on that way until late December when the days will start to get longer again. Just hope the weather is not going downhill as well, as today it has been a pig of a day, although it was dry for a short time at first light this morning... Only bird sighting through is from James who saw a Peregrine fly over his house at Gruinart early this morning. On a positive note, I managed to put some bird sightings on the spreadsheet for JD and the Argyll Bird Club, mind you I do not want too many wet days...

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Thursday 21st September

James and Mark yesterday had seen 25 Snipe as well as 2 Hen Harriers up on the moor on the reserve at Gruinart and this morning, James had counted 12 Snipe in the same location. This afternoon while out for a short run down the "Glen road", on the moorland at the entrance to Avonvogie, we saw several family groups of Stonechats out and about. Here at home just after lunch, there were a pair of Buzzards flying high up on thermals above the crag.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Wednesday 20th September

One thing for sure, today I very much doubt if any of the combines were cutting any crops, perhaps they moved the machines from one location to another. The rain gauge is now over 4 inches so far this month, at one time we always used to say that September a better month for getting some decent weather, not true in 2017...
This morning Nicholas Watts from Vine House Farm sent me through an image the Tree Sparrows eating the Red Millet on his feeders, I reckon that there are over 200 sparrows in and on the actual feeders. Nicholas too is having his hands full trying to finish off his harvest as well..


Mike Peacock had been down on Machir Bay today, seeing a mixed flock of Ringed Plover, Sanderling and Dunlin. Mike also saw a Curlew Sandpiper amongst them as well. Up on the dunes, beside the bay, a Sparrowhawk was present, spooking everything all around. Wonder if it was the same bird that was having a look see, up here late afternoon???

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Tuesday 19th September

The farmers will be pleased, another dry day, and another day to get some more harvest cut, but the glass is dropping, so the rain is returning, with a wet day forecast for tomorrow..
Bob Swann was in touch regarding the Greylag goose with the orange neck collar on, seen on Sunday  evening over at Ballinaby. It was first fitted with the collar as a youngster, here on Islay at Gortachuirn which is up behind Bruichladdich  on the 30th of  January 2015. It was seen up on Colonsay in June the same year with a brood of goslings. It then returned to Islay and was seen 3 times on the Oa during the winter of 2015/16. In February 2017, it was noted on Rathlin and then a few days later on Fair Head, both in Co. Antrim in Northern Ireland and has now returned to Islay, at present... Many thanks to Bob for this data...
Gary today had seen a White tailed Eagle and also a ringtail Hen Harrier at Finlaggan, he also saw a Sparrowhawk over the moorland there as well. In the trees beside his house, a lot of wee birds have been present including Coal Tits, Blue Tits and also 7 Goldcrests. Down on the merse at Bridgend, Gary had seen a Peregrine playing havoc with the waders. There were several hundred Mallard and Teal also present, with Gary witnessing a White tailed Eagle taking one of them... Also down on the trees there, Gary saw an Osprey perched up.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Monday 18th Septembr

The farmers have been making use of the delayed spell of better, drier weather.. as well as their combine out, Rockside has been baling the straw and others are catching up with delayed silage making...better late than never!!!
Back to birds, Bob had been a walk out towards the old wreck that is visible at the head of Loch Indaal when the tide is out. He saw at least 50 Barwits and also a Peregrine. He was saying back at his home up behind Port Charlotte, he has been seeing more Skylarks around of late. This evening we counted over 38 Chough heading into the roost. The count for the Greylags came through at 2,178. Thanks to Andrew Kent and his team of counters.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Sunday 17th September

A great day  out here today and yes the farmers got their combines going and managed to get a start made to the harvest. Round at Rockside, Andrew Woods was driving the combine on behalf of Kilchoman Distillery, with the moisture being 18.5%, which all things being considered was not too bad...


The Distillery have got their combine customised to advertise their machine...

Back on the bird front, not a lot happening apart from 10 Pied Wagtails on the lawn  at breakfast time, the Peregrine was watching life go by, the Swallows that are still here were hawking after insects over the game crop as were several Stonechats as they flitted about, 4 Dunnocks were also noted and this evening amongst around 300 Greylags at Ballinaby, one had a orange neck collar on, so better get in touch Bob Swann to find out its' history.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Saturday 16th September

A not bad day with the weather. Not the warmest, but it is looking like another dry day tomorrow, as I write the blog, the sun is streaming in the big window with a beautiful sunset in store...
Distillery Dave and Ann, his wife, had been up at the old hide at Gruinart where they great views of a juv. White tailed Eagle for quite some time. They also saw a ringtail and also male Hen Harrier. Up at Ardnave, over close to Traigh Nostaig, they saw 2 Greenshank and as they returned to their car, they saw 40 Black tailed Godwit and 6 Golden Plover. Down at Bruichladdich, 5 Turnstone, many Dunlin, and some Ringed Plover were present. Off Uiskentuie, they saw 2 GND and a Red breasted Merganser. Earlier this evening we watched a ringtail Hen Harrier as it flew past close to us, a Buzzard flew over the old church, low down while up on the crag a Peregrine was just sitting, watching the world go round...