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...

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Saturday 19th June

Yesterday was the RAFOS team's last full day of their present visit... On Loch Gorm, they had seen 3 Common Scoter, while up at Gruinart they had a male Hen Harrier from the North hide, and as they returned to their cars along the "woodland trail" they saw a Stoat as they approached the viewing platform. One of their team members, Scott had seen a Corncrake as he was returning to his cottage. As ever many thanks to the various visitors who have sent through their sightings. Yesterday, the Bowland birders had seen the Ring necked Duck along with a male and also a female Tufted Duck on Loch Finlaggan. They also had Reed Bunting, Sedge Warbler, Cuckoo and Grey Wagtail there as well. Away over the moor towards Coal Ila, they had a distant viewing of a White tailed Eagle. Back down at the Woollen Mil, Dipper and Siskin were present with a Mistle Thrush  seen at Newton. Mandy had 2 Grey Wagtail on the River Sorn as it passes through Bridgend Woods.
Today, James Butcher had seen the Green winged Teal at Gruinart this afternoon. Here at home, the Tree Sparrows are still here, great to see, another year tick for here are a couple of Redpolls on the feeders, seen yesterday and again today.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Friday 18th May

Some sightings through yesterday for starters.. The RAFOS team had seen a ringtail Hen Harrier at Saligo, with 2 Redshank seen on the pool there. Along the road towards Ballinaby, they had 6 Whimbrel on one side of the road with a Curlew in the field on the opposite side of the road. Over behind Ballygrant, they saw 2 White tailed Eagle, Blackcap heard at The Woollen Mill, and also a Grey Wagtail carrying food there a  well. In the woods at Bridgend, along the River Sorn, they had Dipper, Grey Wagtail and also a Spotted Flycatcher. George Newall had seen 2 Little Tern down at Knockangle Point. The Bowland Birders had seen House Martin at Crosshouses. In the trees around Kildalton, they had Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Robin, Wren, Chaffinch and Coal Tit. Along at Claggain Bay, they saw Common Sandpiper, GND, Tree Pipits, Redpoll, Goldfinches, ringtail Hen Harrier sky dancing, Long tailed Tit, Sparrowhawk, Raven, Sedge Warbler, Cuckoo, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Wheatear, Common Gull, Herring Gull and Lbb Gull. Gary had been out with clients yesterday around Islay, seeing a total of 7 male Hen Harriers, 4 Golden Eagle, 2 White tailed Eagles, a Merlin, a Kestrel, an Iceland Gull took off from Loch Gorm, and they also had a Ring necked Duck on Loch Finlaggan. 

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Thursday 17th May

Last Saturday, Mandy had heard a Chiffchaff singing in her garden over at Carnduncan, this morning with the dawn chorus, she had a Whitethroat singing away. Mark today had a male Ruff displaying out from the North hide at Gruinart. Up at Ardnave, Mark saw 4 Bonxies, 6 Little Terns and 14 Arctic Terns. Back here at home, the Tree Sparrows are still here, that is over a week that they have been present now.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Wednesday 16th May

Gary today had seen a distant Golden Eagle over Sgarbh Breac which is the big hill up towards the lighthouse at Rhuvaal. At Bunnahabhain, an Osprey was seen, with a Whinchat seen down at Torrabus. The RAFOS team had been down on the Oa today helping David Wood with some survey work there. While they were there they saw a Spotted Flycatcher at Kinnabus, the first of 2018 on the reserve there, and also a Golden Eagle. This afternoon, Mike Peacock heard a Corncrake calling down on the reed bed between the Coastguards and Machir Bay. Along at Rockside, Mike had also seen a Merlin and a ringtail Hen Harrier. Here at home the Tree Sparrows are still around.. and late afternoon we had the distant sightings of 3 large bird of prey soaring way up on some thermals and the jury is still out, was it 2 Buzzard and a Golden Eagle? Bob had been round at Rockside visiting DistilleryDave where they had  a Lesser Whitethroat.