Saturday, 22 April 2017

Saturday 22nd April

What a glorious day it has been with wall to wall sunshine, better still, the sun is streaming in though the windows as I write the blog..
Gary yesterday had a count of around 200 Pied and White Wagtails on the sand, down at Crosshouses. Gary reckons that there were at least 15 White Wagtails present. Some sightings also yesterday from James at Gruinart. On reserve he had the Green winged Teal, a male Garganey, a Greenshank, 162 Blackits, 10 Whoopers, a Golden Eagle and also a Merlin. Peter Gill yesterday evening had seen 4 Woodcock calling and flying low over the moor up behind Port Charlotte. Today, Peter had walked round the far side of Loch Skerrols and then down past the North Lodge and along the "Strath" back to Bridgend. At Skerrols itself, a Great spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming and soon afterwards, it was seen. 6 Blackcaps were heard there as well, more than down in Bridgend Woods. 2 Chiffchaff were also heard on his walk, with 2 Grey Wagtails seen on the River Sorn as he approached The Woollen Mill. Just past Uiskentuie, 10 Whimbrel were seen, while up at Gruinart, an Orange tipped Butterfly was present. 

Friday, 21 April 2017

Friday 21st April

Yesterday, Michal had seen 2 Whimbrel at Easter Ellister, a Common Sandpiper was on the shore with 2 GND offshore. Michal is back over for a few days carrying out some survey work, great to see you Michal...  Peter Gill yesterday evening had seen a Red throated Diver in breeding plumage on Loch Indaal out from Port Charlotte. Over at RSPB Loch Gruinart, today Peter had seen 9 Whoopers, the Green winged Teal was present out from the South hide, a Corncrake was heard calling briefly. Up at the North hide he counted a flock of 300 Blackwits and finally on the ploughed fields down at the Coastguards between 150 - 200 Golden Plover were there. Mike Peacock had seen a Peregrine up behind Port Charlotte this afternoon. Here at home, while I was looking at the birds on the ground at the base of the niger seed feeders, I saw that one of the Redpolls had a BTO ring on, but sorry to say that all I could read was "29", never saw the letters at the start, let alone the other numbers... and we have not rung any Redpolls here, so wonder where it has come from...
Before I forget, on Tuesday evening at 6.30pm, the "Islay Bird nerds" will be meeting up at NR 271617 for a walk through the Woods at Foreland House, wellies could be advisable as I believe that it may be muddy in certain places, so if you are around, see you there...

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Thursday 20th April

Visitor, Simon Cohen had heard a Blackcap singing close to the North hide at Gruinart  on Sunday, and later on the same day, he had a Merlin over close to Sanaigmore. Yesterday,  over at Kilchiaran, he saw a Common Sandpiper and 2 White Wagtails. Gary yesterday had seen a Grey Wagtail on the stream beside Ballygrant Quarry, and later on, he heard a Cuckoo calling in Ballygrant Woods. Today Sam had been out with Gary, down towards Knockangle Point on the Big Strand, below the airport, they saw 10 Sanderling and also 40 Golden Plover. While going home along the Glen road back to Ballygrant, they saw 3 different Hen Harriers, a Merlin and also a Golden Eagle. Mark this morning had a count of 19 Blackwits on Ardnave Loch. Louise had seen a pair of Merlin as she drove round Loch Gorm. Peter Gill today had seen a large Canada Goose, South of Bowmore, in the trees around Avonvoggie, he heard and then saw a Cuckoo, and finally over at Blackrock, he had a Whimbrel and also 6 Dunlin.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Wednesday 19th April


I know that this image is not a bird, but I was really surprised to see this young leveret this morning, just as well that I had my camera in my hand!
Late yesterday afternoon, Margaret had counted 22 Chough out on the Machir. Also yesterday,  visiting birder Angus Hogg had seen 2 Arctic Tern on Loch Indaal, on Monday he had a Cuckoo over at Ballygrant with a Whimbrel and a Little Tern seen at Gruinart on Sunday. Peter Roberts today had gone out to see if he could locate the Little Gull, no joy , but he had 15 Eider at Uiskentuie with a raft of 35 R b Merganser out on Loch Indaal, Peter also had seen a further 20 Eider earlier on back at Bruichladdich.  Today, Bob had seen 32 Golden Plover in summer plumage and a Whimbrel in the Octofad fields behind Port Charlotte. Peter Gill had been over at Bunnahabhain today where he had Golden Eagle flying over from Jura, 4 Common Sandpiper on the shore, heard a Chiffchaff singing there as well, back close to Ardnahoe, 3 Red legged Partridge were present. Down at Loch Allan, 2 Long tailed Tits were seen, a Cuckoo heard as was a Blackcap. Here at home, there were 4 Swallows hawking the fields looking for food. Maggie Bell was in touch with Mark Shields to say that she had seen 9 Pale bellied Brent Geese on Loch Leodamais Bay at Port Ellen.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Tuesday 18th April

A lot cooler over here today, in fact we have had the big fire on today...Mary Redman yesterday sent  sightings from down at Portnahaven. She had seen some Swallows back at Claddach with 6 of them hawking over the fields looking for any insects for some food. Mary had a Snipe drumming close to Portnahaven Hall, a pair of Redshank were seen busy calling and displaying down near to Currie Sands while a pair of Meadow Pipits were trying to lure Mary away from their nest site!! Mary also commented on the lack of geese around as well.. Dave Protherough had 3 Sandwich Terns in Kilnaughton Bay while he was out with his kayak.  Peter Gill, yesterday had been down on the Oa, seeing a really close Golden Eagle, a male Hen Harrier and a single Chough. At Kintra, they had seen 2 Common Sandpiper with 2 Pale bellied Brent along at Blackrock. Top birds today from Peter were Siskin, Grey Wagtail and Dipper at The Wollen Mill. Later on up past Carrabus, a flock of 20 Twite was seen and shortly afterwards 22 Golden Plover spotted, all in summer plumage. Andy and Dot had 2 Golden Eagle up at Bunnahabhain. Mark had 8 Twite and 386 Golden Plover up at Ardnave this afternoon. Carl today had a Golden Eagle at Glenegedale, a Hen Harrier at Cragabus, a large Canada Goose at Kilnaughton as well as lots of GND present in the Bay there as well. Louise had 4 GND seen on the Sound of Islay as she headed over to Islay this morning. This afternoon, I had a White tailed Eagle over Port Charlotte flying South along the coast. Here at home, with the weather being colder, the feeders have been really busy, top birds included 2 Siskin, 3 Redpoll, 3 Greenfinch, 2 Linnets and late afternoon a count of over 70 Goldfinch, 55 at the feeders here at the house and around 20 over at the garage, the largest number here so far.. Gary has had a busy day, out with some clients. At Blackrock, this morning they saw a Little Gull, later on a couple of White tailed Eagles up towards Bunnahabhain, another White tail over at Port Charlotte, possibly the same bird that I had seen as well,  5 different Hen Harriers on their travels, including a pair sky dancing, great to see... A count of 40 Goldfinch at Octofad, and many Meadow Pipits seen around. Gary reckons they also had seen at least 10 Buzzards and a Kestrel while out and about. Finally, back at Blackrock , Gary stopped to check if the Little Gull was still present, but was content with a Glaucous Gull instead.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Monday 17th April

Been a bit manic out here today, possibly the reason for a late entry too..
As there was little wind this morning, George E. Jackson came up and we quickly set 3 mist nets up to see if we could catch and ring some birds, the final total was 17 birds processed, 2 House Sparrows, 6 Goldfinch, 9 Chaffinch, and a Starling. The number of time I saw birds flying directly towards the nets and then veer off at the last moment, say no more, but overall George was pleased with all our efforts....well done team!!
Before he left on Saturday, Armin had been over at Ardbeg where he saw a Heron being harassed by a couple of Gulls before the heron dropped the food out of its' crop. Gary yesterday evening had a similar experience at the top of Loch Indaal, but it was an Osprey which dropped its' food for the gulls to eat!!! Mark had a raptor day up at Ardnave seeing Golden Eagle, Hen Harrier, Peregrine, 4 Snipe, a Lizard and Green Hairstreak. Visiting birders, Andy and Dot had flushed 3 Snipe as they came down off the crag, mid morning.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Sunday 16th April

Yesterday, James had a Redpoll on his feeders at Mill Cottage. Down from the North hide, he saw the Green winged Teal, pr of Gadwall, 6 Blackwits, 2 White Wagtail, "loads" of Sand Martins. Through the wood, James heard 2 Willow Warblers. Returning visiting birder, Peter Gill from Newcastle had seen a Bonxie fly South down Loch Indaal, past Port Charlotte. On the moor up behind Port Charlotte a male Hen Harrier while along at Bruichladdich, 3 Purple Sandpiper were present, all yesterday. Gary yesterday had 2 Snow Buntings down on the dunes behind Machir Bay, 2 Whimbrel were seen at the spit at Uiskentuie, and over at Finlaggan, a male and also a ringtail Hen Harrier were seen. Today, Peter Gill had a male Hen Harrier at Gruinart, he heard a Corncrake calling as he walked down to the South hide, and a Treecreeper was seen while on the woodland trail, 2 Blackwits were seen out from the hide. Botswana Dave was reporting through re the Corncrake calling at Gruinart, but also to tell me about a Pink footed Goose seen amongst the Barnies at Gruinart. Carl today a heard a Woodpecker drumming at Loch Skerrols, on the water 2 pr of Mute Swans. Along at Eorrabus, 10 Whitefronts. In Bridgend Woods, a Blackcap was singing. A Snipe was added to Carl's list at Gortan, while Bruichladdich produced 20 Goldfinches and finally Carl had a Common Guillemot back at Port Charlotte. James from the kitchen window this afternoon, had seen a Siskin on his feeders, a male Hen Harrier flew past, a Wren bobbling along his garden wall with around 300 Barnies seen out on "Goose Hill"