Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Wednesday 23rd August

Boy, what a thunderstorm we had last night, and it was still rumbling away at midnight when I went to bed. Just as well that we have sandy soil as there was a lot of rain as well.
Last week while  I was away, Mike Young had seen an Osprey down at Loch Gorm. Coming back up from Rutland yesterday, Dave Wood had seen the Little Egret at Kennacraig and from the ferry as he was coming over, he saw a Storm Petrel. Today, Gary had been out with 2 clients. Over at Ballygrant, they had seen a White tailed Eagle, an Osprey was flying high over Loch Gorm, a Peregrine was seen flying past the memorial cross at Kilchoman, down below at Machir Bay, Chough were present. Up at Ardnave a Hen Harrier was seen, and also a Bonxie was seen at Loch Gorm. Gary reported that flocks of Goldfinch, Linnets and Starlings were starting to build in numbers. No Otters were seen on their travels!!!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Tuesday 222nd August

Thanks to James for holding the fort while some of us have been down at the birdfair at Rutland... a great event to attend, one year I really should make the effort and get round all the marquees , rather than looking at the plan in the brochure, and take time to hear some of the lectures..
We had an eventful trip down as the Herdwick Inn in the Lake District where we should have stayed was shut, unknown to us, nobody had told us, so fortunately, Gary was fresh to the driving seat and drove down to Rutland. We got held up with diversions, but made it down by 11.30 pm, as there were nowhere locally that could fit us all in. On the positive side of things, last Wednesday we had a an easy time out around Rutland Water before meeting in with Nicholas Watts at Vine House Farm where we  spent almost 3 hours on a conducted tour around his farming enterprise. Vine House Farm has donated over £1.25 million to Wildlife Trusts around the UK.


Gary helped Nicholas to feed the Tree Sparrows with Red Millet, watching on is Margaret. Nicholas last week  rung his 1,000th young Tree Sparrow of this season.

Monday 21st August

Sorry Missed a few blogs - I was away. It has been very showery on Islay and we have been struggling to get the silage in from the Gruinart Flats on the reserve. On Sunday the forage harvester broke down and the fields have had to be baled.
I had a few birds from the Ferry today: Lots of Guillemots still with chicks in tow, Lots of Kittiwakes plus good numbers of juveniles, 2 Red Throated Divers and 2 Porpoises.



Gruinart Flats

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Wednesday 16th August

A wild and wet day- distinct autumnal feeling

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Tuesday 15th August

Not a bad day with lots of farms out cutting and making silage, either second cut or Corncrake friendly depending on the farm. A look around the reserve at Gruinart revealed: Greylags 568 and with them 1 Canada goose (maybe from Colonsay population?) and also one white goose of mixed origin, 11 Mute Swans, 4 Herons, 15 Teal and 3 Mallards.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Monday 14th August

Well, the van is packed and ready to set in motion tomorrow morning on our trip to Rutland. All of us that are going are a right sociable, friendly lot so if your around at the Birdfair, come along. Better away and treble check there is nothing left around that should be in the van...

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Sunday 13th AUgust

Well, last night I never saw any of the meteor storm that was due, Margaret did spot one but that was all. On the positive side of being out late at night, yes, the Corncrake is still calling over in the "glen". This evening, I counted at least 45 Chough flying in to the roost. Through the day, we have been kept at it by trying to double check that we have everything ready to take for our trip to Rutland... As far as we can think of, all fine ready for the off on Tuesday. Our stand at the British Birdfair will or should look completely different, mainly because we have been fortunate in being able to have a double stand rather than a single stand, so perhaps we might get a better chance to get visitors attracted in to our stance and better still, get them to come to visit Islay, so if you are going to the Birdfair, come along to Marquee 7 and we are opposite to Speyside Wildlife, enter our free holiday competition, better still enjoy some of our famous hospitality... come and meet some of the faces behind the blog as well .... Bob will not be down this year, but Lesley and Gary will be down to help out in his place, David Wood from the Oa will be present, as well as his sister Sarah, Margaret, myself, Andy Robinson and also Carl, so come along.....