Saturday, March 8, 2014

Saturday 8th March

Yesterday, Paul Graham looked out the window and what was sitting on his bird table, rather what was on top of the cage preventing the larger birds getting to the food there... a Sparrowhawk... Today, as predicted the wind was up, the ferry did not come first thing and waited until midday before coming over, yes, the Fulmars are not far away with the weather!!! Down between the Coastguards and Rockside road end we counted 8 Hares out earlier this evening, wonder where they go to through the winter?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday 7th March

The other day while out goose counting, Bob counted a flock of 100 Wood Pigeons over towards Loch Skerrols and yesterday he had a Peregrine fly past close to his house up behind Port Charlotte. Here at home yeserday, the Fulmars were seen out in front of the crag, a ringtail Hen Harrier over the garden up at Shepherd's cottage, later on around 70 Rock Doves flew past the crag. There was Merlin down towards Sunderland Farm around midday today. Visitors from Glossop had been over on Jura and had seen Red Deer and some feral goats there, with a pod of Dolphins at Feolin as they waited for the ferry to come back over to Port Askaig.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thursday 6th March

Thanks to James who has compiled the entries to the blog while I was away over on the mainland. Some sightings through from last week. Somehow I managed to omit Paul's birds from last Wednesday, he had walked from Ballygrant through to Port Askaig. In the trees around Loch Ballygrant, he had a Treecreeper and several Goldcrest. Further on Paul had a Great spotted Woodpecker and on the Lily Loch a Dabchick was present. Later on over at Craigens, there was a small flock of 10 Twite and on the reserve at Gruinart, 7 adult Whooper Swans 2 ringtail Hen Harrier and around 300 Golden Plover. Yesterday, Ken and the Burbage birders had seen the Canada Goose hutchinsii down beside Loch Indaal. Beside the Gaelic College, 147 Barwits and 1 Knot were seen. Smelly corner held 40 Shelduck, with 19 Black Guillemots counted in the Sound of Islay at Coal Ila. A Dipper was seen at the Woolen Mill and finally up behind Port Charlotte a flock of 137 Barnies along with a solitary Pinkie!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wednesday 5th March

A few catch up records (thanks to the Burbagebirders) on the 3rd- 14 Pale Bellied Brents, 9 Slavonian Grebes, 11 Great Northern Divers and 13 Scaup and on the reserve at Gruinart- 2 Chough, 1 Grey Wagtail, a Peregrine, 140 plus Golden Plover and a Ringtail Harrier. On the 4th - 3 Hen Harriers (2 males an 1 female), 2 Golden Eagles and a Merlin at the Oa, a Great Crested Grebe in Port Ellen Bay by the toilet block and at Smelly corner 5 Black Tailed Godwits. There has also been reports of a Theyers Gull reported at Bruichladdich on the 2nd March (Birding Frontiers).

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday 3rd March

A clear and sunny day today- the Lapwing calling and the Skaylarks singing, plus 2 Lesser Black Backed Gulls at Gruinart. I usually see some in Feb, but they are late this year. Other records from Gruinart include a Bullfinch, Treecreeper and 2 Goldcrests all on the woodland trail - seen by Mary. Lots of records for yesterday: From the BurbageBirders, Off the ferry- 2 Black Throated Divers, 4 Red Throated Divers, 7 Great Norther Divers, 17 Razorbills, 13 Guillemots, 40+ Black Guillemot and a White Tailed Eagle. At their accomodation An-Innes they had 6 Woodcock. Records from the 1st March: 1st winter Iceland Gull nr. Kilmeny, male Hen Harrier at Erasaid, Slavonian Grebe just off Bowmore and 4 White Tailed Eagle in the Sound of Islay. It has also been noticed that the Gannets are back cruising the coast.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday 2nd March

I have had to post early today, due to internet problems, a small downside to rural life. Its been a beautiful morning, although a bit cloudier now. To add to the Spring feel I have seen Frog spawn at Gruinart and heard the croaking of frog activity on the pools. Also at Gruinart a female Hen Harrier, a Moorhen and Sparrowhawk. A count of the Geese on the reserve revealed 3,900 Barnacles, 142 White-fronts and 31 Greylags.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Saturday 1st March

Yesterday was Paul Beresford's last day on Islay. Over at Bruichladdich, Paul counted 21 Pale bellied Brent Geese and a Guillemot on Loch Indaal, while he was there a male Hen Harrier flew over. Just South of Port Charlotte, Paul had 2 Black throated Divers and a Black Guillemot close to the shore. While walking over on the track between Octofad and Ballimony he flushed a Woodcock. Finally, back in Bowmore, on the pavement, an obliging Rock Pipit was seen. Paul's tally for the week was 93 species seen. Thanks Paul for sharing your sightings while you were here. As it is now March, "officially" the first day of Spring, well the rainfall for for February was 7.2" for the month here at home.... The rain guage is getting refilled already as it is wet outside as I write the entry tonight....