Friday 12th April That's more like it! ...
Islay Birds
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15h ago
 Friday 12th April That's more like it!  Thank you very much to all the contributors today, who have been out and about, seeing good birds and sharing them on WhatsApp. Frank Cavanagh was first off, seeing an exceptionally early Storm Petrel and a few Manx Shearwaters heading west around The Oa first thing in the morning, as well as some Fulmars on the cliffs. Storm Petrels are regularly seen during autumn seawatches at Frenchman's Rocks, sometimes in low hundreds, but the previous earliest date was 21st May. Maybe the recent high winds have brought it inshore. They've never been pro ..read more
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 Thursday 11th April Well! I have to say that...
Islay Birds
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1d ago
 Thursday 11th April Well! I have to say that I'm very disappointed. Not a single bird record was posted to WhatsApp today, nor has there been a single e-mail reporting something of interest. Indeed, the only post was from Hannah who saw a pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphins heading towards Texa. Now, I know that dolphins can "fly", after a fashion, but they aren't really birds. So, despite a much nicer day than yesterday, with even a little bit of sun, it appears that birding round the island was at a very low ebb. I will therefore add an observation from my garden, of a pair of Collared Doves ..read more
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 Wednesday 10th April I suppose I should have...
Islay Birds
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3d ago
 Wednesday 10th April I suppose I should have expected as much. Peter has gone swanning off to France on a jolly and asked if I would write this blog while he was away. So here I am, with my very first blog, on a day when it rained all morning and was pretty dreary in the afternoon and there were no e-mails and no WhatsApp messages, because, very obviously, no-one was out birding and, even if they had been, they wouldn't have seen anything for me to tell you about. Thank you, Peter! Fortunately, Margaret Brooke at Kilchoman sent in this charming photograph of the Barn Owl pair in her nest ..read more
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Tuesday 9th April
Islay Birds
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4d ago
A breezy, sunny and dry day. The potentially interesting gull (is there such a thing? I hear some of you ask) didn't show up today and various birders on our WhatsApp group sent in their thoughts, suggesting it might well be just a skinny Herring Gull - or words along those lines. A Sandwich Tern or two has been parading up and down between Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte yesterday and today - as they so often do in early spring, before vanishing for good later. Talking of vanishing, Jim Wells contacted me to say that a Red-breasted Goose has been seen, with Barnacle Geese, on N. Uist yesterd ..read more
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Monday 8th April
Islay Birds
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4d ago
 Storm Kathleen has passed by and the weather was fairly pleasant today - lighter winds and a bit of sunshine. Sadly the sunshine and clearer skies turned into thicker cloud by the evening when it would have been possible to see a partial eclipse of the sun - lets hope Texas, where the eclipse was total, had better luck. Bird news kicked off today with David D. reporting a Yellowhammer at Kinnabus and 6 Long-tailed ducks, a Wheatear and 2 White Wagtails at Kintra. Then news turned to Swallows and Martins - 4 House Martins seen at Kildalton by Mary-Ann Featherstone, then reports of increas ..read more
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Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th April
Islay Birds
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6d ago
Two days of Storm Kathleen, that for us on Islay at times seemed more like a "storm in a teacup! There were some strong winds at times and some of the ferry crossings cancelled, but it didn't seem that bad, plus it was pleasantly mild and quite sunny at times. A bunch of summer migrants arrived. But before talking of summer arrivals there was mention from Malcolm O. about departing winter birds, a.k.a. Barnacle Geese. He sent in this weather map of Storm Kathleen suggesting that it produced ideal conditions (strong winds from a southerly direction) for Barnacle Geese to depart Islay and arrive ..read more
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Friday 5th April
Islay Birds
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1w ago
Not a very pleasant day, with grey skies and rain for a lot of the time with a moderately brisk breeze. This is apparently just the 2warm up" for tomorrow and the weekend when Storm Katherine arrives with gale force winds.......... Gary T. was out watching a Golden Eagle over the slopes at Carrabus and good numbers of Bar-tailed Godwits and Redshank on the mud in Loch Indaal. There was also a Sandwich Tern there with the gulls.  Jeff Duncan reported a large flock of Golden Plover in fields north of Port Ellen and a male Sparrowhawk hunting at Kilnaughton before heading off on the ferry ou ..read more
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Thursday 4th April
Islay Birds
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1w ago
 A reasonable, mostly sunny day with the odd bit of cloud and drizzle now and then. Willow Warblers have started to pop up all over the place: Gary T. heard them singing in woods near Finlaggan and David D. had more singing at Upper Cragabus. Linden, a new arrival at RSPB Gruinart had others in the woodland at Gruinart and found the first Swallow of summer there. Gary T. also commented on calling Snipe on the Mulreesh road, and a couple of Little Egrets at Loch Indaal near Whin Park and David D. had 4 Wheatears, a Peregrine and 4 Otters on The RSPB Oa Reserve. Jeff Duncan went out and had ..read more
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Wednesday 3rd April
Islay Birds
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1w ago
A grey and drizzly day not inspiring anyone to spend too much time outside. David Dinsley saw a female Goosander on Loch Kinnabus that had turned up there yesterday, In the same area was a Willow Warbler. Another Wheatear popped up, seen by Mary Redman down at Claddach where she also had a White-tailed Eagle overhead, while Jeff Duncan had an adult Golden Eagle and a Hen Harrier over Foreland. Nearby, at Carnduncan Mandy H. heard a Chiffchaff that has been around that area since 26 March ..read more
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Tuesday 2nd April
Islay Birds
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1w ago
Single Wheatears were seen at RSPB The Oa and at Shepherd's Cottage Kilchoman, while the first Sandwich Terns of the year were clocked - 2 of them at Port Charlotte. Also of note was a Little Egret at Gruinart ..read more
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