Monday 17th December

Monday 17th December
The weather calmed a little, so allowing Distillery Dave to venture outside to find some birds for the blog…He saw a Kestrel on top of a fence post as he drove down the track leading from the Kilchoman Distillery. Down behind the Coastguard’s Houses, a ringtail Hen Harrier was out on the wing. Down on Machir Bay itself, DD counted 39 Ringed Plover, 29 Oystercatcher 2 Curlew and also 10 Turnstones. In the field beside the car park at Machir Bay, 7 Turnstone and a further 20 Ringed Plover were present.
Today, Andrew Kent from SNH was in touch with the tally from the International Goose Count which was carried out last Tuesday and Wednesday… The figures were as follows 31,623 Barnacle Geese, 5,843 Greenland Whitefronts and also 1,177 Greylags. Many thanks to Andrew and the team from SNH for these figures..The figures are well down on the previous 2 years for the December counts for the Barnacle Geese by over 12,000 at least… I believe that this year that the number of young geese returning to Islay was only around 1 to 2% of the geese surveyed, which indicates to me that they have not had a great breeding season.
Source: Islay Birds

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