Sunday 16th December

Sunday 16th December
Some sightings in from John Miles who has been over helping to lead a group of birders with his son Ewan and also Iola Williams…
Back on Monday evening, they saw a Barn Owl while returning back to where they have ben staying at Kilchoman House. The next day, they saw a male Merlin chase after the Starlings in a field next to Rockside. Shortly afterwards, they saw a 1st winter Golden Eagle siting on top of the trig point down on the top of the raised beach as one approaches Uiskentuie. Down on the Oa, they counted a flock of over 100 Twite being chased by a male Hen Harrier. They also had seen some Song Thrushes and Redwing present there as well, but no Fieldfares seen. At Port Ellen they saw 12 Ringed Plover, some Pied Wagtail on the beach opposite the Ramsay Hall as well as a GND out on the bay.  Wednesday, a wet day, but they still managed out , and over to Gruinart and the hides in the morning.. they saw Little Egret, Blackwits, a ringtail Hen Harrier, plenty of Teal, Pintail, Shoveler, Wigeon, 2 Greenshank, Barwits, Dabchicks, Geese, Whoopers and a few Snipe as well. In the afternoon, they had seen on the East side of Loch Gruinart, they had seen Turnstone, Knot, Dunlin, Oystercatcher and Curlew. Heading back to the reserve at Gruinart, they a count of over 1,000 Golden Plover and at least 100 Dunlin in the fields. Up at Ardnave, they saw the Chough and going over the road past Culbuie, they saw a Golden Eagle.  Down at Portnahaven they saw a some Tysties , and some big waves there as well.  Returning back up from Portnahaven up towards Cultoon/ Tormisdale, they saw a female Merlin, and then the Pale belied Brent sheltering up below the coal yard at Gortan. On Friday before they left, they saw a  juv. Golden Eagle over Bunnahabhain, 3 Turnstone in the bay there as well as an Otter landing some prey.
Source: Islay Birds

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