Wednsday 13th February
Yesetrday was John Matthews and team PE4 last full day here on Islay for this present visit…. By the sound of their sightings sent they made the most of it… so here goes with their top birds… Off Bowmore Pier, they had Slav Grebes, RTD, GND, Eider, Common Scoter, Ringed Plover and also Dunlin. They also saw P B Brent geese among some Barnies up towards Mulindry. Down at The Woollen Mill, they saw Goldfinch, Siskin, Coal Tit, Great Tit, House Sparrow and Collared Doves. At Coal Ila , birds seen included Shag, Gbb Gull, Tysties and also Buzzards a plenty on their travels…Their highlight for the day was on the return leg to Port Ellen, about 2 miles down the road from Springbank they had 2 different Merlin sitting on the road side fences, but were only able to stop the car safely for a better view of one of them… safety first!!!
Peter has had Alan Heavisides staying with him for a few days…. Yesterday when up at Gruinart they saw a female Hen Harrier take a Teal out of the floods there. It then flew off with its’ prey, sitting on it for some time before eating at it for while, before an attendant Buzzard chased it away from the dead Teal which the Buzard then flew off with and seemed to cache it away in a bush. As Peter pointed out 4 interesting apects to this were, 1, the initial hunting of the Teal did not appear to spoof any of the other duck present on the floods, 2, A Teal is quite a large prey for a Harrier, 3, The Harrier gave its’ prey up to the Buzzard without any fight, finally, 4, The Buzzard had no inteest in eating the prey, more interested in hiding it for another meal in the future.
They also saw 4 Greenshank out from the South hide as well.
Today, Gary had been out with couple of clients. Up at Kilchoman, they had seen a juv. Golden Eagle out over the crag. They also saw another juv Goldie being chased by 2 White tailed Eagles close to Ballygrant. Back on Monday, Gary had seen 31 Long tailed Duck sitting in the rocks at Blackrock. He also saw 17 Slav Grebes out on the Loch around Blackrock as well. He is now already hearing Song Thrushes singing in the trees next to his house.
Source: Islay Birds