Thursday, 28 May 2009

todays afternoon and yesterday's...

...dawn. good birds again - Harrier, Curlew, Merlin, Stonechat, Chough, Fulmar, Gannet, Redshank, Lapwing and Oystercatchers...brilliant. After the wet dawn a lovely afternoon today. We then headed off with a landrover of kids to the home Coming Parade in Bowmore - marching with the YA's - excellent fun thanks to the distillery organisers - Jim McEwen and John Cambell

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

lovely day lovely....

..families to guide. Excellent views of many species today: Raven, Curlew, a cracking Peregrine right in front of us, Buzzards, male Hen Harrier, Seals, Eider, Shelduck with young, Stonechats, warblers including a Gropper and Little Terns at the head of Loch Indaal. A calling Corncrake after our sausage sizzle was good too!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Cuiart Breac

Eagles and Harriers and Gannets and Auks and Fulmars and Swallows and Adders and Toads and Wild Goats and Red Deer and wee brownies (wild brown trout) and edible plants and time to be..... and just watch, listen and enjoy.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

until saturday...

I am away till Saturday running the Cuiart Breac wilderness expedition...until then.....

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Wheels and wings.....

Our first one today and what a great one to do it on! Sun rain and wind. We enjoyed great Northern Divers, , Eiders, Terns,
Ringed Plover, Oystercatchers, Swallows, Martins, Wren, Raven and Whitethroat as well as Willow Warbler. We enjoyed the riding too and the coffee and hotchocolate at Debbies during the debrief! Excellent and eco too!

Monday, 11 May 2009

shearwaters and skua

We headed onto the Rhinns today in brilliant sunshine and warm. Diverse Divers, Gannets, Guillemots, Razorbills, Terns and Fulmars then a Bonxie stormed through good to compare size against a nearby Gannet - not much difference! Later we found out that it had been over Tormisdale too. Hen Harriers and a distant Golden Eagle, Buzzards and Whitethroats too. A warm day birding wise and weather wise too!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

nature notes

April showers.....

...ran into May this week and ran fast too! The wind was furious and those poor folks who were camping had a hard time of it! May is such a good time to come to Islay and a hopeful one too. Unfortunately not so this week. The weather patterns meant some interesting birds though: Iceland Gulls at Coull Farm and the delight of a glimpse of Hen Harrier being rushed across a field by storm force winds. It has also been cold so we have been wrapping up too! In between the rough and wild weather there have been some fantastic moments, like earlier this week when i was out guiding - we were stuck in the landy when all of a sudden the rain stopped and Skylarks started to sing and flash! like a lightning bolt a Peregrine falcon stormed through them all. We waited for a kill but no luck - the falcon left.... hungry.

Except for today, Sunday, whence it has been glorious and spring like. This morning out on the moss below Foreland Bog Cotton was beginning to show and earlier this week Cuckoos were calling too. The ground is still wet from inches of rain and with the sun the grass grows strong and verdant. Violets, Marsh Marigolds and willow are Bluebells are flowering well.

Oystercatchers are on eggs and so too are Lapwing with there vigilance on high alert as Raven, Gulls and raptors seek food in the form of eggs and chicks.

Whimbrel have been stuck here in the gloom till today, and have been heading off north to their breeding ground in the arctic region. In fact, last night I was able to hear quite alot move through over our wee house. It is nice to see folks out enjoying the nature and the wilderness, on bikes as well as on foot. Plenty of birdwatchers are around too. Watching Little Terns, Great Northern Divers, Gannets and Mergansers on Loch Indaal. Eiders are paired up as well. It is a fine time to watch and just catch some rays of warm. Indeed, it has been the only time this week to do so...long may it continue!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

iceland gulls

Early dawn was dry but, of course, as we headed out, the wet stuff came down and stuck with us all day. Whimbrel, Greylags, a single Greenland Whitefont, Common Sandpipers, Grey Wagtails, Chough and superb views of a male Hen Harrier behind Port Charlotte.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

wet whimbrel wet

From early dawn till now it has been raining. Lots of it and windy too. However we were not to be disappointed. Around Loch Indaal we traipsed; Common Sandpiper, Sandmartins, Turnstone, Dunlin, Great Northern Divers and Ringed Plovers too. We enjoyed seeing a Snipe displaying and then dropping in 10 metres from us to look at for a good time. Up behind Black Rock we spotted a cracking male Wheatear and going back for a good look I picked out 4 Whimbrel - superb, busily feeding and sheltering from an every building wind. On our return a Peregrine stormed out infront sending everything into a mass panic. At the spit we delighted in terns and watched a little Tern offering a Sand eel to it's partner - fabulous.
A great custom tour ended with a debrief at Debbies warming ourselves with hot chocolate and espressos!