A calm day ready made for completing a count of Outer Loch Indaal!! Over 60 Great Northern Diver were present, two parties being into double figures. This is a feature of this precise time of year with the birds either moving on or dispersing widely over the loch. Little else in any numbers except the Common Scoter flock, restless as ever, off Port Charlotte.
Later time spent enjoying the wide range of species within Inner Loch Indaal including a total of 41 Slavonian Grebes, which I believe is one of the highest autumn counts we've had ( a similar count in spring occurred in 1997 and a count of 37 occurred in November 1994.). The weather looks as if it might hold for a few days so it could be worth repeating the effort as we get so few opportunities to obtain a true picture of their numbers. A few Long-tailed Duck tantalisingly close but not quite close enough to get a photograph!!!
Today was the start of the second winter period of the British Trust for Ornithology's Atlas Survey determining the distribution of both wintering and breeding birds during 2007-2011. Now you may laugh, but visiting various spots during the day with the intention of securing Roving Records,I was amazed at how many Dunnocks I'd seen!. Yes, Dunnocks folks! Not a species you can always guarantee to come across easily on Islay and equally as welcome as any of the slightly more " exotics" we play host to.
Days like this when the surface of both sea lochs and inland ones are virtually "glassy" is a good time to come across Otters. Two at different spots in Loch Indaal and two individuals playing around in Loch Gorm were a nice surprise.