Thursday, April 16, 2009

An absolute surprise!!!

An early morning watch saw very few birds over the sea, as is fairly usual with easterly winds. Odd Gannets and single auks were all that occurred, but a flock of nine Purple Sandpipers on one of the outer skerries were obviously migrants. Travelling northwards, up the coastroad, it was apparent that there had been a fall of Northern Wheatears with quite a number of birds seen but nothing else seemingly involved.

After breakfast we all set off to tour the island, see the sights and, hopefully, locate some particular species which Matthew doesn't see very often!!! I'd had reservations about seeing Chough but, in the end, we saw at least eight! Peregrine, Twite, Greater Scaup,( where around 90 remained on Loch Indaal), all fell to our persistence plus seeing some of the nicer areas on Islay and fitting in a visit to Bowmore ( "the capital" ) too.

Best of all though, and an absolute surprise, was our visit to the RSPB Gruinart Reserve where we looked through the remaining dispersed Barnacle Goose parties and found the Lesser Canada Goose amongst one of them!!! We had absolutely excellent views and were very satisfied with the result. The day ended with a selection of photographs being taken by Rose, one of which may yet grace the banner headline of this Blog!!!

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