Friday, January 22, 2010

Are there two Gyr falcons on Islay?

A report that the Gyr Falcon I located Saturday was in precisely the same location saw several of us descending on Portnahaven, my local village, to gain what proved to be better views than previously. The light was good and the bird showed well. Many of the questions arising in my own mind re provenance were answered and will assist the task of completing the now necessary form linked to the sighting of rare birds. Eventually it moved off and it's evident an additional nearby location is being used by the bird.

A discussion with Andy Schofield ( RSPB Warden on the Oa ) , and whilst he was on an outbound ferry, revealed that two visitors to the Oa earlier in the week had seen a very large, white falcon sitting on a fence post, which they had identified as Gyr, but which had very few and small spots on the mantle and wings. Such would certainly not apply to this bird and, therefore, the intriguing , but unlikely possibility remains, that there might be two birds on the island !!

Despite searches for the original bird at lunchtime it wasn't located but was certainly around the same general area, but a little further north, towards dusk. Reasonable confirmation it's likely to be present over the weekend for anyone visiting and wishing to look for it.

A lunchtime seawatch showed a Gannet moving south and several Fulmar active in Lossit Bay and off Claddach Bay. The Gannet is very early as I don't normally expect to pick up the first birds until early February.

No comments: