Islay Wildlife and Birding Report nr9 - Spring and Snow

Welcome to this week's report with some snippets of Ian's Birds Blog and Jeremy's wildlife whereabouts. The Islay Birds blog mentions the first Skylark singing of the year, reported by Sally How and James, Sally's husband, had 2 chipping Snipe, this being the sound they make before they start drumming. The drumming of the snipe is a very spooky sound and can be heard in spring and early summer. Check out this page of Loch Indaal which includes a sound sample of the drumming snipe. Ian mentions a Golden Eagle being mobbed by a group of about 15 Chough. There also was another sign of spring at Blackrock, which was the sight of several ewes and newly born lambs out in a field.

This weeks Islay nature report by Jeremy Hastings from Islay Birding: what a difference a week makes! Spring, that we have been waiting for with southerly warm winds almost turned up on Sunday but then went round to the west bringing rain, hail and coldness challenging us all. It then turned to the north and we were able to have brilliant views of Mull, a snowy Ben More too! However it did not last long and soon we were back in the murkiness of wet and stormy weather, we got some birding in around Ardnave and saw the Snow Buntings all four of them, two very well seen by the landy. Lots of ideas, from various people about where they have disappeared. A sound recorder witnessed one being taken by a male Merlin but anymore disappearing is purely speculation. The Snow Buntings have been incredibly mobile this winter and can be seen one day and then apparently ‘gone’ the next! There were 7 Whooper swans as well. Numbers of Geese were down this week if the goose count from SNH is to be reckoned upon. March 3rd and 4th produced the following numbers there were 37,990 Barnies and 4,879 White fronts. I watched quite a few heading south westwards and high over the weekend. A lot head to the mainland and Ireland at this time of year as the grazing here is running out and the rain has held everything back. Continue reading.....Meanwhile I have been busy launching our new Birding and Bushcraft Wilderness Jacket - see article elsewhere – it has been two years in the developing and making and hopefully – apart the food and drink items and Ailsa’s Spirited Soaps it is an entirely new product for Islay. Saturday and I was out on the bicycle – high winds made for a tricky time but I enjoyed seeing a large flock of Fieldfare at Lyrabus. On Sunday, today as I write, we headed for Kilchiaran and watched the Fulmars and a single Gannet. Snow, rain and hail pelted us!

What a difference a week makes!

Tag: birding spring weather snow

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