Rather a weird thing this - having now seen Barnacle Goose and Greenland White-fronted Goose today on Islay I have now seen all the regular species this year without having seen Canada Goose. No loss there! The trip up here yesterday yielded several Red Kites, Red Grouse, Wigeon & Buzzards a plenty. Unfortunatly there wasnt enough space on the ferry for our car as we only made it with 3 minutes to spare so we lugged all the gear by hand. Nightmare.
Today we surveyed west of Islay and managed 6 species - Guillemot, Razorbill, Fulmar, Gannet, Kittiwake and Great Black-backed Gull. Not a great return. We had to abandon after 4 hours due to dangerous conditions for us working atop the wheelhouse. Steaming back to the harbour we saw spray from waves crashing on the cliffs reaching 10 metres. Impressive.
Once in harbour myself and 2 colleagues decided to go for a walk to the Laphroaig distillery, a mile or so out of Port Ellen. En route a few birds were seen. :) Ringed Plover and Curlew were in evidence in the harbour and plenty of Corvids blogged about. Raven over the hills, Rooks in the town and Hooded Crows bothering the sheep. A group of 12 Chough wheeled over the hills. 5 geese blogged past - only Greylags (wild ones though). They landed just over the crest of the hill. Once we walked to the crest it was obvious that there were 250-300 Greenland White-fronted Geese with them. This is a lifer in waiting as they will surely be split in due course. A quad bike flushed them and they made the most incredible laughing noise. Superb. A quick trip into the Laphroaig distillery included a quick sample of the quarter cask which im pleased to say was delicious. I purchased a bottle of 10 year old for my dad and we hit the road. As we left the distillery 40 or so Barnacle Geese gave us a flyby. 2 Black Guillemots pratted about offshore as we walked back to the sound of Stonechats. Now im in the internet cafe contemplating grub. Good times. Will upload a pic of the Y-fronts in flight asap.