Wednesday, 3 November 2010


Last weekend I went for a quick sojorn to Islay/Kintyre but due to the weather was only able to get the Kintyre survey done. A good journey up was completed quickly and we arrived on Islay in total darkness on saturday. No birds of note on the way up with Buzzard counting being the highlight. Our skipper was in bed early and so as not to wake him we retired to the pub. Our regular haunt was filled with arseholes getting lary so we decided to head for the smaller pub to avoid facial injury.

After some convivial drinks where we all swapped birding stories with our newest recruit, Steve (turns out I saw him being interviewed at the Alder Flycatcher twitch a couple of years ago). A slightly restless night was had but we were on song in the morning as we headed toward Macharihnish (spelling?).

On survey we had a steady day but the highlights were many and varied with female Long-tailed Duck perhaps deserving top billing. Other stars included the return of 25 or so Great Northern Divers including some in the last vestiges of their summer finery plus a couple of Black-throated Divers. Two skeins of geese were noted, both of exactly a dozen. Firstly a group of Pink-feet headed south and later some Greenland white-fronts headed east. All in all very nice.

We quickly headed back to the mainland to get away before the storm hit and whilst travelling through West Loch Tarbert had large numbers of Great Northerns and plenty of Red-breasted Merganser and Black Guillemot. A most enjoyable survey!

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