Sunday, 22 March 2015

Birds of Islay

Hello

Our first full day on Islay, and it was sunny for much of the day. Many of the birds on Loch Gruinart were visible from our accommodation, and a 'ringtail' Hen Harrier paid us a visit at 7am. We spent the morning checking out the RSPB reserve and saw plenty of the usual local birds including large numbers of Barnacle Geese and smaller numbers of Greylags and Greenland White-fronteds. Wildfowl included Pintail and Red-breasted Merganser and good numbers of Lapwings and Redshank were displaying.

The afternoon was spent exploring the Rinns of Islay which provided plenty of geese, Common Buzzards and Stonechats. Two more Hen Harriers were seen and passerines included plenty of Meadow Pipits, smaller numbers of Rock Pipits and plenty of Rock Doves. Mammals out and about included Roe Deer, Common Seal and still good numbers of Brown Hares.

Birds on the calm water at Loch Indaal were mostly distant but a good variety were on tap such as Eider, Slavonian Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser, Black Guillemot, Red-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver. However a day without the sought-after eagles was a little disappointing - must try harder tomorrow!

Neil M


Chough

Common Seal

Barnacle Geese

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