Thursday, 26 March 2015



Most of today (Wednesday) was spent on the island of Jura, a rugged island which takes just five minutes to reach on a ferry crossing from Islay. Although still cool, much of the day was sunny and the light quality excellent.

After much scanning we were rewarded with distant views of three White-tailed Eagles visible from the Straits of Islay, these huge birds dwarfing the mobbing Common Buzzards. Other birds included Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Eider and Great Northern Diver. Another White-tailed Eagle materialised while we were at the only island village of Craighouse and other birds on show were Grey Wagtail, Stonechat, common waders, Red-breasted Merganser and more Eider and Great Northern Divers. No sign of the hoped-for Otters though...

We motored slowly to the north of the island, seeing plenty of Red Deer along the way, and espied a pair of Golden Eagles flying together above a rock crag. Sustained views included a period when they both chased Red Deer across the hillside, actually making contact on a couple of occasions and causing them to bolt in panic. Most of the birds from this point were repeats of previous days, but a flushed Jack Snipe was a little unexpected.

We crossed back to Islay at about 6pm and checked the north end of Loch Indaal which provided views of thousands of roosting Barnacle Geese, a flock of eleven Pale-bellied Brent Geese, about fifty Bar-tailed Godwits and a first year Iceland Gull.


Neil M


Red Deer


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