Saturday, 21 March 2015

The journey to Islay

Hello

Yesterday (Friday), 12 Northants Bird Club members ventured north to Scotland as part of a mini expedition to Islay. Most of the day was spent travelling up the M6 and further north and some of us called in at the Caelaverock Wildfowl and Wetland reserve near Dumfries. Plenty of Barnacle Geese and Whooper Swans awaited us and other birds included Pink-footed Geese, common wildfowl and waders and five Little Egrets.

After staying overnight, today (Saturday) we travelled around dramatic scenery en-route to boarding our ferry and sailing for 90 minutes before landing at Islay at about 3.30pm. Interesting birds included Goosander, Red-breasted Merganser, lots of divers including a splendid pack of 18 Black-throateds, common auks, Eider, Slavonian Grebe, Kittiwake, Gannet and a pair of Golden Eagles. Smaller fare included Grey Wagtail and Rock Pipit and Chough and the geese on Islay included lots of Barnacles, Greylags and the very handsome Greenland White-fronteds. Mammals included Harbour Porpoise, Grey and Common Seal, Red and Roe Deer and lots of Brown Hares.

We are staying on the island until Friday morning and are hopeful with catching up on many of the local wildlife specialities.

Regards

Neil M

Shoveler

Whooper Swan

Mute Swan

Brown Hare

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