BBC Springwatch live from Islay

For those of you who don't know it by now... BBC Springwatch has arrived on Islay some weeks ago and Simon King is watching the wildlife on Islay and reports about it live every night on weekdays until 15 june at eight on BBC2. What a magnificent Islay promotion this is and what a joy to see the variety of birds and other wildlife on display every night. Yesterday Simon showed footage of a Hen Harriers nest and today he was on the Oa peninsula filming young choughs leaving their nest and the whereabout of the young Golden Eagle which is now 6 weeks old. Last weekend there were some problems with the live cameras near the nesting sites due to the heavy downpoors but the weather has improved and Islay is bathing in sunshine at the moment. The good weather improved the live cameras images and the shots from the Golden Eagle nest and Hen Harrier are stunning. Unique images of a unique island.

I have done a lot of "Springwatching" myself and it's actually amazing how much wildlife you can spot just by driving slow on the single track roads around Loch Gorm, Loch Gruinart, the head of Loch Indaal and on the Rhinns of Islay. During our trips we spotted a colony of 80 seals on a sandbank in Loch Gruinart which was an amazing sight. We also spotted Curlews with chicks, Lapwings with chicks, heard the Corncrake near Gruinart and spotted Golden Eagles high in the air. We even spotted a low flying Hen Harrier just a few meters in front of us near Loch Gorm. At the head of Loch Indaal we spotted many waders and a lot of Terns, and even found a Terns nest with one egg.

This year we also did a five star birding trip with Jeremy and I will write a full report about that amazing trip later. But I can reveal the trip was absolutely faboulous with lots of sunshine and, Jeremy Hastings from Islay Birding, the best possible guide you can imagine to learn more about Islay's wildlife and Islay in general. Here is Jeremy's version of that trip in his news section of that glorious day:

Quote: 15 May 2007
Today we were with some Dutch bird-watchers (who run the popular website - enjoying the spectacular scenery and views on the Rhinns. A bright blue sky illuminated a cracking male Hen Harrier in the Glean and a pair of Chough too. A Cuckoo called and then flew overhead being closely followed by Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits! A Whitethroat, Redpolls and Curlew added to the magic. At Kilchiaran there were Gannets, Arctic Terns and Fulmars too. We headed towards Claddach, watching young Lapwing and a Whinchat too.

Sometimes life if just perfect :-) Thanks Jeremy for a wonderful trip!

  • More Islay wildlife and Birding information on Islayinfo

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