Islay DVD Review by Malcolm Ogilvie

About a month ago I wrote about a new Islay DVD called 'The Wildlife Gems of Islay', which is filmed and produced by Gordon Yates. I have seen the DVD twice so far and enjoyed it immensly. Dr Malcolm Ogilvie, ornithological and botanical surveyor who lives on Islay, made a review of the DVD as well which was published in the Ileach on the 1st of March:

Malcolm Ogilvie: Gordon Yates has been coming to Islay for more than 30 years filming the island’s birds, animals and scenery. Many of us have attended his annual film shows here when he has delighted us with his expert camerawork on the birds and other wildlife not just of Islay, but of his home territory in the Pennines, or further afield in, for example, Alaska, Iceland, Greenland and Spitsbergen. All of those films were taken on what was then the only available medium, 8mm celluloid film, but in the last two years Gordon has 'gone digital' and this DVD is the first published result.

Gordon invites one on a seasonal tour of Islay’s wildlife, beginning with the arrival of the wild geese in autumn and continuing through winter, spring and summer before ending with the geese arriving once more. Superb sequence follows superb sequence, all taken by a cameraman of very considerable talents: a young otter tussles with an adult male, wild geese fill the sky with their clamouring skeins, seals laze on the rocks, thrushes feed on autumn berries, wild flowers signify the passing of the seasons, from the massed snowdrops of late winter to the delicacy of a single orchid in high summer, Golden Plovers scurry over the ground giving their plaintive whistling calls, a Tawny Owl nests on the ground, a male Hen Harrier passes food in mid-air to his mate, a pair of Black Guillemots display to each other.

The list of what are truly gems of wildlife filming just goes on and on. In one inspired sequence among so many, the camera dwells on the noise and fury of storm waves crashing on the rocks of the Rhinns before one realizes that there, demonstrating its total mastery of the elements, is an otter diving among the fiercest water before reappearing with a fish, climbing out and eating it while the sea surges to and fro just below. As well as an hour-long film, the DVD contains five shorter sequences and some 50 'postcards', stills taken from the film. I sat enthralled through the film and then wished for more. So I watched it again! This is far and away the best film you will have ever seen of Islay and its wildlife, and a wonderful advertisement for the island. Buy it for yourself and buy it to give to your friends. And then ask Gordon for more! Check out Gordon's DVD page for more information!

This story was printed with kind permission from the Ileach local newspaper.

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