Jeremy Hastings: April Showers..... ran into May this week and ran fast too! The wind was furious and those poor folks who were camping had a hard time of it! May is such a good time to come to Islay and a hopeful one too. Unfortunately not so this week. The weather patterns meant some interesting birds though: Iceland Gulls at Coull Farm and the delight of a glimpse of Hen Harrier being rushed across a field by storm force winds. It has also been cold so we have been wrapping up too! In between the rough and wild weather there have been some fantastic moments, like earlier this week when i was out guiding - we were stuck in the landy when all of a sudden the rain stopped and Skylarks started to sing and flash! Like a lightning bolt a Peregrine falcon stormed through them all. We waited for a kill but no luck - the falcon left.... hungry.
Except for today, Sunday, whence it has been glorious and spring like. This morning out on the moss below Foreland Bog Cotton was beginning to show and earlier this week Cuckoos were calling too. The ground is still wet from inches of rain and with the sun the grass grows strong and verdant. Violets, Marsh Marigolds and willow are Bluebells are flowering well. Continue reading......Oystercatchers are on eggs and so too are Lapwing with there vigilance on high alert as Raven, Gulls and raptors seek food in the form of eggs and chicks.
Whimbrel have been stuck here in the gloom till today, and have been heading off north to their breeding ground in the arctic region. In fact, last night I was able to hear quite alot move through over our wee house. It is nice to see folks out enjoying the nature and the wilderness, on bikes as well as on foot. Plenty of birdwatchers are around too. Watching Little Terns, Great Northern Divers, Gannets and Mergansers on Loch Indaal. Eiders are paired up as well. It is a fine time to watch and just catch some rays of warm. Indeed, it has been the only time this week to do so... long may it continue!
Other relevant Islay Wildlife and Birding Information Resources:
- Jeremy's News Blog
- Previous Islay nature reports By Jeremy Hastings
- Islay Seasonwatch by Teresa Morris
- Islay Birds blog by Ian Brook
- Islay Birder blog by John Armitage