Welcome to this week's report with some snippets of Ian's Birds Blog and Jeremy's wildlife whereabouts but first I would like to ask your attention for something else. The RSPB launched a campaign against the negative effects of climate change on Scotland's wildlife, a quote: "Without immediate action some of Scotland's most iconic wildlife will be at risk from climate change. We need your help to persuade the Scottish Government to take effective action now. A public consultation on the content of a Scottish Climate Change Bill is underway. This is your chance to urge the Scottish Government to lead by example and take action to avert catastrophic climate change, working with nature to benefit biodiversity, the economy and local communities. Nature needs a voice. Support our campaign to secure an effective law to help avert catastrophic climate change. Please make a submission to the consultation today. It only takes a few minutes and every submission counts."
The Islay Birds blog brings breaking news on Thursday: "As we have it, breaking news just in from Andy Schofield, of the sighting this morning of his first male Wheatear of the season, down between Aros House and Kintour over at Ardtalla on the SouthEast coast of Islay." More info about this beautiful bird from the RSPB website: "The wheatear is a small mainly ground-dwelling bird. It hops or runs on the ground. It is blue-grey above with black wings and white below with an orange flush to the breast. It has a black cheek. In flight it shows a white rump and a black 'T' shape on its tail. It is a summer visitor and passage migrant. Birds breed mainly in western and northern Britain and western Ireland." (Picture courtesy Gerd Rossen)
Iain Mitchell from Port Charlotte had an almost frightening experience with a Golden Eagle last week which looked like a plane crash! Check out the An Gleann News Section for the full story. Read more.....This weeks Islay nature report by Jeremy Hastings from Islay Birding: The weather is still the major topic on Islay. With storms affecting all of Britain on Sunday and Monday Islay came off lightly with only tiles and leaks to be attended to. Luckily enough the rain held off on the Rhinns on Monday morning so I was able to get on to the roof and do necessary repairs. It did mean I was out of doors most of the morning and enjoyed hearing and then seeing 4 Whooper swans fly directly North over the me. It was a magical moment. As usual the morning plane sent up all the geese up on the fields beyond. A Moorhen has returned to the distillery pond and hopefully it will nest again this year. The two Snow Bunting are the sole remainders of five up at Ardnave â€“ this is on Monday â€“ who knows what the week will bring!
Tuesday dawned with bright sunshine and Lesser Celandine are starting to show on behind Port Charlotte, a Grey Heron sat in the Port Charlotte Distillery Pond and a wee flock of Barnies grazed beyond. It was good to see blue sky. By Friday the weather had improved and I was guiding and teaching a group of Bushcrafters. We headed out beyond Killinallan. It was a perfect day, Lapwing on territories, Snipe 'exploding' everywhere and Raven and a pair of Chough above the farm. The students enjoyed seeing the many colours, identifying the 'edibles' along the sea shore and practicing tracking as well. We met the new Islay Estates Factor along the way and had a good blether all of us rejoicing in the good fortune of being alive on such a spectacular day! The views across to Colonsay with Mull beyond were spectacular and there was a steady movement of Divers too. During the evening around the campfire we were joined by a watery moon and yes we awoke to a damp morning. It soon cleared and so did we, leaving no trace of ourselves and returned to coffee at Debbieâ€™s in Bruichladdich, satisfied by our wilderness experiences and joyful that we had shared and learned so much. As I write, Sunday afternoon, the sun is once again shining, 14 Whooper Swans swim towards Bruichladdich from Port Bhan and spring really feels as if it has at long last arrived!
Dusk on Islay