This week already Jeremy Hastings nature report number 21 and from now on back on Sunday evening. For those of you who haven't met Jeremy before I can tell you he is quite a character. Besides his vast knowlegde of birding, wildlife, bushcraft and Islay he is always in for a joke as well. During our trip beyond Gortantaoid Jeremy wanted to protect himself from the hot sun while searching for dry stuff to start a fire. As you can see he succeeded rather well and I will leave it up to you to decide if this actually looks better than his regular looks!!
This weeks Islay nature report by Jeremy Hastings from Islay Birding: Another splendiferous well here on this magical place. Red Deer up in the hills struggling to find water as the warm and windy weather continues. The hill lochs are low now and it is noticeable that the hills are so parched that they are crunchy when you walk across them. The sound of this is louder than the wind in ones ears! No wet and burns and wallows are all dried up.
There have been several highs and lows this week... large movements of Gannets past Frenchmanâ€™s rocks and, sadly, one eaglet has fallen out of a nest and died â€“ dreadful â€“ but this is nature and in the raw too! The parents will have another year to wait as they only produce one set of eggs a year. Continue reading.....I was out guiding in the high hills, we were wildlife watching and fishing the wee lochens. Extraordinary opportunity to witness amazing experiences under the canvas and enjoy the beauty of the rugged rawness of Islay. A Golden Eagle greeting us on the first day high above where we were to be based, a Hen Harrier hawked the hill beyond one of the lochens and a Peregrine took a hen Mallard thirty steps from our campsite! Plenty of fish were caught on both wet and dry flies.
Skylarks filled the air and the sound of Common Sandpipers accompanied us on every loch we fished. Other highlights were laying awake early in the dawn listening to Snipe drumming at 3.00 and a Cuckoo calling almost all night! A Grey Heron would visit each morning. Wildlife watching like this gives great pleasure and opportunity to 'tune in' so our eyes and ears were open all the time... Dragonflies, Adders, Lizards and wet footprints of a just missed Otter.
Marsh Fritillary Butterflies have been enjoying the sunshine around Port Charlotte and a Red Throated Diver was in Loch Indaal this afternoon. The pair of Arctic Terns are back on the usual buoy just outside the hotel! We watched a small group of Scoter fly in from far out at sea and arrive just off Laggan.
With the clouds moving in the temperature has dropped and our well cooked skin can take a rest!
The party out on the hills in the north of Islay