Welcome to this weeks Islay Nature and Wildlife report with a contribution from Jeremy Hastings and the highlights from the other wildlife and birding blogs on Islay. Picture right: The Wildwood Wisdom campers!
The Islay Birds blog: Ian has some interesting news about the Osprey on Islay: "Whilst returning from checking his sheep last night, Kevin Wiggins saw the Osprey sitting on a telegraph pole on the roadside beside Loch Gorm." and on wednesday another sighting: "This evening, we saw the Osprey down at Loch Gorm again, if memory serves me correctly it was first reported back on the 17th of May and has been seen quite regularly since then, between Loch Gorm, Loch Gruinart and Loch Skerrols." Today Ian was lucky to spot many Gannets: "Down at Portnahaven this afternoon, we saw about 60 Gannets fishing off Orsay, these were probably birds from Ailsa Craig."
John Armitage from Portnahaven, who runs the Islay Birder Blog, writes on Sunday 30th of June: "Certainly a day of mixed weather with a rather fine morning and afternoon but then rain setting in. Thankfully I doubt we've any continuing concerns about our water supplies!" From what I read on John's Blog he is away for three weeks and will be observing the wildlife in another part of Scotland, near Inverness. Continue reading.....This weeks Islay nature report by Jeremy Hastings from Islay Birding: Mud, Wet and Spears This week the rain fell and boy did it fall! We have recorded a generous 3 inches of rain here in Port Charlotte so the farmers are happy. The Wildwood Wisdom campers were not so enamoured though â€“ five days of wet and wind is enough to test anybodyâ€™s patience but the young folks aged 6 till 14 all had a glorious time up to their knees in mud. They did quite a lot of conservation working in Dail Brush clearing scrub, sorting out old copparding and building a footbridge out of green Hazel. Using hand tools they fashioned spears and bows and arrows too! We had time to do plant identification, bug and bird watch too.
The RSPB count of Corncrakes has reached a record 80 this year so everybody is happy! An Osprey has been seen at Gorm and Hen Harriers are busy in the fields hawking for food for youngsters. A pair of Short Eared Owls are a regular sighting around Foreland. We also have seen plenty of Snipe including one still drumming on Wednesday evening. Two pairs of House Sparrows have taken up residence in old House Martin nests above Debbieâ€™s Coffee house, Bruichladdich. The Eider are well into their moult looking somewhat drab along Loch Indaal and the distilleries are also malting too â€“ now that the rain has come!
There are some great Red Deer in fine velvet at the moment and youngsters too. You just need to open your eyes!