Welcome to this weeks Islay Nature and Wildlife report with, as usual, news from the Birds Blogs on Islay, a Nature report from Jeremy Hastings and information on how to adopt an Ileach Dolphin.
I found something interesting today on the internet about Dolphins. I read on the WWF website that you can adopt a Dolphin, which probably isn't new, but the special thing about it is that the Dolphin is an Ileach Dolphin, or Islay Dolphin. On the WWF website you can find the following information: "About the Ileach dolphins: This pod of bottlenose dolphins live in the waters around the Inner Hebrides, off the coast of Scotland. They are often seen around the Island of Islay, which is how they got their name. Bottlenose dolphins are wild, intelligent and inquisitive mammals. Dolphins face a multitude of dangers, such as fishing, pollution, collisions with ships, entanglement in fishing gear and habitat degradation. From just Â£3 a month you can adopt the Ileach pod. Your money will help WWF to continue to protecting marine species and the oceans in which they live, and conserve our natural world." More information is available from the WWF Website and you can see the Dolphins below on a youtube video from Simon King.
The Islay Birds blog: Early in the week Ian writes: "If Sunday was a right off, Monday turned out to be worse, with consistent rain for most of the day and evening, but Tuesday came and we have had a good day. Paul Hathaway, on his way home from the Visitor's Welcome evening on Monday night, had spectacular sighting of a Barn Owl along with it's prey on a fence post on the roadside." Later in the week George Jackson from Bruichladdich made a trip to the Corryvreckan whirlpool and had a sighting of 3 separate White tailed Sea Eagles. Continue reading.....John Armitage from Portnahaven, who runs the Islay Birder Blog had a bad birding day last tuesday: "An absolutely foul day with the rain never stopping and being quite heavy at times. Birding proved hopeless with nothing of note, or new, turned in." and later in the week on Friday the weather wasn't good for birdwatching either: "Mist and rain came in at 1000hrs. and persisted for most of the day with visibilty being poor."
This weeks Islay nature report by Jeremy Hastings from Islay Birding: What a strange week with the wind blowing from North to south to South East and to south West and this afternoon (Sunday) to North West. With it we have had sun, rain, warmth and cold. Basking Shark were seen at Port Wemyss at the start of the week - four in all and Dolphins again off the ferry. Barn Owls seem everywhere and we have certainly been watching Tawny Owls too. Then in contradiction to southern and warmer expectations such as Dolphins and Hirundines, these were Pale Bellied Brent Geese from North Arctic Canada - a definite sign of winter around the corner. Swallows still fly as do House Martins catch insects on the wing.
The first Pale Ballied Brent Geese have arrived on Islay
Gannets have been moving steadily with Manx Shearwaters past Frenchman's Rocks and can often been seen off Saligo Bay too. Young Wheatears hang on to become stronger and waders arrive at the same time. It is the period of great cross over. At Bridgend there have been masses of Greylag Geese booking in causing all sorts of exciting with folks thinking that the remain gaggle of geese have arrived from Greenland, which are the Barnacle and Whitefronts. Odd ones will be calling in non breeding birds but the main gangs still have a couple of weeks to get here. One need to watch the weather forecast in Iceland to really get a picture of what may happen here. In fact I had 600 plus Pale Bellied brent Geese arrive at Gruinart on Friday morning - what a privilege to witness. I will certainly be monitoring the flight arrivals! next week I have a French Camera crew out - so we will see what is on offer.
Dolphin Video with Simon King made at Chanonry Point in the Moray Firth