I just watched a magnificent DVD from Gordon Yates, the one I wrote about one week ago, called Wildlife Gems of Islay. Just the right thing to get me in the mood to prepare this weeks wildlife report. In case you haven't ordered a copy yourself I can highly recommend doing so. The DVD is packed with stunning images of Islay's birds and other wildlife. Brilliant close ups of more than 90 species are interspersed with magnificent sunsets and sunrises, stunning displays of snowdrops in Bridgends woods and violent waves crashing on the rocks at Saligo and Portnahaven. Gordon takes you on a magnificent trip over the island showing the wildlife of every season, including remarkable scenes of barn owls and other birds of prey. If you like to order a copy you can find more info on Gordon's website.
The Islay Birds blog writes about the presence of good weather earlier in the week and Ian wonders if spring already arrived on Islay, while the last part of the week was clearly too wet to go out, which was apparently no objection for some to challenge the winds and rains and send their reports. There is a nice image of Geese roosting at Loch Indaal after their feeding which took place in the middle of the night at full moon, something Gordon Yates describes on his DVD as well. Ian Brooke also watched Gordon's DVD and also he was impressed given his positive review. Continue reading.....This weeks Islay nature report by Jeremy Hastings from Islay Birding: Another cracking start to the week â€“ brilliant sunshine and little wind. A frost coloured the world white as well as the Landrover, so I scraped it off and went to pick up my clients. Within ten minutes of that we were watching a Golden Eagle enjoying the warm sunshine. Just sat sitting on a cliff above Laphroaig. It was, in fact, such a joyous moment I stopped Christine Logan, Lady of the Isles with two Japanese clients and invited them to have a look too! A truly international experience for all â€“ especially our Sussex and Lancs. birders! The Bar Headed goose was down near Kildalton although an escapee we are still not too sure where from and how it attached itself to a flock of Barnacle geese!
The week continued with great views of all sorts of birds: A Ring billed Gull on the Rhinns from Craigfad was an especially good find and although it was on itâ€™s own it just goes to show it is worth checking everything out! The weather began to break but beforehand we watched two Golden Eagles displaying high above Dunlossit - an amazing sight for us all, and a privilege to witness. Red Throated and Black Throated and Great Northern Divers feathered a lot this week as did numerous groups of Reed Buntings. The Glaucous Gull still showed at Bunnahabhain.
As the week progressed so the fine weather disappeared and by Friday we were experiencing a steady force eight. Despite this we still had 65 species on Thursday Force 7 gusting eight and on Friday with the steady windy weather we had 60 species. It just goes to show that if you open your eyes, and look in the correct places then you will still see birds! The picture a Glaucous Gull which can be seen by the wings which are wide and you can see the long bill protruding beyond the hidden head.