iNaturalist - Identify and Record Wildlife on Islay

Recording the animals and plants in our surrounding environment is very important. It gives scientists an insight into the number and type of species and how it changes overtime, which helps conservation. Locally our Islay Natural History Trust (INHT) and RSPB record sightings of wildlife. For instance, the INHT has a large database with sightings of birds, plants, insects and other species. Malcolm Ogilvie can tell you all about it. The RSPB also records wildlife and focusses mainly on birds such as geese, corncrakes, chough, hen harriers and others for conservation purposes.

Nationally there are a few more organisations who are involved with recording sightings from the public for science such as the National Biodiversity Network, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, the British Trust for Ornithology, the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust and quite a few more if you do a search on Google.

If you want to share your sightings with local or national organisations you need a description of the species, the date and time, preferably a good photo and of course the location of your sighting which you can then upload onto their websites or send them in by email. Some of them also provide an app to make it easier. Continue reading..

The Islay Info App - Everything Islay in Your Pocket

When you have decided to holiday on Islay you are probably also planning on seeing some of the beautiful beaches, go for a few walks, visit your favourite distilleries and do some of the famous historic sites. And I hope that our Islay Info Website will provide you with enough information to learn more about everything Islay has to offer, which is quite a list.

For folk visiting for just a few days or a week it is not easy to make a choice, also considering the sometimes changeable weather. Wouldn't it therefore not be great if you would have an app on your smartphone which has everything Islay on it? An app:

  • which is aware of your location and has listings of ALL the beaches, distilleries, restaurants, historic sites, taxi companies etc. on it?
  • where you can choose what you want to do, shown in an orderly categorised way?
  • that can show you exactly where everything is, give you directions and tells you more about the background, access or opening hours?
  • that will allow you to make a reservation in a restaurant or book a tour, boat trip or taxi with a touch of your finger? Continue reading

 

Guide to Islay Festival 2019

In one week the Islay Festival will start, on Friday the 24th of May to be precise, and it's going to be another fabulous Feis Ile week! Tourism is booming and many folk on Islay are busy with the preparations before the Calmac ferries will bring thousands of visitors to the island who will join, and hopefully enjoy, the many events and open days. Fingers crossed for great weather!! The Islay Festival Committee has been extremely busy and have organised a fabulous week with many events such as the first fling, final fling, tastings etc. Check out this link for the full programme. Unfortunately most of them are fully booked but there are still tickets available for some of the events so make sure to book now here and check further below for an overview.

The distilleries on Islay all have their open days and also offer many other tours and tastings throughout the week. New this year is of course Ardnahoe Distillery, Islay's ninth, and therefore the distillery open day programme has been slightly altered:

The Islay Festival 2019 Distillery Programme

Islay House Hotel and Port Ellen Maltings will kick off the festival on Friday the 24th. Islay House Hotel, together with the Scottish Malt Whisky Society, will offer music, games, bbq and tastings, see programme. Port Ellen Maltings will give tours starting at 11am till 2pm. A unique opportunity to watch the maltings in action. For more info and to book visit check out the Lagavulin Programme for more info. Read more...

Support the Islay High School India Project

You probably wonder what the Mount Everest has to do with our Islay Blog? The Islay High School is raising funds for their India Project and what better way is there than to invite legendary mountaineer Doug Scott to Islay to give a talk about mountaineering and his personal experience as a lead climber which led him to the summit of Mount Everest in 1975.

Doug and Dougal Haston became the first Britons to reach the summit of Everest as lead climbers on Chris Bonington’s epic expedition to the mountain’s south-west face. As darkness fell they scraped a small cave in the snow 100 metres below the summit and survived the highest bivouac ever – without bottled oxygen, sleeping bags and, as it turned out, frostbite. For Doug Scott, it was the fulfilment of a fortune-teller’s prophesy given to his mother: that her eldest son would be in danger in a high place with the whole world watching. Scott and Haston returned home national heroes with their image splashed across the front pages. Scott went on to become one of Britain’s greatest ever mountaineers, pioneering new climbs in the remotest corners of the globe. Read more....