En-route to Islay

I have foresaken a trip to Ewood Park to have a few days on the Scottish island of Islay, famous for Whisley (or even Whiskey) and birds!

John, Tim, Janet and I will spend the next few days traversing the island in search of geese, raptors and anything else that comes our way. We started at 6:30 and by 10 we were heading to the Slammanan area to look for Bean Geese. Suffice to say, we were unsuccessful but I now know we took the wrong road.

Anyway we got back on track eating our butties at Arrochar, just beyond Loch Lomand, whilst watching our frst Hooded Crows as well as the expected commoner birds. We stopped and viewed the Lock Fyne shoreline at several places, the best being Lochgair where we had a couple of Slavonian Grebes as well as plenty of Red-breasted Mergansers, Eider, Curlew, Oystercatcher and Redshank. We checked numerous gulls at Lochgilphead but to no avail so we set our sights on Ormsary. As we arrived we could see LOADS of gulls and I managed to pick out a first winter Iceland on the rocks.
There were at least 120 Goldeneye displaying and feeding in the bay and several Ringed Plover on the shore. Further out we came accross our first divers - at least 30 Great Northern Divers and one Black-throated. A Sparrowhawk dashed through the bird feeders behind us, scattering the Tits and Finches - a reminder of home.

It was dark by the time we got to the ferry but our arrival on Islay was calm and the sky clear. A wonderful sky it was - I haven't seen the stars so clearly in ages so I got the scope out to scan a few astronomical objects such as the Orion Nebula - splended, especially with the backdrop of the sounds of Barnacle Geese and a fly-by Barn owl.

The weather forecast is excellent so we should get some good birding in.


  1. Looks like you too many Whisleys already;) Hope you score with the Gyr! Mike


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