Monday, May 25, 2015

Birding Islay and Skye.

We have just had a couple of weeks visiting Islay, Jura and Skye. Both the birding and the distillery visiting were good. Eight distilleries on Islay plus one each on Skye and Jura as well as a couple of breweries kept me occupied when the weather was not good enough to go birding. To be honest the distilleries kept me occupied when the weather was good enough too.
Over 100 species recorded including White-tailed Eagle both on Islay and Skye, Golden Eagle on both islands; Hen Harriers on Islay and at least seven Corncrakes on Islay, particularly around the RSPB reserve at Loch Gruinart. Redwing and Whooper Swan were good to see only a week or so from 1st of June; Black-throated, Red-throated and Great Northern Divers were all fairly frequent; Northern Wheatears, Meadow Pipits and Stonechats seemed to be everywhere as were the expected Hooded Crows and Ravens. A flock of 26 Red-billed Chough on north Islay was the largest flock I have ever seen. Twite were, as expected, fairly common.
We had a remote cottage just north of Uig on Skye and from the window we had regular sightings of both eagles as well as auks, Gannets, Fulmars, Gulls , Common and Arctic Terns, Shags, Eiders and Red-breasted Mergansers as well as over a dozen Great Northern Divers. Raven, Hooded Crow, drumming Snipe, flocks of Twite and breeding Wheatear, Stonechat and Meadow Pipit all seemed to be just outside the front door.
The whiskies were superb!

Black Guillemot
Great Northern Diver
Hooded Crow
Northern Wheatear on broken gravestone.

Red-breasted Merganser

Typical Stonechat picture!
Flock of Whimbrel

1 comment:

  1. The hooded crow is magnificent but the poor merganser looks rather tatty!