An Islay Summer

August 7, 2022 at 8:07 pm

Although we had less than a week on Islay recently the highlight of any July visit has got to be the show of Marsh Helleborines. Just one marsh held more than 200 Helleborines that were at their very best.Flagrant and Lesser Butterfly Orchids were also found and surprisingly two Hares were also boxing – until I got my camera out! The island was full of recently fledged Swallows and Rooks who gathered to provide a very large parliament!

Pipe Dream

August 1, 2022 at 8:40 am

A non-birding few days on Islay produced five sightings of Otters! The one in the blog photo came ashore with what looks like a Pipe fish that took some crunching with its powerful teeth. Other photos are on my Facebook page, which include their rat-tail dive – a view that you normally see as it disappears from your sight!! www.facebook.com/gordonyateswildlife

Keep A Grip

July 24, 2022 at 4:28 pm

It always amazes me how an Osprey is able to fly off with a large trout after emerging from its high dive. Its talons are designed to grip its prey during lift-off from the water and it seldom fails to get airborne. The problem last week at Aviemore was the heat.The first fish was caught at 4.50am and when the temperature rose to 31 degrees all the Ospreys went for a sleep and so did we!! www.facebook.com/gordonyateswildlife

Islay Miscellany

July 17, 2022 at 7:33 pm

Although I go to Islay for its Hen Harriers and other exciting birds the wildlife enthusiast will find many other subjects to photograph. For the botanist there are the many Orchids to find. If your interest is butterflies then the Marsh Fritillaries are the main attraction. This weeks Gallery photos includes both the above plus such birds as a Whitethroat singing at dawn, Shelduck brooding ten young and a Barnacle Goose left behind when the others flew back to Greenland.

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Dinner Time

July 10, 2022 at 5:02 pm

Islay is now the third best place in Britain to see breeding Hen Harriers after Mull and Orkney. Mid June is the time when the female Harrier is required to help the male with the supply of food. Once the young are three weeks or more old the male, on his own, is not able to catch enough prey to allow the development of the four young shown in the gallery photos. On Islay there are lots of juvenile Pheasants and big flocks of Starlings which the female Hen Harrier is well able to catch. As there are no Pheasant shoots on Islay everyone is happy! www.facebook.com/gordonyateswildlife

An Islay Chat

July 3, 2022 at 4:52 pm

One family of birds that you are bound to see on Islay in summer are the Chats. The commonest one is the Stonechat and these are present all year round and love to perch in the roadside vegetation. The Whinchat is a summer visitor and is found on the moorland edge. What they both have in common is that they love to catch butterflies and moths for their young. So enjoy this weeks blog photo of a male Whinchat returning to the nest with a Tiger moth. www.facebook.com/gordonyateswildlife