Wildlife Gems of Islay – DVD Movie

February 13, 2008 at 1:17 pm

dvd back cover.jpg

After a Winters work the DVD ‘The Wildlife Gems of Islay’ is now available for sale. For those of you who don’t know, Islay is part of the Inner Hebrides, off the West Coast of Scotland and is inhabited by approximately 3200 people. It has eight working whisky distilleries, stunning scenery, amazing wildlife and friendly people.

In the last two years I have spent nearly half a year on Islay incorporating all the seasons and amassing fifty four hours of material. It has been a ruthless task to reduce this to one hour but the finished product now portrays a good insight as to what Islay has to offer.

The DVD is for sale at £15 plus postage and packaging.

You can view a two and a half minute introduction of The Wildlife Gems of Islay on the DVD Movie page.

A Touch of Scarlet

February 9, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Scarlet Elf Cup

At last some better weather this week. I climbed up to the high Pennine tops and spent a good three hours with the Mountain Hares. Saw at least a dozen different individuals and finally found two in their forms that allowed a close approach and some good video was had. Unfortunately they don’t do anything but look at you with those big brown eyes, then run off! Golden Plover were also calling, which is a very early date to be on their breeding grounds.

Green Woodpecker and Dipper are still present on Hopwood with a party of a dozen Fieldfares at dusk – the largest local flock I have seen this Winter.

On a mossy dead tree there was a fine showing of Scarlet Elf Cup fungi – the first I have ever seen around Rochdale.

A Welcome Splash of Winter Colour

February 3, 2008 at 12:17 pm


January has come and gone with less than one hour of sunshine per day – one of the dullest Januarys on record. Its a good job I don’t need sunshine on video!

A day out in Bowland produce Sparrowhawks, Kestrels, Goosanders, Woodcocks but no Eagle Owls.

Over our house on the first February was a Peregrine – the first I have ever seen from the garden. The male Sparrowhawk has been active again, this time catching a Great Tit to add to his tally of garden kills. However, it has not stopped the birds feeding with peaks of twenty seven Goldfinches, fourteen Blue Tits and twelve Blackbirds. A Song Thrush was the first of the Winter.

On Hopwood was the Green Woodpecker, Dipper, Siskin and the first passage of Skylarks moving North East. A male Stonechat gave a splash of colour one afternoon to add to the Corvids that peaked at one hundred and fifty Jackdaws, fifty Rooks and fifty Carrion Crows going to roost on the first February.