Where Eagles Fly

June 27, 2021 at 5:54 pm

If you were going to Scotland for Eagles you would probably go to Mull. However, I would ask how long will it be before Islay takes over for Eagle viewing? Whilst Islay does not have anywhere near the twenty two pairs of Sea Eagles of Mull it does have some very viewable pairs and is nowhere near as mountainous as Mull. What does happen on Islay is that in winter up to half a dozen Sea Eagles come together to catch Geese, something that Mull cannot compete with! for gallery photos click on my Facebook page on the right

A Tribute To Ian Brooke

June 20, 2021 at 5:21 pm

Ten days ago as I was sat in my hide on Islay filming this week’s Hen Harriers, less than two miles down the road, my good friend Ian unexpectedly passed away. It was a terrible shock.
I have known Ian and Margaret for more than thirty years and have lost count of all the tea and biscuits that we have been provided with on Islay. Their door was always open to all visitors. Ian started the Islay Bird blog more than fourteen years ago and provided visiting birders with a daily picture of who was on the island and what they had seen. For non-birders Ian started the “Walk Islay” weeks which were extremely popular pre-covid days.
One of the highlights of Ian’s year was the Annual Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water. Along, with others ,Ian would stand all day extolling the virtues of Islay to all visitors who would leave the stand topped up with shortbreads and Whisky!
Ian loved his extensive garden on Islay and there are not many birders who can count Hen Harrier and Merlin as daily garden visitors! My daily routine has already changed as a result of Ian’s passing – I can no longer check his daily blog to see who was on Islay and what they had seen. I already miss his monthly Wader counts, the Goose counts in Winter and even his monthly Rainfall figures – he never did beat the Ballygrant readings!!
Ian you were an absolute star. Sir.

The Holy Grail

June 13, 2021 at 5:23 pm

Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that my favourite Pennine bird is the Long Eared Owl.It is an illusive bird and only appears in daylight when there are young to feed. During the last month I have spent countless hours hidden away hoping he passes by within reach of my camera. So enjoy this weeks Gallery photos of the same hunting male and you will note his ear-tufts lie flat on his head when he is in this mode. www.gordon-yates.com

Singing In Vain

June 6, 2021 at 6:04 pm

The other week I spent some time in a wooded Clough near Uppermill listening to a singing Wood Warbler. It was still there yesterday, singing its head off trying to attract a mate – to no avail. In recent times nine out of every ten male Wood Warblers fail to attract a female and therefore fail to breed. No one knows why this is – not even Chris Packham!!! Gallery photos www.gordon-yates.com