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Isle of Islay

   

9-12 April 1998

Observers:

F. Simpson & A.Simpson

 

INTRODUCTION


 

This was my seventh birding and cycling trip to the Isle of Islay though only the second 'goose trip'. Islay must be the best place in the British Isles for observing wild geese with up to 50000 here at peak times during the winter months.

 

With my dad, we cycled from Kilmarnock to Ardrossan, taking the Caledonain MacBrayne ferry over the Firth of Clyde to Brodick on the Isle of Arran. A cycle to Lochranza on the north-west side of Arran, followed by another ferry across the Kilbrannan Sound to Claonaig on the Kintyre peninsula, followed by a cycle over to Kennacraig at West Loch Tarbert and we were ready to sail to Islay after less than 50 miles on the road.

 

We recorded 106 species on the trip, 98 of which were on Islay with Golden Eagle, Short-eared Owl and Chiffchaff on Arran and a few more on the mainland of Ayrshire. The highlight was watching the geese arrive to roost on Bridgend merse at dusk and foraging Chough in the dunes below Kilchoman Church.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS


 

All three divers  Slavonian Grebe  Greenland White-fronted Goose  Barnacle Goose  Brent Goose  Scaup  Common Scoter

Hen Harrier  Golden Eagle  Peregrine  Woodcock  Rock Dove  Short-eared Owl  Dipper  Chough  Twite.

 

 

 LOGISTICS


 

Transport

Cycle: Dawes Galaxy (1994 model).

Cal-Mac Ferry: Ardrossan (Ayrshire) > Brodick (Arran) > Lochranza > Claonaig (Kintyre) > Kennacraig > Port Ellen (Islay).


Accommodation

B&B in Bowmore

 

Maps

Landranger 1:50 000

 

 

LITERATURE, REFERENCES & SITE GUIDES USED


 

01.      Ogilvie, M. 1992. The Birds of Islay (Including When and Where to Find Them). Lochindaal Press.
02.     
 Elliott, R.E. 1989. Birds of Islay. Helm.

 

 

USEFUL WEBSITES


 

     Islay Birds Blog

     The Oa RSPB Reserve

     Loch Gruinart RPSB Reserve
     
The Hebridean Islands of Islay and Jura

     The Islay Directory

     Malcolm Ogilve - Islay Expert and Local Recorder

     Armin Grewe's Islay Site

     Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries

     Islay Info

 

 

ITINERARY


 

Day 01       09/04/98     Kilmarnock > Ardrossan > Brodick > Lochranza > Claoniag > Kennacraig > Port Ellen > Bowmore


Day 02       10/04/98
    Bowmore > Bridgend > Loch Skerrols > Blackrock > Loch Gruinart > Saligo Bay > Kilchoman 

Day 02       10/04/98     Lochna Cachle > Bruichladdich > Bridgend Merse > Loch Indaal > Bowmore

 

Day 03       11/04/98     Bowmore > Loch Tallant > River Laggan > Kilnaughton Bay > Lochab t-Sailein > Kildalton

Day 03       11/04/98     Claggain Bay > Kintour > Port Ellen > Bowmore

 

Day 04       12/04/98     Bowmore > Port Ellen > Kennacraig > Claonaig > Lochranza > Port nam Balach >

Day 04       12/04/98     Merkland Point > Brodick > Ardrossan > Warwickdale > Knockentiber > Kilmarnock

 

 

MAP OF SITES VISITED


 

 

 

 

THE DIARY


 

Day 1
9 April 1998
Kilmarnock > Ardrossan > Firth of Clyde > Brodick, Isle of Arran > Lochranza > Kilbrannan Sound > Claonaig, Kintyre >

Kennacraig, West Loch Tarbert > Port Ellen, Isle of Islay > Bowmore > Bridgend Merse.


A
A

 

 

 

Day 2
10 April 1998
Bowmore harbour, Loch Indaal > Bridgend Merse > Loch Skerrols > Traigha na Carraige Duibhe > Blackrock > Lyrabus >

Loch Gruinart > RSPB Nature Reserve > Balliaby > Saligo Bay > Kilchoman > Lochna Cachle > Bruichladdich > Blackrock >

Bridgend Merse > Loch Indaal > Bowmore.


A
A

 

 

 

Day 3
11 April 1998
Bowmore > Loch Tallant > River Laggan > Kilnaughton Bay > Port Ellen > Lochan t-Sailein > Kildalton > Tallan >

Claggain Bay > Kintour > Port Ellen > Leorin > Ariroichallum > Glenegedale > Bowmore.


A
A

 

 

 

Day 4
12 April 1998
Bowmore > Port Ellen > Kennacraig > Claonaig, Kintyre > Kilbrannan Sound > Brodick, Isle of Arran > Lochranza >

North Glen Sannox, Isle of Arran > Port nam Balach > Merkland Point > Brodick > Firth of Clyde > Ardossan, Ayrshire >

Annick Water > Warwichdale > Knockentiber.


A
A

 

 

 

SPECIES LIST - ISLE OF ISLAY - 9-12 Apr 1998  ^ top


 Vernacular

 Scientific

 

 

 Red-throated Diver

 Podilymbus podiceps

 Black-throated Diver

 >

 Great Northern Diver

 >

 Little Grebe

 >

 Slavonian Grebe

 >

 Fulmar

 >

 Gannet

 >

 Cormorant

 >

 Shag

 >

 Grey Heron

 >

 Mute Swan

 >

 Whooper Swan

 >

 White-fronted Goose

 >

 Greylag Goose

 >

 Barnacle Goose

 >

 Brent Goose

 >

 Shelduck

 >

 Wigeon

 >

 Teal

 >

 Mallard

 >

 Pintail

 >

 Shoveler

 >

 Pochard

 >

 Tufted Duck

 >

 Scaup

 >

 Common Scoter

 >

 Goldeneye

 >

 Red-breasted Merganser

 >

 Hen Harrier

 >

 Sparrowhawk

 >

 Buzzard

 >

 Golden Eagle

 >

 Kestrel

 >

 Peregrine

 >

 Pheasant

 >

 Grey Partridge

 >

 Moorhen

 >

 Coot

 >

 Lapwing

 >

 Snipe

 >

 Woodcock

 >

 Bar-tailed Godwit

 >

 Curlew

 >

 Redshank

 >

 Greenshank

 >

 Common Sandpiper

 >

 Turnstone

 >

 Black-headed Gull

 >

 Common Gull

 >

 Great Black-backed Gull

 >

 Lesser Black-backed Gull

 >

 Herring Gull

 >

 Kittiwake

 >

 Guillemot

 >

 Razorbill

 >

 Black Guillemot

 >

 Rock Dove

 >

 Wood Pigeon

 >

 Collared Dove

 >

 Tawny Owl

 >

 Short-eared Owl

 >

 Skylark

 >

 Sand Martin

 >

 Swallow

 >

 Meadow Pipit

 >

 Rock Pipit

 >

 Grey Wagtail

 >

 Pied Wagtail

 >

 Dipper

 >

 Wren

 >

 Dunnock

 >

 Robin

 >

 Stonechat

 >

 Wheatear

  >

 Blackbird

 >

 Fieldfare

 >

 Song Thrush

 >

 Redwing

 >

 Mistle Thrush

 >

 Chiffchaff

 >

 Willow Warbler

 >

 Goldcrest

 >

 Long-tailed Tit

 >

 Coal Tit

 >

 Blue Tit

 >

 Great Tit

 >

 Treecreeper

 >

 Chough

 >

 Jackdaw

 >

 Rook

 >

 Hooded Crow

 >

 Raven

 >

 Magpie

 >

 Starling

 >

 House Sparrow

 >

 Chaffinch

 >

 Greenfinch

 >

 Goldfinch

 >

 Siskin

 >

 Linnet

 >

 Twite

 >

 Yellowhammer

 >

 Reed Bunting

 >

 

 

 

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