|European Dipper Cinclus cinclus ©Nigel Blake http://www.nigelblake.co.uk/|
Scotland Argyll & Bute
GriburnThe scrub areas hold Stonechat, Whinchat, Whitethroat, Willow and many other warblers in the summer months. Scanning the hills can regularly produce White tailed Sea Eagles and Golden Eagles plus Raven, Kestrel, Sparrow Hawk & Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon are occasionally seen near the cliffs at Griburn hunting Rock Dove and Feral Pigeon, and there is always the chance of picking up a Merlin as it flashing past.
Iona and Ross of MullSatellite View
The best place to see Corncrake is on Iona in May, it's never an easy task, more often heard than seen but a trip to Iona can be rewarding for this bird. There are many other species on Iona and the journey from Craignure through Glen More can pick up Short eared Owl, Hen Harrier, Raven and Eagles. At Fionnaphort turn left to Fidden, you may pick up a Corncrake here as they are beginning to spread out from Iona, also Greenshank, and breeding Redshank, Lapwing, Snipe, Sandpipers and other waders. In winter flocks of White fronted & Greylag geese forage in the fields. Nearer Bunessan the road down to Uisken beach has an open habitat of scrub and heather and is ideal for Merlin, Hen Harrier and Short eared Owl and smaller birds such as Stonechat, Whinchat and warblers. Uisken Bay in winter can give good views of all three Divers. While the iris beds in spring can hold newly arrived Corncrake early in May. Carsaig has the most spectacular cliffs where, if you are lucky you can see Peregrine and Golden Eagles. Sea birds include Fulmar, Gannets, Black Guillemot and out in the bay all three Divers at different times of the year.
Many of the top sites from Islay have been taken from Malcolm Ogilvie's booklet, Birds of Islay - the copyright remains his and we are grateful for him allowing us to use them.
Islay - BunnahabhainSatellite View
Park on the hard standing by the distillery entrance and walk along the beach northwards. This brings one to the mouth of the Bunnahabhain river which has nice scrubby areas upstream. From here one can walk north along the coast to Rubha a'Mhail lighthouse and even, for those energetic enough and with transport at the far end, right round to Killinallan and Loch Gruinart. Typical species: Mute Swan, Eider, Red-breasted Merganser on the sea; Black Grouse, Dipper, woodland birds by river. Otters along the shore.
Islay - Frenchman's RocksSatellite View
Frenchman's Rocks - some stacks lying a little under half-a-mile offshore. This is the premier seawatching site on the island, with August to October probably the most productive months, though there is something to be seen throughout the year, and the early morning being the best time, before the sun moves round and gets in the way. Continuing past Claddach takes one by a small loch where Red- throated Divers are sometimes seen, as well as Whooper Swans in autumn. The lane then leads back to the Portnahaven road. Turn left to continue round the Rhinns. This road winds its way through moorland and some farmland, past the end of the track back to the east coast and eventually dropping down close to the sea at Kilchiaran, where there are cliffs, a small burn and a track leading up to a hill-top holding various telecommunications masts. The road climbs back up the hill and over the spine of the Rhinns, through forestry plantations, back to Port Charlotte. Typical species: Greenland Whitefront, Corncrake, Chough in fields; Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl hunting over forestry; divers, Shag, Grey and Common Seals at Port Wemyss and Portnahaven; Fulmar, petrels, shearwaters, Gannet, Kittiwake, auks, all at Frenchman's Rocks, plus less frequently divers, wildfowl and waders; Peregrine, Golden Eagle, Chough on west side of Rhinns; Fulmar, Dipper, Chough at Kilchiaran; Hen Harrier, Kestrel, Short-eared Owl by road back to Port Charlotte.
Islay - Loch Gruinart & RSPB ReserveSatellite View
In spring and summer the fields are full of nesting waders. The best goose viewing is from a car. Resist the temptation to get out - it only flushes the nearer geese and sometimes all of them, which spoils it for you and any other birdwatchers there. At the western end of the road is the RSPBs main farm, Aoradh, with a visitor centre in the farmyard. The centre contains an exhibition explaining the importance of the reserve and a fine viewing gallery looking out over the fields. A fine and capacious hide is placed on a raised bank between some flooded fields to the north, reached from the lane opposite the farm entrance, signposted Ardnave. There is a small carpark opposite the path to the hide. There are regular events at the reserve, including a weekly guided walk. Call at the Reserve or check posters in hotels and the Tourist Office for details. Typical species: Barnacle and Greenland White-fronted Geese, plus occasional Brent, Canada, Pinkfoot; Lapwing, Snipe, Redshank, Skylark breeding; Hen Harrier, Buzzard, Peregrine, Golden Eagle hunting through area; Whooper Swans in autumn. Wigeon, Teal, Pintail, Shoveler, Lapwing, Redshank, Black-headed Gulls, Snipe in the flooded fields; Chough around the derelict buildings; Corncrake in ungrazed fields and nettlebeds.
Islay - Loch Indaal - BowmoreSatellite View
Bowmore Pier, the layby immediately after the last house on the left leaving the village, and the large pull-off opposite the electricity generating station. This last is especially good because it is elevated. Typical species: wintering flock of Scaup, with other seaducks (Common Scoter, Goldeneye, Long-tailed); divers and Slavonian Grebes; swans and Wigeon just offshore usually to the right of the Generating Station; Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone on rocks near the pier.
Islay - Loch Indaal - BruichladdichSatellite View
There are pull-offs on the shore side opposite the village shop (the Mini-Market) and the distillery. It is also possible to walk out onto the pier. Typical species: Shag, Wigeon, Eider, Ringed Plover on rocks; Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone opposite shop and distillery; all three divers and Common Scoter from pier.
Islay - Loch Indaal - Port Bhan War MemorialThis is on the shore side half a mile towards Port Charlotte. There is a pull-off on the right-hand side of the road opposite. A telescope is useful here either from the car or by standing beside the war memorial. Typical species: all three divers, Common Scoter all year; Manx Shearwater, Gannet, flocks of Guillemot and Razorbill in summer.
Islay - Loch Indaal - Port CharlotteDatabase
Port Charlotte village houses the Natural History Visitor Centre, clearly marked on the left just over the narrow bridge as you enter the village. Information and displays relating to all aspects of wildlife are housed here and your own records are especially welcome as contributions to our knowledge of the island's birds and other wildlife and for inclusion in our online database at the web address above
Islay - Machir BayRenowned for its Choughs. Corncrakes can usually be heard calling in this area in the summer months. Unfortunately the beach is poor for birds, although seaducks and divers do occur offshore. Typical species: Chough, Corncrake, gulls, Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Goldeneye, divers.
Islay - Port Ellen BayPort Ellen lies at the eastern side of a large bay. This can be viewed from the road leading out of the village and, at the western side, from the pleasant sandy strand of Kilnaughton Bay. This is reached by taking the turning beside Port Ellen distillery and heading for The Oa. The bay holds divers and seaducks.
Islay - The OaOa is pronounced O as in road. The Monument stands above 400-foot cliffs with impressive views east to the Dun Athad promontory and Beinn Mhor. The southern half of The Oa is an RSPB reserve. There is a signed circular walk from their small carpark near Upper Killeyan. There is free access to the reserve. pical species: Greenland Whitefronts in fields; Buzzard, Peregrine, Golden Eagle, Rock Dove, Guillemot, Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Raven, Chough, Wheatear, Twite around cliffs.
Machrihanish Seabird ObservatoryMachrihanish Seabird Observatory has a small hide from which a long list of passage seabirds and other species have been seen, especially between August and October.
Mull - Loch BaIn summer, a very rewarding walk along the shore can produce Red-throated Diver, Common Sandpiper, Pied & Grey Wagtail, Dipper, Redstart, Wood & Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher & Tree Creeper. Scan the hills on both sides of the loch for both eagles and Buzzard.
Mull - Loch na KealSatellite View
Loch na Keal is a very large sea loch and offers opportunities to see many of Mulls best birds. In winter through to early spring, Slavonian Grebe, in eclipse & in summer plumage, Great northern & Red throated Diver, occasional Black throated Diver, Winter ducks are Widgeon, Teal & Goldeneye, plus all year Red breasted Mergansers, Mallard, Eider & Shelduck. There is always the chance, after winter storms, of picking up a vagrant or rare bird from North America. Well worth checking the loch with your scope for rarities or vagrants. Sea birds include Gannet, Fulmar, Kittiwake, GBB & LBB Gulls, Common Gull, Guillemot & Black Guillemot. Regular waders are Greenshank, Redshank, Dunlin, Turnstone, Common Sandpiper, Ringed Plover, and Oyster Catcher, also, on the shore, Rock pipit. In the open areas around the loch are Meadow Pipit, Tree Pipit & Sky Lark.
Mull - Lochdon & GrasspointSatellite View
Lochdon is a tidal sea loch which provides a valuable source of food for many waders, holds a good variety of birds at all times of the year, and is a regular stopping off and feeding area for spring and autumn passage migrants. One of the best sites for viewing White tailed Sea Eagle which can be seen all year round , also regularly seen are Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrow Hawk, Tawny Owl, Short eared Owl and Hen Harrier and occasional Barn Owl, Merlin & Peregrine Falcon.
Osprey are seen regularly on passage at Lochdon in autumn and spring. Good numbers of Teal & Widgeon over-winter on Lochdon, joined by lesser numbers of Goldeneye, Red breasted Merganser, Shelduck and Mallard. Whooper Swan drop in and stay only to rest and refuel before flying off again. In winter, occasional Goosander fish in the pool by the bridge to Grasspoint.
The mouth of the loch, from Grasspoint can be good for Great Northern Diver in winter & occasional Black throated Diver. Redshank, Greenshank, Whimbrel, Turnstone, and Bar tailed Godwit on passage in spring and autumn, Occasional large flocks of Golden Plover & Lapwing in autumn plus Ringed Plover & Curlew, There are Snipe & Woodcock at most times of the year. On the shoreline Common Sandpiper breed in summer, Rock Pipit, Grey Wagtail also. The scrub around the shores are good for migrant warblers at the right time of year, Grasshopper Warbler, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Wood Warbler, Blackcap, Whinchat and Cuckoo. Other resident birds including, Meadow Pipit. Rock Pipit, Stonechat, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Dunnock, Tree Creeper, Wren and Robin can be seen all year round. Great Spotted Woodpecker is common and is often seen feeding at bird tables and on nuts in local gardens. There is a Sand martin colony at nearby. Grasspoint will give good views of local sea birds, Guillemot, Black Guillemot, Fulmar, GBB & LBB Gulls & occasional Gannets, & Kittiwake. Porpoise are often seen in the Sound of Lorn from a Grasspoint vantage point. Otters can occasionally seen at Grasspoint and in the outer loch area.
Number of bird species: 325
County Bird - Common Eider Somateria mollissima
Birds of ArgyllArgyll Bird Club 2007
Birds of Colonsay and OronsayBy David C Jardine, Colonsay Bookshop 2002
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Birds of Islay: A Celebration in Photographsby Gordon Langsbury & M.A. Ogilvie - Lochindaal Press (Feb 2006) http://www.lochindaalpress.co.uk/BOIP.htm
See Fatbirder Review
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The Birds of Bute: A Bird Atlas and Local Avifaunaby Ronald W Forrester, Ian Hopkins & Doug Menzies | Buteshire Natural History Society | Hardback | Jan 2012 |
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The Birds of IslayHelm Field Guides 1989
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Where to Watch Birds in ScotlandMike Madders - 336 pages, b/w illus, maps - Christopher Helm 2002
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Islay Wildlife & Birding Information
The reason for many people to visit Islay for the first time is most likely the presence of eight working whisky distilleries on the island, and even so many people discover that Islay has much more to offer. This is probably the reason why so many people choose to come back to this beautiful island and discover all the other things Islay has to offer with wildlife and birding being one of those many reasons...
Argyll Bird ClubWebsite
For further info write to: Sue Furness, The Cnoc, Tarbet, Loch Lomond G83 7DG
Bute Bird GroupWebsite
Bute Bird Group is a part of Buteshire Natural History Society and is for members of the society who have an interest in the varied bird life on the Isle of Bute. New members are always welcome…
Isle of Mull Bird ClubWebsite
...contact Alan Spellman Maridon Lochdon Isle of Mull PA64 6AP Telephone 01680 812448, email@example.com
Machrihanish Seabird ObservatoryObservatory
Welcome to the Machrihanish Seabird Observatory web-site! The Machrihanish Seabird Observatory in Kintyre, Argyll, provides an unrivalled shelter for weather-blasted sea watchers so that observation can take place during the worst weather, yet best sea watching conditions. At this exciting base visitors can obtain assistance and information about recent sightings & details of more long-term studies...
Sanda Island Bird ObservatoryObservatory
Studies of the birds of the Sanda group of islands have been taking place over three decades, initially by a small band of enthusiasts from Clyde Ringing Group. Over the years this band has grown to include ringers from across the UK and even abroad. In 2002 the decision was taken to form a charitable trust, with the intention of increasing the ornithological work carried out...
Stuart Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute, PA20 0EP, Tel 01700 505067 - The Natural History Gallery allows visitors to explore the geology, plants, animals and birds of the island...
Forestry Commission - Beinn GhuileanWebsite
The moor land and woodland edge habitat provides a home for many bird species, gold crests and tree creepers are among Britains smallest birds so you need be observant to see them. On the higher sections of the walk golden eagle and black grouse can be seen occasionally...
Forestry Commission - Carradale WoodsWebsite
Golden eagles, hen harriers, black grouse, red grouse, Eider ducks, Tawny owls and siskins are just some of the bird species found around here...
Forestry Commission - Kilmichael WoodsWebsite
There are many bird species to be found here including Golden eagles, Hen harriers, Barn owls, Tawny owls, Merlins, Peregrine falcons, Ospreys, Tree creepers, Great spotted woodpeckers and many more...
Forestry Commission - Knapdale Forest & Crinan HarbourWebsite
Many birds typical of woodland, loch and shore habitat live in Knapdale. If you are really fortunate you may be rewarded with a sighting of black grouse, osprey, peregrine, golden eagle, redstart, golden eye, and red and black throated divers...
Forestry Commission - Tarbert & Skipness WoodsWebsite
There are many bird species to be seen in this forest, black grouse and hen harrier to name but two...
Forestry Commission - Torinturk WoodsWebsite
The Torinturk woods are still home to reasonably strong black grouse populations...
Forestry Commission - West Loch AweWebsite
A treat for everyone, sometimes you wont even need binoculars to see the incredible range of birds that live in and visit the Loch Awe area...
RSPB Reserve - CollWebsite
The reserve is a stronghold for the rare corncrake. We are managing the reserve with local farmers to help corncrake numbers recover...
RSPB Reserve - Loch GruinartWebsite
Hen harriers nest on the moor and hunting golden eagles and peregrines occur all year round. Loch Gruinart is famous for the large numbers of barnacle and white-fronted geese that spend the winter on Islay...
RSPB Reserve - The OaWebsite
From the coast, you can see choughs, seabirds and occasional golden eagles. Greenland white-fronted geese use the bog and twites can be seen on farmland...
The little island of Sanda sits at the convergence of the Irish sea and the Forth of Clyde, just to the east of the Mull of Kintyre. The island is only about 1/2 mile in diameter, there are two land falls, one on the north by the house and the other by the unmanned lighthouse at Prince Edward`s rock. Lots about breeding seabirds etc...
2001 [Oct/Nov] - Alison & Chris Hall - Islay & JuraReport
Our Hebridean adventure began in earnest as a pod of Porpoises broke the sunlit mirror of Loch Fyne, while our arrival on Islay was greeted by flocks of sedate Golden Plovers with Starlings, Fieldfares and Redwings sweeping restlessly across the pastures around the Machrie Hotel, in their hundreds. The winter thrushes remained in good numbers throughout the week but the plovers soon moved on to pastures new. The resident Stonechats here were always nice to see...
2006 [January] - Mark Finn - IslayReport
...The highlights were of course the thousands of Barnacle and Greenland (White-fronted) Geese plus large concentrations of wildfowl. The new reserve at Oa is set in spectacular coastal scenery and allowed us the privilege of watching a perched adult Golden Eagle being mobbed by a Herring Gull. Rare birds were in short supply this year although we managed to find Cackling (Lesser Canada) Goose and a Green-winged Teal. We also visited Jura for half a day an interesting island and quite different from Islay...
2009 [January] - Mark Finn - MullReport
...All the specialities of the region were recorded and seen well including White-tailed and Golden Eagles, Hen Harrier, Corncrake, Grasshopper Warblers and the oak wood species of Common Redstart and Wood Warblers. In addition to these fantastic birds we witnessed an impressive north bound migration of shorebirds and terns....
2011 [June] - Nick Hilton - MullReport
I’d visited Mull as a child in 1979 (no Sea Eagles back then!) and even though I was only 8 years old, had vivid memories of some of the scenery and of Red-throated Divers calling as they landed on a secluded Loch. I’ve always wanted to return but as my wife does not enjoy the normal Scottish weather it has taken to the year of a certain landmark birthday that I have been able to visit the island again...
Islay - Harbour InnAccommodation
Situated adjacent to Bowmore Harbour on the Isle of Islay, The Harbour Inn is a small, eight bedroom, family run hotel with an emphasis on high quality food with ingredients selected from local produce...
Islay - Kintra FarmAccommodation
Kintra Farm is a 1000-acre working hill farm on the island of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland. The farm lies 4 miles from the village of Port Ellen, in a beautiful spot beside miles of sandy beach, rocky inlets and moorland...
Islay - Lochindaal HotelAccommodation
The Lochindaal Hotel in Port Charlotte is one of Islay's most traditional hotels. It is a family run establishment, having been in the MacLellan family for over 100 years...
Mull - Argyll HouseAccommodation
Welcome to Argyll House! This former Inn, built in 1803, has recently been completely refurbished to provide accommodation of the highest standard, offering 4 properties to suit all budgets and catering for 2 to 4 people...
Mull - Glenaros Farm CottagesAccommodation
Visitors are welcome to walk anywhere on the estate to enjoy the magnificent scenery, observe the wildlife and watch the farm at work, but are asked to keep dogs on a lead to ensure that the sheep and cattle are not disturbed.
Mull - MullbirdsAccommodation
Mullbirds self catering unit is situated on the shores of Lochdon, along the Gorten road and only 1.5 miles from the ferrry terminal at Craignure. This warm and compact flat has been created with the comfort and convenience of both able and mobility impaired visitor in mind. With the exception of the kitchen, the whole flat is wheelchair-accessible, and the toilet/shower room has a level 'wet floor' and low level controls on the electric shower unit, for the comfort of all guests...
Mull - Seaview B&BAccommodation
Welcome to the Seaview Bed & Breakfast web site. Here you can see our award winning accommodation and learn about the wonderful scenery, wildlife, history and geology of Mull and its associated islands that make a stay here so memorable...
Mull - The Door TrustAccommodation
To this end Mornish Schoolhouse has been fully modernised as a comfortable family home for up to six persons, for general holiday letting. Any proceeds from such letting, after running costs have been met, are used to provide sponsored holidays in off-peak times...
Mull - TreshnishAccommodation
Treshnish Farm is situated on the north-west coast of the Island of Mull. It takes about one hour to drive from the ferry terminals and from Tobermory. A coastal path wanders around this dramatic headland, revealing spectacular views out to the islands of Coll, Tiree, Rum, Skye, Canna, Muick, Eigg, Staffa and the Treshnish Isles. When it is very clear you can see as far as the Uists, 50+ miles away...
Springside B&B - TarbertAccommodation
Almost one of Scotland's best kept secrets, Tarbert is situated at the top of the Kintyre peninsula and quite often missed by people who travel north from Inveraray. Those who discover it will be well rewarded as the area is a super place to stay to explore the sheer scenic beauty and rich historic heritage of this part of the country...
A Birding OdysseyBlog
Personal birding at home and abroad, plus other natural history and conservation involvements. John S. Armitage - Portnahaven, Isle of Islay, Scotland, United Kingdom. Retired early after 20 years with the RSPB working in conservation. Most of my time now spent doing voluntary bird survey work…
Balvicar Bird ReportBlog
A collective BLOG from a number of Islay birders and visitors...
Islay Natural History Trust BlogBlog
Contains frequent entries on all aspects of Islay wildlife, including birds, with photographs, as well as advance notice of any natural history talks being given on the island...
Wild About MullBlog
Bryan Rains - Pennyghael, Mull - Wild About Mull wildlife tours blog. This is an insight into what has been seen on the tours and also anything that has caught my interest...
Birding around MullWebsite
Although Mull is becoming famous as the 'Eagle Island', because of the good chance of seeing both golden and white-tailed eagles, it is the wide range of birdlife seen amongst such remarkable scenery that really makes Mull, along with the Treshnish Islands, Staffa and Iona so special for the birder. This page gives you information about what birds you can see here, where to see them and when they are here...
Mull Eagle WatchWebsite
Sea Eagle Hide at Loch Frisa, Isle of Mull - The hide is actually a joint venture between RSPB, Forestry Commission, Strathclyde Police, Mull & Iona Community Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage. For further details contact Debby Thorne, White Tailed Eagle Information Officer Isle of Mull - Mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
The mullbirds.com site is designed especially for bird watchers with an interest in the wildlife of Mull and the islands of Argyll. The aim of mullbirds.com is to share with and help visitors and locals alike to enjoy the many birds we have on the island of Mull and to keep up to date information on where to see birds at different times of the year, especially any rare or unusual visitors to the island. Mull is highly regarded as a bird watchers paradise with a large list of regularly seen species including many breeding raptors as well as rare and endangered birds...
The Birds of IslayWebsite
The text on the website is taken from the latest (2004) version of my booklet 'The Birds of Islay'. The booklet, which includes a chapter on bird habitats on the island as well as a full systematic list and other information about bird watching on Islay, together with checklists of mammals, butterflies, dragonflies and wild flowers, will be updated during late 2011
Photographer - Barry TurnerGallery
If you love wildlife, birds, beautiful scenery and something slightly different, your visit to the Gallery should be rewarding. Original collages of Scottish scenery and wildlife including Otters, Dolphins, Castles and Panoramic views...
Photographer - James R MacDonald - Bird & Wildlife PhotographyGallery
I am a 34 year old Lifeguard/Swimming teacher and (very!) amatuer photographer from Campbeltown in Argyll. I have had an absolute passion for birds and wildlife and photography in general for a long time now, but around eighteen months ago I decided to take up wildlife imaging seriously. I originally had a little 'point and shoot' job - which while fun to use didnt really satisfy me with its image quality, so eventually I decided to splash out on a mid range DSLR accompanied in time by a decent lens...
Photographer - Philip Price - Loch VisionsGallery
Philip Price runs one day wildlife and digital photography days out on the banks of Loch Awe, in Argyll. Uniquely we provide all equipment, including pro standard cameras, therefore it is suitable for any person who fancies a great day out, regardless of experience or whether they own a camera or not...
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This site was last updated on Monday, 2nd December 2013.
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