—> 2013 —> Reporting back from Islay

Diluain, 21/Oct/2013

Reporting back from Islay

Islay Pictures in stencil

Those of you who follow the @islayblog Twitter account and/or the IslayBlog on Tumblr will probably know that I'm now back in Aldermaston Wharf after a fabulous time on Islay. The journeys there and back on the motorway were quite bad (heavy traffic one way, persistent rain the other), but the time on Islay was just great again. Admittedly the weather helped: Three days with fantastic sunshine and blue sky, two days with decent sunny spells and admittedly two rainy days (which I spent at the open fire in the cottage, so they were still good). While I missed out on the Sea Eagle others saw the Barnacle Geese were just fantastic this year:

Picture of a huge number of Barnacle Geese lifting off

Yes, that's all Barnacle Geese lifting off in the bottom half of the picture. An amazing sight. Not the mention the noise.

Having only just arrived the geese seemed to pretty much concentrate on Loch Gruinart. They also seemed to be very jumpy and spooked very easily. Probably at least partially caused by the Sea Eagle which took an interest in them (even though I never saw it). At times it seemed all 30,000+ of them lifted off at the same time, an amazing sight and sound.

There were some great evenings with wonderful light. Against expectations I managed to get in three flights with the quadcopter (at Kilchoman, Saligo Bay and Bruichladdich), this is a view across Loch Indaal to the Paps of Jura from Bruichladdich just after the flight:

Picture of the Paps of Jura in the evening light

I watched and filmed a surfer in Machir Bay, so together with the quadcopter videos and some footage of the Barnacle Geese I've got quite a lot of video I'm hoping to edit and upload to Armin's Islay and other videos on YouTube over the coming weeks. Of course not to forget the hundreds of pictures I've taken, some of them are already on the Islay Pictures photoblog, like the Horses grazing at Moonrise, Isle of Islay.

I met a number of old and new friends again, many thanks to Ian and Margaret of Kilchoman House Cottages for yet another great stay and to Andrew of The Bowmore House for his hospitality and time for a chat on Saturday morning. Not to forget the crew at RSPB Loch Gruinart and the visitor centre staff at Bruichladdich and Laphroaig, it was a pleasure visiting you. My apologies to all those I missed this time, a week just isn't long enough when a large part of it is spent out on the beaches and at Gruinart/Loch Indaal watching the geese. I hope to catch up with you next time.

I'm going to finish for today with a lovely sunset at Saligo Bay, larger versions of the pictures will go on the Islay Pictures photoblog over the next few days:

Picture of a sunset with the sun shining through some low clouds

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