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Dimàirt, 31/Dec/2013

My Islay year 2013

Islay Fun in stencil

Well then, that's another year (almost) over. Unfortunately for me personally it will end with a whimper not a bang, following the wisdom tooth removal on Friday I'm still a bit tired (and generally careful) and might not even make it to midnight. The year 2013 was much better though, so here's my quick review of my Islay year:

Main events for me were of course my Islay visits, being on Islay is of course the best. It started as usual with the Islay walking week, this year's highlight of course was the excursion to Jura with the climb of Beinn a'Chaolais, one of the Paps of Jura:

Picture of a few walkers on the top of a mountain, other mountains around

I returned in June, which has turned into my usual summer visit now. The longest days of the year and usually some of the best weather make it a good time for me. This year my sister Imke joined me again for her (I hope I counted correctly) fourth Islay visit. We had a great time together and completed some wonderful walks. I in particular enjoyed taking her out to Rhuvaal lighthouse and beyond. Here she is in a natural arch just below Rhuvaal:

Picture of a woman standing in a natural arch

In October my usual week (the last full week ending with the clocks going back) was already fully booked by the time I could book, so I came a week earlier. With hindsight this turned out to be brilliant: The weather was very good and the Barnacle Geese were just amazing that week. Here's an impression from the new RSPB hide at Gruinart:

Picture of Barnacle Geese resting on wetland with many more in the air in the background

All of the visits were great, I couldn't pick one over another. Each of them was great for its own special reason. If all goes to plan more to come next year again.

Outside of the visits I enjoyed the blogging, both here and on the Islay Pictures photoblog. Early in the year I bought a DJI Phantom quadcopter, which I of course took to Islay as well. Luckily there were enough calm days on all three visits for me to get a few flights in. I still have some footage to edit for more, but as writing this three videos are online in the ‘Islay from the air - views from up high’ YouTube playlist. Again I hope to do more there.

On the web I love to see that there is still so much Islay related being posted. As you will know from the weekly Islay blogging roundup despite some people saying blogging is on the decline there is still a lot of wonderful work out there. I love seeing Ian still posting on the Islay Birds blog with all the sightings on Islay after all those year, I love seeing new blogs like Islay Wildscapes popping up. There are some wonderful Islay videos being on YouTube and Vimeo, where I can I share them here on this blog of course. I could just repost the Thank you! post from last year, all of it still applies.

I think I'll leave it at that, I'm probably off to bed soon to sleep into the new year. Good night and Happy New Year!

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