Birds
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A local speciality found all over the island, but particularly the dune areas which are very good sites especially from around July onward after the young have fledged their nest sites in nearby areas. The parent birds then bring the young to the dunes where it is easier for the young to feed
A Hebridean speciality. The low impact farming here and special efforts by RSPB to promote corncrake friendly harvesting have enabled the birds to increase their numbers on Islay dramatically in the last five years. A summer migrant, they arrive from Africa in early May. They are very secretive birds and are therefore rarely seen, but the males are very noisy, calling a repetitive harsh rasping call (crex crex) from patches of dense nettles, iris or grasses. They call frequently during the day up to the end of June, but mainly during the night (12-3 am) up until the end of July.
Found in good numbers on Islay, hunting low, quartering across grassland at any time of year, hunting for small birds and mammals. Often seen hunting over the flooded fields by the RSPB hide at Loch Gruinart
There are 6-7 breeding territories right round Islay. Out of the breeding season they do tend to range further from these territories and can be spotted almost anywhere but stick closer to their territories during the summer and therefore are harder to see. See the map for general locations and keep a look out when in these areas.
Barnacle Geese and Greenland White-fronted Geese arrive on Islay in October and spend the winter here until they leave for their breeding grounds in Greenland in April. They can be seen all over Islay, but are at their most spectacular when they first arrive in October and coming into their roosting sites in the evenings at Loch Gruinart or Bridgend merse.
Due to a lack of ground predators such as fox and mink here on Islay and the lack of intensive farming, the populations of these birds, particularly waders such as lapwing, redshank and snipe are high.
Chough
Corncrake
Hen Harrier
Golden Eagle
Geese
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