Thursday 31 January 2013

Choughs on the wing

Showing the spread primaries which give them such masterly control in the air.

Wednesday 30 January 2013


The flock of Scaup wintering in Loch Indaal has declined very sharply in recent years, from 1000 to 1500 only 10 years ago to no more than 200 to 300 in the last few winters. And the reason is almost certainly the stopping of the distillery discharges from Bowmore and Bruichladdich, which no longer provide nutrients for the shellfish which form the main diet of the Scaup. One can't really argue against the removal of pollution from Loch Indaal, even one which is not that harmful to wildlife and actually beneficial to some, but it's a pity in a way that it has had this particular effect.

Monday 28 January 2013

Snails in the Rhubarb forcer

Thanks to Ian and Margaret for this shot of garden snails hibernating in their rhubarb forcer....

Yet another sunrise

As seen this morning from Bruichladdich. Again, no apology for posting yet another sunrise (with two Herring Gulls) - it seems only right to share its beauty! The other consideration is that we've just had two days of rain and it was nice to know that there is still a sun up there somewhere.

Sunday 27 January 2013

Friday 25 January 2013

Poor forestry practice

Tree guards are a familiar sight giving protection against browsing to young deciduous trees. They are meant to split apart as the tree grows, but should then be collected and removed or checked that they have, as newer types are supposed to, biodegraded. Here are some examples from a plantation on Islay where the trees have clearly fallen over still in their tree guards, and then eventually have been able to grow vertically again, but with their value as trees severely impaired. No-one can have checked them in years since planting.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Snow on the hills

The hills behind Bowmore this afternoon with the first substantial covering of the winter. If at least some forecasts are to be believed, it could be the last, too. Or not!

Sunday 20 January 2013

Festooning lichen

A larch tree festooned with lichen, exact species unknown, but certainly of the genus Usnea.

Sunday 6 January 2013

Snowdrops are coming

As the rain batters the windows here in Port Charlotte and the wind howls around our chimney pots it is heartening to see the bulbs starting to push their way into the New Year.  The snowdrops in our garden cannot be far from flowering...

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Iceland Gull - Peter Roberts

Two good shots of the Iceland Gull which is a regular visitor to Bunahabhain.  It was spotted for the first time this winter by Peter Clements. 

Machir Bay

Cow - Rockside Dunes

Tuesday 1 January 2013

Loch Gorm - Kirsty Wither

Thanks to Kirsty for this phone shot out across Loch Gorm towards Saligo taken yesterday in the late afternoon.


New Year in Port Charlotte

Chinese lantern

Pictures from the Port Charlotte bonfire and fireworks yesterday evening (actually this morning...).  Fireworks provided by the Port Charlotte Hotel and lit by the boys from the Strathclyde Fire Brigade station in Port Charlotte.  Another splendid New Year celebration.

New Year's Day walk

The Paps of Jura seen over the trees in the Staoisha plantation near Bunnahabhain. And if you know how to pronounce Staoisha, give yourself a pat on the back.
Here's wishing our very many readers a very happy 2013. According to the stats, this blog has been visited 121,181 times by 63,889 different people, from an astonishing 165 countries!
And just as astonishing in its way is that this is the 1,999th entry since this blog was started in May 2010!