Bird Watching


Islay is renowned across the world for its enormous variety of bird life.  It possesses the richest variety of birdlife in the Hebrides with 180 recorded species of which 100 breed on the island!  There’s something for the birdwatcher all year round.  In autumn, thousands of white-fronted and barnacle geese arrive on the island from Greenland.  It’s a truly spectacular sight.  Wading birds take centre-stage in spring when you can see the courtship displays of snipes, lapwings, redshanks, and curlews.  In summer, you can hear corncrakes in the evening, or search out treecreepers, willow warblers, hen harriers, and golden and sea eagles.   Wild sea cliffs and open moorland make it the perfect habitat for birds of prey.  Look for golden eagles soaring over the cliffs, peregrines hunting, and rare chough feeding by the highland cattle.  Off the coast, watch gannets and guillemot diving for fish.