Wild Islay Birding - Wildlife Tours on Islay

After Jeremy Hastings of islay Birding left the island, now some five years ago, there was nobody who followed him up, at least not straight away. Becky Williamson started Islay Welly Walks a few years later but she left the island two years ago. The only "official" wildlife guide right now is DJ MacPhee who runs Islay Outdoors. On an island with such an abundance of wildlife there was certainly a need for another business doing wildlife and birding tours on the island. And here came Gary Turnbull, a former Police Officer from Glasgow and bird nerd since his early years. Gary has started up a new business recently called Wild Islay Birding and I've asked him for a wee introduction:

"Hello, I am Gary Turnbull and I have started a new wildlife tourism business on Islay, Wild Islay Birding. This is a guiding service for visitors to the island to show them the wonderful bird and wildlife which abounds here. I have visited Islay for sometime and retired here last year with my partner Samantha, she works at the Islay Woolen Mill. We came to Islay for the wildlife and met some very nice people and decided to move here permanently. " Continue reading...

Pod of Bottlenose Dolphins in Loch Indaal Islay

What a stunning morning to wake up to today and on top of all that a pod of Dolphins in Loch Indaal entertained us just after 7am this morning. They first passed our cottage and were heading towards the pier where more and more people came out of their houses to witness this stunning Islay wildlife spectacle. Later on they headed back towards the lighthouse and that gave me the opportunity to get very close to them and take some nice pictures. It was impressive to see them and, as it was very quiet, to hear them as well every time they surfaced.

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A&B Council Approves plans for Ardnahoe Distillery Islay

Earlier this year, in January to be precise, plans were revealed for a new distillery on Islay, roughly between Caol Ila and Bunnahabhain, at Ardnahoe. Today Argyll and Bute council announced that planning permission has been granted to the applicants which means that construction of Ardnahoe distillery will commence anytime soon.

The council writes: "The proposal will deliver sustainable economic development within an ‘economically fragile area’ in a manner which, notwithstanding the concerns expressed by third parties, will not give rise to any unacceptable, or significant adverse effect upon the receiving environment. As well as the distillery itself, there are a number of additional benefits. The whisky industry supports a range of other businesses, such as haulage firms, who take the product round the country and even overseas." Continue reading...

Amazing Corryvreckan with Islay Sea Adventures

The memories of things I did while on Islay which made the most lasting impressions have almost all got something to do with being out on a boat. It started with my first ever sailing to Islay on a Calmac ferry and the excitement to arrive in Port Ellen. I can still recall almost every detail of that crossing. The gaelic speaker announcing our departure, the sea-birds out on the sea, the clear blue sea, the sudden appearance of a minke whale, stunning big skies and the first glimpses of Jura, Islay and the three distilleries in the distance, it was all magical. Ever since that first ferry journey our many trips on boats in the waters around our beautiful island have been amazing, each and every time. Every trip had something memorable and today another chapter was added...

The Gulf of Corryvreckan

The Wave Dancer on her way to Corryvreckan

Gus from Islay Sea Adventures had organised a trip to Corryvreckan, the whirlpool between the islands of Scarba and Jura. Corryvreckan is something special and legend tells us that a prince, Breackan, died while trying to show his courage to a princess of the isles while staying out in the gulf of Corryvreckan for three days and nights. Continue reading...