Well, we are all back to Islay now after a busy time down at the British Bird Fair. 948 folk entered the free draw to come to Islay for a week to see our geese, the cottage being kindly provided by Islay cottages here at Kilchoman with Calmac providing free ferry passage. The winner was Martin Gooch from Braughing Ware in Herts. John Aitchison kindly drew the winning ticket with his young assistant Evie Wood. Boy, was it was hard work, but surely well worth the effort. There are over 450 exhibitors with 4 lecture venues to whet your appetite.... The weather was possibly overcast with the odd splatter of rain on Friday and Saturday which was good for us as it was more pleasant in the large marquees, plus when it rained the visitors stayed indoors....So many thanks to all our helpers, to our Distilleries and to Walkers shortbread for providing support to our cause to promote Islay as a great place to come, visit and bird watch or even chill out!!!! It was great to catch with old friends down there from all over the world and also the many folk that come to Islay.
On Sunday, Mike Peacock had seen an Osprey at Bun an Uillt. Gary had several Teal and a single Wigeon at Smelly corner and on his way home, late last night, a Barn Owl on the roadside close to Ballygrant. Coming over on the ferry yesterday evening, Bob had seen a Sooty Shearwater along with some Manx Shearwater, Auks, Razobills, Kittiwakes and Gannets. Coming up the Sound of Islay, I personally had never seen so many Red Deer feeding down on the shoreline on Jura.