Wednesday 23 June 2021

Ian Brooke Funeral 24June

Due to Covid restrictions, we are limited to the numbers that could attend Dad's funeral, and we were not expecting people to travel.  However, one positive which has come out of it is that it will be webcast for anyone who wishes to pay their virtual respects.  

The service will start at 12.55pm on Thursday 24th June.
Username - qepe6954
Password - 253541

Donations if desired are for Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance who helped save Dad's life many years back, and without them this blog would not have existed.

Thank you again for all the help & support that both my Mum & I have had through this difficult time and I hope you are to join in the celebration of Ian's life.
Andrew Brooke

Tuesday 15 June 2021

Ian's Farewell

For those wishing to pay respects, my Dad, Ian Brooke will be doing his farewell journey from Islay tomorrow.

He will be departing his home at Kilchoman at 2.15 for the 3.30 ferry from Port Askaig.
We ask all who wish to say goodbye to give him a wave as he passes by.
The cremation is on Thursday the 24th back in Melrose.

My Mum & I would wish to thank everyone for all the support we have had through this difficult time, and are proud of how much Dad meant to so many.

Understandably the blog has been quiet of late, but we are looking at how it will be possible to continue Dad's legacy.  However, in typical Dad form IT was not his area and I'm struggling to understand how everything with the setup is in French so please bare with us.

Thanks to all again
Andrew Brooke

Friday 11 June 2021


 Margaret has asked me to sign into the blog to let all the blog followers know that Ian passed away unexpectantly last night.

Ian has been such a big part of the Islay birdwatching community, he has brought all of us together so many times, both those that live on Islay and the many more that visit.

This is sad news to us all.

Tuesday 8 June 2021

Tuesday 8th JUNe

The RochdaleBirders had seen a Greater Spotted Woodpecker down on the other side of Islay today...

Up here at home we have been watching the antics of the 7 Golfinches in at the feeders, with the pair of House Sparrows present as well as a single Great Tit. This afternoon/ evening we watched the Ravens, a Hooded Crow, the Chough returning to their roost, many Jackdaws were also seen.

Monday 7 June 2021

Monday 7th June

Visitor, Mark Warburton yesterday had 2 Black tailed Godwit and also 2 Wigeon boh seen from the South Hide at Gruinart.

Another set of returning visitors included Jeff Duncan who arrived  over on Saturday... 

"Not been over in the summer months for 8 years!

Had a chough, grasshopper warbler and a calling corncrake this morning at our accommodation just outside Port Charlotte. Then Snipe and sand martin at Machir Bay followed by a lovely male Hen Harrier over the road before Foreland House. 

Then took a drive down to Portnahaven on the back road via Kilchiaran. In the space of an hour added Curlew, whinchat, cuckoo, a hunting male Merlin and surprisingly a pair of Great skua bathing on the lochan at Claddach. Always something to see no matter the time of year!"

Other returning visitors, The Rochdale Birders who we have not seen for some time, are back here again, and were in touch to say that they had seen a male Hen Harrier trying to flush a Linnet out of a Whin/ Gorse bush, but no joy....

Sunday 6 June 2021

Sunday 6th June

Alistair McCormick kindly sent this image of a pair of Shelduck and their family of young ducklings up past Craigens, taken yesterday evening.

James was telling us today that he had seen 3 Spotted Flycatchers on  the reserve at Gruinart on Friday. He was also saying that the rain guage there had talied inat 1.7inches for may, and a mere 1.3 " for April... 

Later on last night, after I had written the entry for yesterday on the blog, I saw 2 Whitethroats flitting around down beside our pond...

The weather has been a lot better here today, so we managed to cut the grass...

Saturday 5 June 2021

Saturday 5th June

 Well, this evening, the sun is streaming in through the big windows again.. but it was not until after 5 pm that it actually dried up, so needless to say the grass was not cut today, but tomorrow is another day, so fingers crossed for a dry day and get the grss mown...

Outside this evening, we had the 4 Goldfinches, 3 House Sparrows, a Willow Warbler, some Swallows seen as well as a Pied Wagtail feeding its' youngster, and also a young Leveret was down towards the pond.. just great to watch it as it was running away from us. Then we watched the young Chough flying back to their roost...

Friday 4 June 2021

Friday 4th June

Before I forget, I saw a House Martin flying past yesterday aftenoon, no sign of it today, possibly because of the fact that it was not as warm, and not so many insects around for it to eat.... 

I saw a small charm of 4 Goldfinches here at home this afternoon which was great to see, especially as one of them was showing off its' BTO leg ring. And then the local male House Sparrow came past, it too has a BTO leg ring on it as well...

Thursday 3 June 2021

Thursday 3rd June

I realise now that there was not much rain around through the night, but the wind certainly picked up and even yet at almost 10pm it is still quite windy with the sun streaming in through the big windows on the gable end of our cottage with another fantastic sunset to come...

Derek and his lass, Morven were visiting us earlier on and they were saying that they just seen a Curlew and 2 young chicks on top of a dyke when they were out before coming to see us this evening...

Wednesday 2 June 2021

Wednesday 2nd June

The only comment that I can start off with is that at least it has remained dry so far today, although, it is a wee bit cooler than yesterday, so possibly a sign that we might be getting some rain coming in over the next 24 hours.  Meanwhile, the rain that fell in Matthew Jackson's rain guage came to 1.94 inches for May...

It comes as no real suprise that I do not have any bird sightings to tell you about tonight, mainy because  of the simple fact that most of my usual contributors are off Islay for one reason or another... Come to think about the birds around here, and I forgot to mention that we had seen a Peregrine flying over the crag yesterday.

Tuesday 1 June 2021

Tuesday 1st June

Another fantastic day out here, sorry about writing so much about the weather...

Earlier on this evening, I was speaking to visitors from Edinburgh who were telling me that earlier on today, down the the woods at Bridgend they had seen some Bullfinches eating away on the ground as well as seeing a Dipper on the River Sorn as well.

Up here at home, we saw a pair of Golden Eagles out soaring way high up over the crag.  We  had also seen a House Martin out last night... today again now, a Goldfinch was present again, as was a Great Tit and also 2 pairs of House Sparrows and we think after much searching we have now located the Fulmar  on its' nest.