Thursday, 4 August 2011

Wild Wild West: Islay, Jura and Kintyre

Its been a hectic few weeks up here with lots and lots of work, leading guided walks to look for otters and other wildlife, as well as mountain walks in the hills.  I've also picked up so interesting work doing butterfly surveys for Butterfly Conservation's Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey, which has definitely taken me off the beaten track! Below are some photos from my recent trip to the wild wild west of Scotland.  In the next update I'll write about about a walk up the Paps of Jura on my day off.

Islay is the place for big skies and long beaches.... This is Loch Gruinart. A great place for watching seals and other marine wildlife, and also hooching with common blue butterflies when I was there.

Big skies make for big sunsets.  Perfect with a glass of Islay whisky!

The Oa Peninsula is a great place for dramatic coastal walking, and if you are lucky you might just catch sight of a chough tumbling in the wind.

This is the American Monument, on the southern tip of the Oa, erected in memory of the men who were lost when two American troopships went down off the coast of Islay towards the end of WW1.

On the little boat across the Sound of Islay to Jura.  I'll blog about the Paps of Jura in my next entry. 

Back on Islay, this is the loch at Finlaggan, where the great halls of the kings of Dalriada stood on crannogs linked to the land by a causeway. 

Heavenly meadowsweet in bloom on the boggy shores around Finlaggan. 

On to Kintyre, this is the rocky coast near Carradale, with Ailsa Craig just visible on the horizon.

And finally, a tranquil beach on the west coast of Kintyre, looking back beyond Gigha towards Islay and the Paps of Jura.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Islay is a fantastic island.I spent 3 days there last year and was amazed by the fantastic scenery.The highlight was a walk from Bunnahabhain up to the lighthouse,down the fantastic cave ridden coast,up Mala Bholsa and back over Sgarbh Breac to the distillery.
Excellent blog you have..!