• Killer Whale

    Earlier in the year, whilst out surveying the cliffs for breeding birds, one of the team spotted the carcass of a whale in a remote bay on The Oa reserve on Islay. A couple of days later I ventured down the cliffs to take a closer look at what I pres...
    • 5 Aug 2019
  • Lloyd & Sophie's volunteer time

    We arrived on Coll late morning on October 1st, after a lazy ferry journey in which we had a great view of a short-beaked common dolphin surfing the bow waves. We had a quick nosey around the village and then popped into T.E.S.Co (The Ethical Sales Company…terrific...
    • 29 Oct 2018
  • Guess the geese

    Any guesses for how many geese are in this picture? Yesterday morning there were over 15,600 barnacle geese on the reserve - that's a lot of goose chatter! A very welcomed noise here at Loch Gruinart.
    • 18 Oct 2018
  • Geese who's back?

    The barnacle geese have began to arrive in their thousands (over 3500 already). To mark this, we have two guided "goosey gander" walks on Friday 12th and 19th starting at 2pm here at Loch Gruinart.
    • 8 Oct 2018
  • Peatland Restoration

    Yesterday on the Oa reserve on Islay we were doing some work on peatland restoration. This included fitting peat piles into areas that looked good to re-flood by blocking the ditches that would have been used for drainage years ago. Below is one of the...
    • 19 Sep 2018
  • Coll Volunteer

    Hello, My name is Stephane Jenaer. I am not a young man, I’m 66! I’m a Belgian who has been living in Cardiff for 22 years, where I teach French. I am not a builder, conservationist or scientist; I just enjoy watching birds and hope to...
    • 14 Sep 2018
  • Loch Gruinart Floods

    At Loch Gruinart, the rushes are being cut on front of the hides before we reflood the area. This is all to improve the habitat for the wintering wildfowl, such as: teal, wigeon, pintail, shoveler and the waders like redshank, lapwing, curlew and snipe...
    • 13 Sep 2018
  • Larval Web Transects

    Check out these marsh frittilary caterpillars! This afternoon at Loch Gruinart we were out surveying for marsh frittilary larval webs.
    • 27 Aug 2018
  • Antler Moth

    Pictured is an antler moth found in the moth trap on the Oa. Along with this lovely lepidoptera were over 400 others - the majority different species of ear moth.
    • 15 Aug 2018
  • Golden-ringed dragonfly

    Golden-ringed dragonfly #dragonflychallenge2018 Alongside the dragonfly on the moorland trail this afternoon was the following: Aromia moschata (musk beetle) Tachina grossa (fly) Adder Common hawker dragonfly Dark green fritillary...
    • 12 Jul 2018
  • Hen Harrier Monitoring

    Yesterday afternoon I was privileged to join site manager, James How, monitoring one of the hen harrier nests on the reserve this year. On return to the office to double check this years numbers, he confirmed that there are four nest sites on the Loch...
    • 10 Jul 2018
  • Magpie Moth

    Another glorious day on Islay. Yesterday on the Oa was beautiful and full of wildlife again - with perfect views of the chough feeding nearby. However, in particular the magpie moth was seen in large numbers - a lovely, colourful day flying moth.
    • 4 Jul 2018
  • Caw of the Jackdaw

    A rather noisy greeting at the visitor centre this afternoon. I was met by a large flock of jackdaws, which I think have been nesting in the trees outside the centre at Loch Gruinart. They put on some display. Apologies for the picture quality, it's...
    • 29 Jun 2018
  • ...

    Here at Loch Gruinart Reserve there is lots of new life - from the last of the calves being born to the many fledglings flying around. The chough fledglings are flying around and distinct by their pale yellow beak rather than the adults' bright red...
    • 27 Jun 2018
  • Marsh Fritillary Butterfly

    Newly on the wing, the rare marsh fritillary butterfly. Pictured here on the Loch Gruinart reserve, enjoying the Islay sunshine as much as we are. What's On... Our weekly guided walks are well under way now, with the next one tomorrow...
    • 6 Jun 2018
  • Oh deer, it's Monday

    Monday morning visitors to the RSPB office here at Loch Gruinart.
    • 14 May 2018
  • Evening Chorus

    Evening Chorus Last Wednesday (2nd May) we held our first evening walk at Loch Gruinart to listen to the many breeding waders we have here. The evening was highlighted by a sighting of some early lapwing chicks scurrying between the soft rushes. Unfortunately...
    • 9 May 2018
  • Farm Open Day

    On Sunday 22nd April, was Loch Gruinart Reserves farm open day, held at Aoradh. The farm was bustling all afternoon with people of all ages excited about the farm's spring arrivals. From live lambing births and calves to "splat the rat"...
    • 26 Apr 2018
  • April on Islay

    Recently on Islay we have started to say goodbye to the some 30000 barnacle geese and say hello to some African migrants – with the first swallow sighting of the year on the 7 th April. Bats are beginning to get hungry and emerge from hibernation...
    • 15 Apr 2018
  • Volunteering On Coll In April

    In the bottom right of the picture is the vols accommodation on the Isle of Coll. In front of the accommodation are the wader meadows and corncrake habitat. Would you like to come and help with surveys and habitat work with all this right on your door...
    • 8 Mar 2018
  • I LOVE ISLAY by Connor Woods

    Today's blog comes courtesy of Connor, who is just finishing a 6 week residential volunteering spell with us here on Islay. If you fancy following in his footsteps, we have vacancies for long and short term residential volunteers here on Islay in...
    • 15 Feb 2018
  • Winter(watch) is coming...

    Heady days here on Islay, as we all dig out our best frocks and try to get James to comb his hair ready for our 15 minutes of fame. BBC Winterwatch will be returning to our screens for 4 nights, from Monday 29th January, and Islay and its fabulous wildlife...
    • 26 Jan 2018
  • Guest blog - Matt Hopton Voluntary Warden RSPB Oronsay

    I arrived on Oronsay at the beginning of December for a 3 month stint as a voluntary warden. I am a mature Environmental Science undergraduate in my final year and I applied to come to Oronsay to gain valuable practical experience with a wildlife conservation...
    • 24 Jan 2018
  • Ringed Barnacle Geese

    Each month over the winter we do an all island goose count, well everywhere we can see from the road in a day. We are counting Greylag, Greenland White-fronted and Barnacle Geese and while looking through a telescope we are on the lookout for any readable...
    • 17 Jan 2018