• Carl Reavey

    Everyone at RSPB Islay is deeply saddened by the sudden death of Carl Reavey, of Bruichladdich distillery. Carl worked with us developing our partnership with The Botanist Foundation, but his contribution to so many facets of Islay life is difficult to...
    • 10 Jan 2018
  • Islay twite project

    So the Islay twite project is up and running. Earlier this month we managed to catch and colour ring 87 of the Oa's winter twite flock. For a number of years, The Oa reserve has attracted a large wintering flock to the specially grown wild bird...
    • 20 Dec 2017
  • Islay Blog – Angharad Ward

    Absolutely disgusting weather out here on Islay today, so I took pity on Angharad (our residential volunteer) and unlocked the office door to let her in out of the cold for an hour or so. Long enough to write this splendid account of her time with us...
    • 7 Dec 2017
  • Coll Volunteering 8th November 2017

    Another update on some activities over the last month. With all the wet and windy weather in recent times, the track around the office and yard area where we drive the vehicles had become a mud sludge area. So with shovels in hand, we dug out all the...
    • 9 Nov 2017
  • Twite news

    Last winter saw a record flock of twite using our purpose grown crops on The Oa reserve. Over 1000 birds had arrived by mid November, feasting on the seed pods of fodder radish and creating an amazing spectacle. See January's blog http:/...
    • 30 Oct 2017
  • Coll Volunteering 12th October 2017

    Here is an update for activities that have occurred over the last month. Sadly there was an outbreak of Japanese knotweed in one of the fields near a stream, as a result we had to remove it. We tried a method called stem injection, where each stem...
    • 16 Oct 2017
  • Coll Volunteering 11th Sept 2017

    After spending a whole night and day travelling up from Birmingham by coach, I arrived at the Isle of Coll. I was greeted and shown around the newest volunteer accommodation I had ever seen. That night I was greeted by a great rainfall on the roof and...
    • 11 Sep 2017
  • Coll Volunteering Blog- 28/08/2017

    I arrived on Coll on the 31 st of July, and so today is the start of my 5 th week. So far I’ve seen white sand beaches, blue sea, blooming machair, a couple of birds for my life list and the odd bit of ragwort, of course... I will start by...
    • 28 Aug 2017
  • Tachina grossa and silage disasters...

    They say the sun shines on the righteous. In which case someone in the farm team at Loch Gruinart has been a very naughty boy, as it's done very little except rain since silage cutting began over a week ago. A brutal combination of mechanical...
    • 24 Aug 2017
  • Musk beetle, Gruinart, Islay

    This fabulous Musk beetle (Aromia moschata) was lurking in the willow scrub that lines the Loch Gruinart Moorland Trail earlier this week. At nearly an inch long, with antennae the same length again, it stood out a mile, so it was a surprise to find this...
    • 18 Aug 2017
  • Islay - The Weekly PhotOa #10

    Chuffed - the latest in chough news and shenanigans: This week's news is that confusion reigns. There is a widely accepted theory that monitoring a species leads to greater understanding and insight. Unfortunately, our chough do not appear to have...
    • 15 Jul 2017
  • Islay - The Weekly PhotOa #9

    Chuffed - the latest in chough news and shenanigans: Regrettably this week's update isn't all good news. We are continuing to try and keep track of our chough families to see how the young birds are doing, so were happy that during the guided...
    • 8 Jul 2017
  • Giving Swallows a Home

    We allowed the Swallows into the Information Room on the reserve and even supplied them with a shelf to build a nest to prevent muck going onto the info panels. As you can see they took to this and built a nest and have already raise 5 young. ...
    • 4 Jul 2017
  • Islay - The Weekly PhotOa #8

    Chuffed - the latest in chough news and shenanigans: Last Friday the final pair of nesting chough on the reserve fledged two chicks. In summary, this means three pairs have fledged eight chicks in total on the reserve, the most successful they have...
    • 1 Jul 2017
  • Guest blog!

    Here's a fresh perspective on Inner Hebridean life - in all its soggy glory - from Liz, our colleague from The Lodge. Many thanks to her for this, and for all her hard work and enthusiasm over the past month. Sabbatical Blog – Islay and Oronsay...
    • 27 Jun 2017
  • Islay - The Weekly PhotOa #7

    Chuffed - the latest in chough news and shenanigans: So shortly after last week's blog, Dave was out doing some monitoring on another pair of chough which have nested on the reserve. After an anxious couple of hours wait with no sign of them, he...
    • 23 Jun 2017
  • Islay - The Weekly PhotOa #6

    Breaking News: Without doubt the highlight of the week has been seeing four fledged chough on the wing. It is particularly special as this is the first time this pair have fledged young, having failed at egg stage last year. We will be continuing to...
    • 16 Jun 2017
  • Oronsay - chough, corncrake & so much more!

    The tiny tidal island of Oronsay sits snugly beside its larger neighbour Colonsay just off the west coast of Scotland. Both are part of the Inner Hebrides, a chain of islands that runs from Skye in the north to Islay in the south. At just over two...
    • 15 Jun 2017
  • Islay - The Weekly PhotOa #5

    A weekly picture from The Oa reserve on Islay: Visitors to The Oa reserve generally know to look for golden eagle, chough and hen harrier, but it is easy to overlook the extensive coastal habitat used by variety of coastal and sea birds. Oystercatchers...
    • 9 Jun 2017
  • Islay - The Weekly PhotOa #4

    A weekly picture from The Oa reserve on Islay: Liz from the Lodge joined us this week to help out on the Islay reserves for the next few weeks. Thursday was her first day at The Oa and we gave her the customary welcome: lashings of rain, a shovel...
    • 2 Jun 2017
  • Coll RSPB Residential Volunteers May 22 – Jun 1 2017

    May 22: Arrival at the reserve in the morning; showed around reserve in Polaris off road vehicle, weather a bit damp and misty but wind not too strong so no problems standing up on the Moorland! May 23: AM – Stock count in dunes next...
    • 2 Jun 2017
  • Islay - The Weekly PhotOa #3

    A weekly picture from The Oa reserve on Islay: This weeks picture is to showcase an important member of our reserve team: Yep, this little lamb is one of the latest additions to our special conservation grazing task force. The cattle and sheep...
    • 26 May 2017
  • Droning on...

    With a number of incidents involving drone users on our Islay reserves occurring over the past few weeks, it seems like a good time for our very own Louise to lay down the law highlight some good practice concerning the use of these latest fads exciting...
    • 24 May 2017
  • Islay - The Weekly PhotOa #2

    A weekly picture from The Oa reserve on Islay: Farming for nature: This week we continued the cultivation of our 'bird crop' fields. In this picture Ewan is 'discing' the field to break up the soil and prepare it for sowing a wild...
    • 19 May 2017
  • Discover Islay’s wild larder

    For our ancestors foraging was essential to survival, but these days the closest most of us get to this experience is browsing the fresh herb section of our local supermarket. That said, in a day and age when few people have a connection to where their...
    • 4 May 2017