Islay is also justifiably proud of its abundant wildlife, from the famous migrating geese visitors, to water fowl, to birds of prey of all sorts, to abundant deer and even wild goats!
Wildlife RSPB the Oa Nature Reserve
With both rugged coastline and open moor land. Open at all times.
Telephone: 01496 300118
RSPB Loch Gruinart
In the autumn, thousands of white-fronted and barnacle geese arrive from Greenland. When they leave in spring, the wading birds take centre stage, with the courtship displays of snipe, redshanks and curlews. Watch it all from the viewing centre and hide, or from your own car along the roadside.
The reserve is open at all times. The visitor centre is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
Telephone: 01496 850505
Portnahaven & Port Weymss Seals
Although two species of Seals (Common Seal & Grey Seal) can be found at different locations around the coast, the Grey Seal is the one you are most likley to find in Portnahaven & Port Weymss. One of the best places to spot them up close and hear their ghostly cries is at the tip of the Rhinns. If they don’t spot you first and bob up to take a look at their visitors, you can usually see them basking on the rocks and beaches of Orsay Island opposite. There is a lovely little walk through community cared for gardens down to the rocks and it’s little bays. If you’re lucky Burnside Lodge (Port Weymss) will have a stocked cupboard full of delicious home baking you can purchase by means of their honesty box before having an impromptu picnic on the tables and benches thoughtfully supplied by the friendly folk of these pretty villages.
Common Seals can also be found on the south-east coast between Port Ellen and Ardtella.