Sunday, 7 October 2012

Arran, Islay & Jura

Just back from ten days away on Arran and then to Islay & Jura.

Climbed Goat Fell on Arran (874m).  Higher levels had lots of Fir Clubmoss (Huperzia selago), Alpine Lady's-mantle (Alchemilla alpina) and Viviparous Fescue Grass (Festuca vivipara).  Lower levels had Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea) still in good flower.

Birds v disappointing - only a few Ravens and a couple of Meadow Pipits.

Two other good finds (for me) were Black Bog Rush (Schoenus nigricans) in Glen Catacol at the north end of Arran and Oyster Plant (Mertensia maritima) still in flower on Kilmory beach at the south end of the island.

Then on to Islay.  On 2nd October the Barnacle Geese were just starting to arrive and by 5th there were at least 20,000 on the fields and flats at Loch Gruinart RSPB Reserve.  White-fronts were slower to appear and by 5th there were still only tens of birds present, but small skeins beginning to appear by dusk on that day.

We had two good Hen Harriers - a male on Jura and a ring-tail on Islay - but were disappointed not to see any eagles, either Golden or White-tailed.


  1. Hi Richard, may I be the first to comment. Sounds like it was a great trip, I would love to see Oyster Plant.. Stewart.

  2. Stewart. Check the Plant Corner article in the next AWG Newsletter for October - there's a piece about Oysterplant in that. Richard