Inner Hebrides - Blog

Inner Hebrides

Inner Hebrides
Do you love our Inner Hebrides nature reserves? Share your thoughts with the community. Or if you're thinking about visiting and would like to find out more, ask away!

Inner Hebrides - Blog

  • New residential volunteering opportunity – Isle of Coll

    With purpose built brand new accommodation and a reserve team eager to put you through your paces there is a great opportunity for a long term residential volunteer on the Isle of Coll reserve. For the autumn season the work will be mainly practical estate management but autumn also brings the return of the geese which need to be surveyed to check numbers. It may be wild and windy at times but when the sun shines and you find a beach to yourself the Costa Del Coll takes some beating. For more details on residential volunteering opportunities and how to apply please visit the RSPB volunteering pages.
  • Butterfly Weather - Islay

    Given the rain lashing against the window today, it is difficult to believe that this week has provided warm sunny days fantastic for the butterfly surveys that we complete.  These not only tell us how well butterflies are doing here, but because we share our data, it helps inform a national picture of how well species are doing and whether there are changes in their distribution or annual lifecycle.

    One of the most noteworthy sightings, spotted by one of our sharp-eyed residential volunteers, was our first record of Small Copper (below) this year on The Oa.

    It has also been good to see Grayling (below) floating tantalizing along the cliff tops and then disappearing as they land on rocks and bare ground, where they quickly orientate their bodies with their wings closed to become invisible to the casual observer.

    If visiting the reserve, other species that we are currently regularly seeing include: an abundance of Green-veined Whites, fresh Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshell that have recently emerged and will now have to look after themselves to make it through the winter, the odd Dark Green Fritillary which are reaching the end of their time on the wing, Small Heath, Meadow Brown and the energetic Common Blues (below).

  • Gold at The Oa - Islay

    What a week it has been in RiO, medals coming in from every direction - congratulations Team GB you are doing fantastically.

    However, we have one gold, here on The Oa, that they don't have....

    Our majestic resident Golden Eagle have been showing well recently.  If you are on Islay, join one of our guided walks on a Tuesday and we can try and help you spot one, or give you some tips or where to see them.

    It's not just the Golden Eagle that have been conspicuous either:

    Sparrowhawk can regularly been seen hunting along the roadsides at the moment.

    And it is a tough life being a Common Seal, 'chillaxing' in the rocky bays around the reserve.