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Islay wildlife

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 1 April to 30 October 2014

Corncrake in nettle bed, Outer Hebrides

Image: Nigel Blake

Catch us if you can.

We corncrakes aren't natural show-offs, but visit Loch Gruinart and you might just see a different side of us.

Use your ears and eyes to work out where we like to hang out – you won't mistake our rasping call for that of any other bird.

If we're not around, don't worry - pop along to The Oa nature reserve where the wide-open moorland and towering sea-cliffs await you. It's also the perfect place to see golden eagles soaring high above you.

The friendly staff at the RSPB are running weekly guided walks to see us both. Guided walks cost £4 for non-RSPB members, £2 for members and under 16s go free!

So what are you waiting for? Come to Islay and see us for yourself. A visit to Islay will linger in the memory for years.

When can you see us?

Go golden eagle hunting every Tuesday at The Oa (meet in the Upper Killeyan car park), or listen out for corncrakes every Thursday at Loch Gruinart (meet in the visitor centre).

All walks start at 10am and you'll be accompanied by friendly and knowledgeable staff.

We're also running a number of other events (details below) so that you can sample the whole splendour of Islay's wild places.

How to find us

By car
Loch Gruinart nature reserve is signed from A847 Bridgend to Bruichladdich road, 3 miles (4.8 km) from turn-off.

The Oa nature reserve is approximately 6 miles (9.6 km) south-west of Port Ellen, Isle of Islay.

By bus
There are no buses direct to the reserves. The nearest stop to Loch Gruinart is 3 miles (4.8 km) away. Passengers should alight at the junction on the A847 Bridgend to Bruichladdich road, then there will be a three-mile walk. Or if on the Port Askaig route, alight at Bridgend - a six-mile walk to the reserve.

Other ways to get to the reserve
Visitors can travel to Islay by boat from Kennacraig to Port Askaig or Port Ellen on Islay (contact Caledonian MacBrayne on: 08000 66 5000) or by plane from Glasgow.

What should I bring?

Bring sturdy footwear and waterproofs!

Still got some questions?

Telephone: Loch Gruinart nature reserve 01496 850505


Join us on one of the many events planned - we hope to see you there!


Thursday 2 April

Tuesday 7 April

Thursday 9 April

Tuesday 14 April

Thursday 16 April

Tuesday 21 April

Thursday 23 April

Tuesday 28 April

Thursday 30 April


Monday 4 May

Tuesday 5 May

Wednesday 6 May

Thursday 7 May

Tuesday 12 May

Wednesday 13 May

Thursday 14 May

Tuesday 19 May

Wednesday 20 May

Thursday 21 May

Tuesday 26 May

Wednesday 27 May

Thursday 28 May

Friday 29 May


Tuesday 2 June

Thursday 4 June

Tuesday 9 June

Thursday 11 June

Tuesday 16 June

Thursday 18 June

Friday 19 June

Tuesday 23 June

Thursday 25 June

Tuesday 30 June


Thursday 2 July

Tuesday 7 July

Wednesday 8 July

Thursday 9 July

Tuesday 14 July

Thursday 16 July

Tuesday 21 July

Wednesday 22 July

Thursday 23 July

Friday 24 July

Tuesday 28 July

Thursday 30 July


Tuesday 4 August

Thursday 6 August

Tuesday 11 August

Tuesday 18 August

Wednesday 19 August

Thursday 20 August

Friday 21 August

Tuesday 25 August

Thursday 27 August


Tuesday 1 September

Thursday 3 September

Tuesday 8 September

Thursday 10 September

Friday 11 September

Tuesday 15 September

Thursday 17 September

Tuesday 22 September

Thursday 24 September

Tuesday 29 September

Wednesday 30 September


Thursday 1 October

Tuesday 6 October

Wednesday 7 October

Thursday 8 October

Tuesday 13 October

Wednesday 14 October

Thursday 15 October

Tuesday 20 October

Wednesday 21 October

Thursday 22 October

Tuesday 27 October

Thursday 29 October

This date has been brought to you with the help of Scottish Natural Heritage and the HELP project; a cross-border project funded by the EU's European Regional Development Fund, Northern Ireland's Department of Environment and the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government in the Republic of Ireland. The Special EU Programmes Body, through its Interreg IVA programme, manages the funding of the project.

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