Wildlife on Islay

As autumn is fast approaching the wildlife on Islay comes out to play. The last remaining swallows seem reluctant to leave.

The Happy Farmer is tearing his hair out

well a few strands of it anyway. He has fallen out with some of the residents. The local Islay wildlife. They are trying his patience and he is counting the days until their departure. He says he has never known such messy guests and they aren’t even paying for the Persabus hospitality they are receiving.

They ‘root’ through the contents of his shed

as if they own the place.

I am of course talking about our mating pair of swallows. They have nested in the farm shed, as they do each year. Raising their young, who now swoop and glide among the rafters as the Happy Farmer works away down below.

They all seem to consider the Happy Farmer to be part of the fixtures and fittings of the shed and he is quite the source of entertainment to them all. As he works away they fly from beam to beam, sweeping low over his head. Perched up high they watch him from all corners of the shed. Everything below must be covered under plastic sheets, which is the main gripe the Happy Farmer has with these guests.

The farm cats, on the other hand, have been entranced by our visitors. On a regular basis they climb all the way up into the roof, at times venturing ever so close to the nest. They have kept an ever-watchful eye, all summer long, waiting for a chance to pounce. Thankfully the swallows seem to have evaded their advances. The swallows’ days at Persabus are gradually drawing to an end. They will be vacating the shed and neighbouring farmland in the next few weeks to migrate south again for warmer climes.

Autumn is slowly edging its way into the island

The bramble bushes are laden with fruit along the wayside. A new term has started for the island’s schools. The nights are gradually drawing in. They always say the summer ends and autumn begins after the show, and with a week of cooler weather and plenty of rain, it certainly feels as if the seasons are beginning to change again.

Yesterday, as youngest and I drove back from shopping in Bowmore, I had to stop the car for

an otter crossing the road.

At first, I had mistakenly thought it was a cat, or polecat, but to my surprise we were treated to an otter making its way from the beach, over the road in front of the car, and up and over the drystone dyke. I am often asked by visitors where you can see otters on the island… it would seem otters can make an appearance anywhere especially if there’s water close by.

Until next time….