A rare sighting on Islay on Tuesday's walk on the Oa was a swift, or to be more precise, two swifts! As the weather at the start of the walk was so wet and windy, we and our intrepid band of 9 decided to do a more sheltered walk down towards Lower Killeyan.
It was a great decision as we wouldn't have seen the swifts otherwise, as well as a female blackcap which popped out of some scrub next to the stream there. And these weren't the only swift sightings, as the day before a swift had been seen at Gruinart, and later on Tuesday afternoon one was seen at Kintra, near Port Ellen. Islay is right at the north of the swift's range, so perhaps this and the fact that there aren't any suitable buildings for them to nest here means that we rarely see them on the island (unlike for instance Glasgow, which isn't so far away).
As well as scanning the skies, we were looking out for wildflowers which are still in abundance here, and we weren't disappointed - Grass of Parnassus was a beauty, as well as Bog Pimpernel, Bog Asphodel, Wild Thyme and Lesser Butterfly Orchid to name but a few.
Then we headed down to the seacliffs to scan the seas, with a few grey seals to be seen as well as shags, greater black-backed gull and chough. Thanks Heather for leading a great walk!