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Islay wildlife

Every Tuesday and Thursday from April to October

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 £5 for non-RSPB members, £3 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

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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