The Armin Grewe Homepage
Picture of a group of walkers making their way through some high vegetation An early start for our first day with the whole family: We had to be at Upper Killeyan by 10:00 for a guided birdwatching walk with the RSPB. We left Kilchoman at 9:00 and arrived at the car park on The Oa by 9:55, perfect timing.

We were met by Michael (Mike) Coplestone, who was going to be our guide for this walk, and approx 15-20 other walkers with a variety of nationalities. After an introduction by Mike we left for the walk, heading towards the American Monument. On the way we stopped at various opportunities, Mike pointing out various birds or features of the landscape.

We soon arrived at the American Monument, where we had the first highlight of the walk. Not the monument (this time), but the two little dots in the centre of the picture below.
Picture of a group of walkers following a vague path towards a monument Picture of a cliff face
Slightly blurry picture of two Peregrine Falcon chicks Those two little dots were two young Peregrine Falcon chicks. Barely visible with the bare eye, but Mike had strong binoculars. With my sisters long telephoto lens we managed to take the picture on the left. May be not the best picture, but considering we were buffeted by some gusty strong wind making it difficult to hold a long lens I'm quite happy with the result.

Mike then also spotted one of the adult Peregrine Falcons, unfortunately it was too far away to any decent pictures of it. To give you a sense of perspective, the picture below shows the cliff face, seen from our viewpoint. The nest was roughly in the centre of the cliff face, the parent was sitting at the end of it, just at the corner where it turns to Port nan Gallan.

Once everyone had seen the falcons we continued our walk, following the cliffs in a westerly direction towards Port nan Gallan in search of the Choughs.
Picture of a group of walkers and birdwatchers with a guide pointing out a feature Picture of steep cliffs under a cloudy sky
Picture of a seal on a rock, seen from high above While there weren't any Choughs when we arrived above Port nan Gallan we did spot a lone seal on some rocks far below. The sun was just starting to break through, so it was probably getting ready to bask in the sun.

With the sun starting to come out we had some beautiful views over Port nan Gallan out to Dùn Athad as well as Beinn Mhòr (202m) in the distance. It was still quite windy though, making us looking for some shelter.

Mike continued to tell us about the area and the birds we saw. According to my notes we saw some swifts during the walk, I think it might have been here. Mike was hoping for the Golden Eagle living in the area to make an appearance, but that wasn't meant to be.
Picture of a panoramic view over wide bay below some cliffs
Picture of a Chough in flight Instead at least some choughs put in an appearance, a small flock of them flying above us. It was quite difficult to take a picture of them, the silhouette of one of them is the best I managed to do.

Past the RSPB farm at Upper Killeyan we returned to the car park after a very nice and informative walk. Many thanks to Mike Coplestone for all his patient explanations and pointing out the various birds.

By now it was lunchtime, while others had a picnic on The Oa we decided to drive over to Ardbeg for lunch. On the way we briefly stopped at the strange traffic cones on two poles. I had noticed them earlier in the year but not taken a picture then.
Picture of a cliff formation Picture of a road with two poles topped with traffic cones next to it
If you are interested in more information about Islay, Colonsay and Jura you might also be interested in my Isle of Islay pages. There you will find many more pictures and further information about Islay, Jura and Colonsay.

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