Iona – First Evening

‘Hoodies’ – the Hooded Crow

As soon as we got over to the island, (we had taken a cottage with two good friends) and after dumping our belongings, I was out to the coast overlooking the Sound of Iona. It was wonderfully empty of people and with a week ahead I was full of anticipation of what the island might offer up. Scotland is nothing without the ubiquitous ‘Hoodie’ (Hooded Crow) and there were plenty here. The previous week I’d tried to find the single ‘Hoodie’ that had spent at least the last two years on Walney, a note worthy bird for Cumbria, but failed. Here I hooked up with them again and would spend some time enjoying their striking plumage and seemingly individual antics, and indeed, personalities.

The light was fading fast as the sun set in the west, and cast a warm tinge on the shores of Iona’s eastern beaches. Birds were those you’d expect along the shoreline and immediate hinterland and the starlings were beginning to flock together after the summer.

Rock Pipit
Regular movement of Shags up and down the Sound of Iona numbered up to 300
White Wagtail
Starlings were constantly feeding among the seaweed on the shore
…. and beginning to form flocks of up to 300
Rooks were plentiful in the fields all over the island
Meadow Pipit
These Lapwings, on the first evening, were the only ones I’d see during the whole week
Herons patrolled the shore line
Common Gulls – Here in the Inner Hebrides, unlike the rest of Britain, they were indeed common


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