The wildlife on Islay is unparalleled: a huge variety of birds, both migratory and resident can be seen on the Island; 3 different species of deer, otters, seals, basking sharks, dolphins… the list is endless. The Islay Natural History Trust (www.islaynaturalhistory.org) provides an excellent insight to the wildlife on show with regular updates on what can be seen.
Islay Estates is home to thousands of Greenland White Front and Barnacle Geese from October to April. They regularly roost on the foreshore at the head of Loch Indaal, just a short walk from Bridgend. It is possible to spot otters at Ardnave or along the sound of Islay north of Port Askaig. The hills to the north of Bridgend are home to the Estate’s deer herd of approximately 2,000 Red Deer. This herd is carefully managed to maintain the habitat the quality of the deer and they are constantly monitored by the Estate’s keepers.
Overhead it is possible to see Sea Eagles – there is a pair nesting on the Estate – as well as Golden Eagles, Ravens, Hen Harriers, Merlin and a host of other birds including Red Grouse, Snipe and Woodcock.