We all hear about grass being tinder dry after a dry spell, well today there have been 2 large fires on Islay, both on the West of Islay. One was right on the edge of the RSPB reserve at Gruinart, fortunately the wind was kind to us which in some ways contained it but the main saving grace that Scott Brown the head keeper with Islay Estates came over with his "argocat". On it there is a water tank and pressure hose, so Scott and the firemen put the fire out, and left the rest of us to put out any smouldering spots. Eoin, Scott's brother came along with an ATV with a flail mower and cut a swath out through the vegetation which also helped the fire being contained. The other fire was not far away, and took in a large area and as I write (9pm) is still burning away. Basically the hill out behind Sunderland Farm out towards Kintraw and over to Conisby caught the brunt of it, access to try to get to the front of the fire is the big problem. Earlier on it appeared to be coming down into Glen Osamail. All 3 fire engines on the island have been out, and possibly stood down for tonight, the boys will no doubt be well tired. I know I am but I was only out for a short time. Will give a further update tomorrow.
On the bird front Bob had a Merlin from his house today, and this evening when I was round at Bob's, a male Hen Harrier was seen further out.