April - July 2000 PDF Print E-mail

Warden: Simon Franks

The island has been blooming over the last few months; every few weeks new plants are coming into flower. Clumps of daffodils were flowering through April into early May. The daffodils had been planted by previous occupiers of the island.

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Throughout May large areas of bluebells appeared, together with vetch, tormentil and bird's-foot-trefoil. The plants in the raised beds are becoming well established, the brooms and rhododendron in the commemorative Women's Institute garden are also coming into bloom. The skerries, north of the island, have been quiet; the seals have been seen on nearby Eilean Duhba and a pair of otters have also been seen playing in the kelp.

In the bay in front of the house, salmon were seen jumping in the last couple of weeks in May. This rich feeding brought in the otters and seals.

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The foxgloves started to flower in June, reaching at least 5 ft high. The dog roses appeared, with flowers coloured from pink to white. The bell heather began to flower from the middle of June on the sunnier slopes and now in July patches are in flower all over the island.
Otter photo by Teresa Edwards

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In the sensory garden the borage has been developing flowers and the lavenders are now in full flower. One night an otter was investigating the plants in the sensory garden and ate a whole dill plant! Obviously wanted some flavouring to go with the fish.

The dense bracken on the south side of the island has attracted a variety of birds, including willow warblers, whinchats, greenfinches as well as meadow and rock pipits. Stonechats have been heard but not seen. "Stonechats have been heard but not seen"

At the end of June terns were flying over the island having returned to the area and are roosting on the neighbouring Eilean Dudh.

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In the second week of July a common seal with a pup were feeding and playing in the bay between Eilean Bàn and Eilean Dudh for over half an hour. Now at the end of July the thistles and docken are becoming loaded with seeds, which will provide an important food source for the birds on the island.