Whisky and Wildlife


On one island alone, the Island of Islay, the diversity of bird life is quite extraordinary with more than two hundred species of birds. Slightly inland on both Islay and Jura, there is an abundance of deer and on Jura particularly the red deer. With a good camera or binoculars, you will see sea otters, grey seals, brown hare, oystercatchers and barnacle geese. There are gannets in abundance from Ailsa Craig to the Isle of Mull and the comical puffin can be seen around many of the islands. Golden eagles, fish eagles and buzzards can be spotted around the higher mountain islands.

On many of our Glenapp sea journeys, we have been surrounded by dolphins, porpoise, and heard shrieks of glee as minke whales have come alongside the boat. The picture here taken by one of our sister boats depicts the spectacular sight of a whale jumping clean out of the water as if ‘showing off ’ for the benefit of guests. On occasions, the famous orca is spotted in these waters and truly these sparsely populated islands are home to some of the most unusual marine, birdlife and wildlife in the whole of Scotland.

The west of Scotland and the Hebridean islands are home to many world famous whisky distilleries, from Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig on the eastern side of the island to Kilchoman distillery on the west coast. Ten distilleries in total make Islay the most prolific home of whisky distilleries in the world. Many of the island distilleries from Arran to Islay and Jura happily accept guests and often provide a wonderful lunch to accompany a ‘wee dram.’

What a glorious way to end the day, malt in hand surrounded by beauty and the noise of wildlife settling down for the night.