Tuesday 15 April 2014

Killinallan to Gortantoid

Killinallan to Gortantoid is just one of our many guided walks on Islay that can be found at

There were humming bees, exalting larks, hipped buildings, raised beaches, miles of unspoilt, beautiful Hebridean sand and dotted cumulus clouds to break an otherwise serene expanse of blue canvas. I'm always conscious of the circle of life when walking on Islay - so many stages of life manifest themselves in just a few hours. There was birth in the Emperor Moth emerging from its chrysalis and the Marsh Fritillary caterpillars emerging, but also death even in that same moment, because some of the caterpillars had been parasitized and would die. There was middle age in the larks ascending into the heavens and the Sanderling running like clockwork along the vast expanse of sand and there was death also evident in the derelict ruins of Killinallan and Gortantoid. These ruins are poignant reminders of an erstwhile busy, industrious life. All that now remains is rust, broken slates and nettles - oh and a bathtub!

It was a day for reflection and gladness. A glorious walk on a day which makes you remember why you live on Islay!


Eider, Great Northern Diver, Skylark, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Sanderling, Great Black-backed Gull (juv), Grey Heron, Meadow Pipit, Wheatear, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Hooded Crow, Raven, Jackdaw, Chough, Oystercatcher, Herring Gull, Shelduck, Wren (heard), Starling, Lapwing, Pied Wagtail
Lecanora sp (crustose), Ramalina siliquosa (grey-green fruitose), Xanthoria parietina (yellow foliose)
Grey Seal, Rabbit tracks
Common Carder Bee - Bombus pascuorum, Emperor Moth, Marsh Fritillary larvae
SHELLS - alive and empty
Razor Shell, Common Limpet, Common Cockle, Spiny Cockle, Blunt Gaper, Common Periwinkle
Dog Whelk, Acorn Barnacles, Icelandic Cyprine, Oyster, Common Mussel, Furrow Clam, Venus Shell
Whelk Eggs, dead Hermit Crab, dead Shore Crab

Common Carder Bee - Bombus pascuorum

Emperor Moth

Relaxing on the bridge at Gortantoid

The ruin at Gortantoid - with a 'hipped' roof

Marsh Fritillary caterpillars (the white ones have, sadly, been parasitized)


Walking towards Gortantoid Point

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