Monday, 15 June 2009

Harried

I had some time off over the weekend!!! I got sent to Oban!!! I felt like a criminal being sent away - I didn't want to go but I'm sure you've guessed that! I did have a nice breakfast on the boat over to the big city and I did the tourist thing too. With two hours to kill for the next boat what else could I do. I'd arrived in Oban at 09:30 and I was back in the terminal for 10:30 reading the paper while I waited for the ferry back at 11:55. I took a photo of the LBB Gull that follows the ferry out of Oban....


....and a photo of Duart castle (a first for me!)...

.....and the folly too.Saturday we went to Iona to do the tourist thing again. Far too late in the day for Corncrake photos but we did hear plenty. Here is the wee ferry that does all the hard work..The weather looks great on the photo but it was chucking it down when we arrived. A cuppa sorted out the time we had to wait for the rain to stop. The flowers were nice.......Corncrake?....nah just a Song Thrush.......Black Corncrake?....Starling.......baby Corncrake?......baby Northern Wheatear...........and some nice views too.Sunday we did the birdwatching thing taking in WT Eagle, Golden Eagle, Arctic Tern, more Golden and WT Eagle and some flowers....Lesser Butterfly Orchid......and Bog Asphodel.Monday was back to work nicely refreshed and looking forward to a change in the weather. It was raining this morning but not windy - ideal midge weather and boy did they enjoy it, OUCH! It soon faired up and the sightings rattled in. Otter were high on the priority list today but they weren't happening to start with. We did see both the adult WT Eagles and also got to see the young one give a half-hearted flap - superb stuff. This Telegraph Eagle didn't want to be moved on so we all took photos of it...

Next stop was the Otters again and we struck lucky with two asleep on the seaweed but they were distant. We moved closer to them so we could see that it wasn't some old carpet I'd planted earlier. Otter coloured carpet is really expensive so I've stopped using it - I use Russian hats now;-)
We bagged a brief Golden Eagle before heading off for lunch via a Snipe on a post. This is starting to sound weird now - I must be tired or the drugs are kicking in! Another decent Goldie at lunch (yum) was appreciated by all but the best was yet to come. Hen Harriers are fabulous birds and none better than the male. We stopped off at a site where there are birds feeding chicks. It's a distant view of the food pass but it's worthwhile. We stood and waited until the crowd of us was virtually parted by the male bird screaming in from behind us before heading off on his hunting foray - fantastic! This was followed by a cracking view of a female bird in a different location then another male a couple of miles down the road. We saw this bird repeatedly attempt to snatch a bird from a bush - it failed but it was superb to watch. Yet another female bird gave us a fly by at our last stop of the day. This Red Deer had the last laugh though.....have some of this!

2 comments:

Kate S said...

So pleased that you are now finding the male hen harriers, there is an art you know.... any coopigeons?

Big Yin said...

It was only a matter of time....coopigeons are now very scarce. They have probably left in disgust! Thanks for the comments though and we'll see you soon..ish!