Thursday, 23 July 2009
Tuesday was a day of mixed fortunes weatherwise. It was clear in the morning with a light breeze but the forecast said it would be raining by 2pm...ish and dreadful by 4pm. I had most of the guests on board as I set off to pick up the last 2 people. We chatted away along the road and as we reached a high point overlooking a bay something caught my eye. I told everyone to keep their eyes on the water and there it was again....a Bottle-nosed Dolphin close inshore. Naturally we stopped for a better look and found that there were actually two Dolphins - out came the camera to capture the moment. We couldn't stay too long as we still had other folk to pick up but a great start to the day.With the forecast not being so good we decided that Golden Eagle was going to be high on the priority list and had to be found before the rain started in earnest. First port of call got Otter on the list so a good start for the people that missed the Dolphins. Next we headed back to the area where we had the Dolphins but there was no sign. Two Red-throated Divers were showing well, loafing about between feeds. The clouds were gathering by now and there was the odd spit of rain so we headed off to an eagle spot. We scanned the ridge looking for flying birds to no avail. Out came the scope to check again for the chance of a bird perched up - result. One bird sitting just below the ridge. We had lunch and kept an eye on the bird in the hope it would fly off before the rain started. It didn't quite work like that though - it flew, for sure, but it went straight behind the ridge and didn't reappear. We headed off to see if we could pick up any more Otters as the rain started for real. I picked up 2 Otters on the shore but they were in and out of the rocks heading up the shore and soon out of sight. We carried on with the hope of another Otter along the way. We did find this Common Seal that was hauled out on the near shore. It looks like he'd been 'in the wars' with a few bite marks round the neck. It's a dangerous job trying to spread your genes!We headed for the WT Eagle nest and found the nest to be empty! The adult female was in attendance and we wondered if the chick was just hunkered down in the rain. The adult flew to another perch not too far away, a spectacular sight, but this was overshadowed by the brief appearance of the male being harassed by Ravens. A superb size comparison. With no sign of the youngster we headed off back to where we'd had the Otters. Again we were lucky to pick up the mother and cub fishing along the shore and eventually hauling out for a wash and brush up before moving back into the water. Another great day out despite the weather and the weatherman was right about the 4pm cloudburst!!