Sunday, 19 September 2010

A bunch of fives.

On Thursday I had the unthinkable happen - with half the guests on board we picked up an Otter. We stopped for a quick look before going for the other guests and sure enough they wanted to see Otters more than anything else! It wasn't anything to worry about though as, despite the strong wind, the sea was reasonably flat in places so it didn't take too long before we were watching two separate Otters, one close...
...and the other a bit further away. We'd already had nice views of Red Deer and a confiding Buzzard... it was a good start to the day. While watching the Otters we had a fly past by a large metal bird.
It's all low level flying and dogfights that the airforce do here and it's not too bad if you can hear them coming but if they come out of nowhere they scare the hell out of you - they never wave back either;-) Cracking views of a juv WT Eagle were had as the youngster just appeared overhead - a jaw dropping view and I did just that before I thought about the camera, all too late! A couple of Golden Eagle kept us amused at lunchtime but there was very little else up on the moor as the Autumn coolness gathers pace. There were showers pushing through for most of the day so one of the features we kept seeing were rainbows - a nice one in the morning trying to obscure Staffa...
...and a nice bright one in the afternoon with Burg just visible in the background.
As we pressed on we got a few more good sightings of Buzzard perched up and in flight and cracking views of four Ringed Plover on the beach.
The last stop of the day gave us the usual sightings of Mountain Hare in decent numbers, Skylarks were grubbing around in the nettles and this Peregrine was having a go at the gulls before settling on the rocks.
Another WT Eagle in flight as we made our way back was a good sighting but the adult bird sitting in the trees at close quarters was right on the money!
Friday was another day of showers but not so many rainbows. The Otter sightings were exceptional when we had them to ourselves but the antics of those who turned up later were diabolical. The first Otter was on the shore having a cleaning session when someone parked up directly opposite, got out, slammed the door and the Otter just melted away. We moved position to get another view when it came out of hiding and we were rewarded with a superb sighting as the Otter brought an Eel ashore and munched away in peace. The next Otter we saw was being followed by six people!! You could see the Otter looking over it's shoulder every time it surfaced. We got in front of all of this and, once again, the Otter went into hiding. I had words with the mob but I doubt it made any difference. We moved on and picked up the mum with 2 cubs hunting in the shallows. They made their way past us at close quarters and carried on. That was the first of a bunch of fives. Next stop gave us a Golden Eagle sitting on the ridge but the two that appeared from behind the ridge were worth waiting for. As we headed for lunch we took in this Cormorant sitting on the shore.
A brief view of a Hen Harrier wasn't too bad but once again the 2 Golden Eagles flying around stole the show.
So that was a bunch of five Goldies - what could be next?! A road side Buzzard that was hovering had us pulling in for a better view and this scored us our next bunch of five as a WT Eagle drifted into view! A scan about picked up another WTE close to the first one and three more flying on the other side of the loch!! You couldn't make it up. We travelled on seeing good numbers of Shag, about 200, a very obliging juv Herring Gull that I had to shuffle around to get the shot.
The trip back gave us a tremendous view of a juv WT Eagle as one circled low over the road.
Saturday had a bit of a slow start with distant views of Golden Eagle after the rain had stopped. Bird of the day for me was the Moorhen (a first for me on Mull) that was feeding away as the GE flew around - you can guess which one I was watching the most. We improved the Golden Eagle sighting massively as we watched two birds fly below us before gaining height.
Not a great deal else of note for the day as the sightings continued in the usual manner.
I had a phone call from f-stop this morning to come see an unusual bird as it didn't look like anything in the bird books. I arrived at the scene wondering what this was going to be. Quite a few Bullfinches were flying about but they were too small, the Blackbirds were too big plus the bird we were looking for was really pale. Ten minutes of searching and we had the bird. It was certainly pale and very striking in flight but too distant to get anything on it. We approached the bird and set the scope up to find....a leucistic Song Thrush! Ah well, it might have been something good. On the journey back home I found 24 Pink-footed Geese too - result.


Den said...

Hi Bryan more really good days for your guests and nice photos for us,thanks for sharing.

Wilma said...

Great stuff as usual, Bryan. Your end to end views of rainbows are terrific, here and from one of your previous posts.


Bryan Rains said...

Thanks, folks! It's a tough job all this blogging but I'll manage;-)