Thursday, 16 September 2010


Monday was diabolical with not just torrential rain but a hoolie blowing too! We headed out safe in the knowledge that we would be rewarded for our efforts in some way as any sighting would be memorable in these conditions! We struck lucky almost immediately as we picked up an Otter. The beast was on the move after some close views and the rain continued to fall. It was a struggle to get anything in the poor conditions but we kept plugging away. We checked out a few Golden Eagle sites that were still visible but to no avail. I think we were lucky to see the sites! Predictably there were very few Common Seals on show in the wet conditions but at least we could see the ones that were hauled out. We did get a wet Mountain Hare that was munching grass in the lee of a mound.
The tide had dropped to expose the seaweed margins as we travelled back along the road so it was a huge surprise to arrive at the shop to find the tide was still in!! The amount of water coming off the hills combined with the Westerly wind had stopped the water level dropping. As we headed for the other side of the loch the road was flooded but passable. We located another Otter and we wondered if it was the same one from the morning. As this one moved off we had the mum with two cubs come sailing past us too! We'd put the effort in through the day and this was our reward. Half a mile further up the road and we were looking at our fifth Otter and the rain briefly stopped.
Just to finish the day in style we picked up a WT Eagle too as the heavens opened again.
Tuesday was a different day altogether. There were still a few showers around and the wind was still blowing but there was a bit of a nip in the air. This Cormorant leaning into the wind will give you some idea of what the day was like.
Cracking views of an Otter were had just as a shower hit.
We had a good twenty minutes watching this one before we headed off. A juv Common Tern also drifted past, close to shore, during this stop. Good views of Hooded Crow and Raven were had before a larger bird was spotted but it dropped from sight before I got a look. We gave it a bit of time and eventually we had two Golden Eagle giving us a fly past. Lunchtime proved to be twice as good as we had 4 Golden Eagles flying together. The performance was superb with plenty of interaction before we had a real close fly past by one of the birds.
A cracking view of a male Stonechat seen us on our way. We didn't waste any time moving on but still had time take in the Gannets flying up and down the loch and also viewing the waterfalls that were flowing upwards in the strong wind. Once again a Mountain Hare was a good find in poor conditions...
...but the best sight of the day was held for a male Hen Harrier that was hunting the marsh.
The Harrier was moving away from us so when it dropped out of sight we moved closer and we were greeted with a female Hen Harrier crossing in front of us. The male bird moved off as she came in and soon we were left with nothing - fantastic! We finished the day with stunning views of two WT Eagle sitting in the trees.


Kate S said...

Hey - male hen harrier!! It does it for me every time you know.

See you soon


Stuart said...

Thanks for Monday Bryan, a memorable day despite the weather. Went to Fidden Wednesday, good views of female Hen Harrier and male flew past the cottage Friday evening. A result, hope to see you again in May

Bryan Rains said...

Kate - maybe you'll get a view of one when you arrive! See you soon.

Stuart - thanks for that. I don't mind the rain but that was a bit much on Monday!