Friday was a pleasant enough day and an early start. We picked up quite a few of the common birds early on before we got a ten second fly past of a Golden Eagle that gave us something to build on. We watched the Gannets fishing offshore and the Manx Shearwater loafing on the sea before we got a tremendous sighting of something. We were viewing one of the Seal colonies and I was busy scanning around when I saw some distant splashing out on the loch. I trained the scope on the area and saw something like this.
You may be wondering what it is as the photos are rubbish but 30 Common Dolphins coming up the loch was an opportunity not to be missed so I'm not worrying about the quality. The Dolphins were leaping out of the water quite regularly but impossible to catch with the digiscoping so the best I got was a big splash!
They were cruising up and down the loch but not getting much closer as they followed the fish they were feeding on. We caught up with the pod again later in the day as we were looking for Otters. Viewed from a different angle we could have upped the numbers in the pod but it was interesting to note that the ones that leaped out of the water the most were on the end of a line, presumably channelling the fish in front of the group. A brief sighting of a WT Eagle in flight distracted us and then an Otter appeared too. We moved closer to the Otter and settled in to watch it as I scanned the ridge and picked up the WT Eagle sitting on the top. Maybe I shouldn't look around so much;-) We got some superb Golden Eagle action after that as two birds followed each other around before one of them stooped, disappeared and then reappeared with something in it's talons. It dropped the object and stooped down to catch it again before both birds glided out of sight. A Red Deer crossed the road in front of us and watched us drive past to see us out of the glen and finish another day in style.
Saturday started off in fine weather but a front was moving in from the West so we knew there would be rain in the afternoon sometime. A juvenile Golden Eagle flew over the top of us before we'd even got in the motor and had everyone scrabbling for binoculars. A lesson there - be prepared! Another cracking day was had but with the cloud building and the rain soon to appear most of the photos I took were rubbish! We made up for the early Golden Eagle sighting with another juvenile bird that performed superbly.
I had two opportunities to photograph WT Eagle as we had excellent views but the camera just didn't want to know. The Greenshanks gave us the run around, the Curlews didn't want to be close, Ringed Plover were too far, Mountain Hare was a good find in poor conditions, Buzzards aplenty and the only decent, but still not good, photograph was of a Cormorant.
It was another cracking day in the field but you can't always come away from that with usable images.