Wednesday, 8 September 2010


Sunday should have been a day of rest but Shop Lady managed to break her ankle on Friday so I had a fair bit of 'nursing' to do. The weather was good on the Sunday with a bit of a breeze building and by Monday it was blowing a hoolie. I had to sort out deliveries at the shop, while listening to the Crossbills singing, before heading out on tour for the day. The prospect of finding Otters with the wind blowing onshore wasn't good but with some careful looking we managed to pick one up. As this one swam away from us we moved further along the shore and spotted another. We got into a sheltered position and waited for this one to come to us - result.
This Otter seemed to be on a mission too so we discreetly followed it and took up position to wait. It came swimming round the corner and carried on its way but amongst the seaweed just below us we caught sight of this.
Mum and cub were rootling amongst the seaweed for snacks. Four Otters in the first hour was a cracking start to the day! If you'd seen the sea you wouldn't have expected to find anything but these two put on a great show.
There were plenty of Manx Shearwater flying up and down the loch along with the regular Gannets. We don't seem to get any of the young Gannets up the loch, the youngest birds tend to be third year birds, despite plenty of first year birds around the ocean facing coasts - odd! It makes you wonder if the full adults that come up the loch are non breeders. Golden Eagles were an easy hit through the day with at least 7 individuals seen over the day and many of the birds were viewed in the morning and again in the afternoon. I'm not going to over count the birds and I've estimated seven birds from the known territories. The best encounter was the adult that provided a stunning view as it landed on the hillside for a while before flying over us.
We bagged plenty of small stuff over the course of the day and even checked through the Skylark flock to see if there were any Lapland Buntings hiding amongst them. A single Mountain Hare was a good find on this blustery day too.
Despite there being plenty of eagle action we only got a fleeting glimpse of a WT Eagle before it disappeared over the ridge never to return.
Tuesday I was on shop duty again but I still managed to get a look around the ridges. I picked up golden Eagle twice and there was a WT Eagle sitting on the ridge for a couple of hours. Greenshanks were flying about and calling and the Crossbills are still singing in the trees behind the shop today. Our last brood of Swallows are just about ready to go now. You can see three heads in this photo but there are actually four youngsters in there.
The adults are doing their best to feed the hungry hoard...
...and then it's time for a bit of exercise for one of the brood.
I missed a WT Eagle photo opportunity while I was getting the Swallow shots but I'm sure I'll get another chance. 

1 comment:

Fiona said...

Sorry to hear about shop lady's accident - my best wishes to her.

Super blog entry & photos as ever, Bryan (OK, maybe Friday's shots weren't up to your usual standard but it just shows how tough it can be even for the experts!)