Monday, 18 October 2010

Fun in the sun.

Thursdays tour was a cracking affair but I never took a single photograph due to the massive depression caused by the loss of the internet or it might have been the lack of opportunities. We managed a good start to the day in fine weather but nothing to get the pulse racing so the Brent Geese, Mountain Hare, Redwing, Song Thrush, Blackbird etc were duly watched before I spotted a Minke Whale! It was one of those moments you dread - you are scanning the sea and seeing nothing and then it appears in the view, you can see what it is but nobody else has seen it so we wait. The Minke can stay down for a good 15 minutes and then surface, potentially, nowhere near where you'd first seen it so the chances of seeing this again were slim. I like a challenge. Unbelievably the beast surfaced in exactly the same place about 10 minutes later but, apart from me, only one of the guests caught sight of it. We gave it more time but without any luck. With hardly any wind there wasn't a bird in the sky so we travelled along picking up the likes of Eider, Golden Plover, Mistle Thrush etc and then it all happened just as the wind started picking up. An Otter showed well, WT Eagle sitting pretty and a cracking view of Golden Eagle. The Golden Eagle was picked up clearing a ridge in the distance, it circled a bit while being harassed by a Raven before landing. Not too bad we thought. We waited to see if it would go off again. A couple of Ravens were 'kronking' away just above us so we turned our attention to them. They started to drop lower down and when they were in front of the hill the 'kronking' was amplified beautifully with just the right amount of echo - stirring stuff. The Ravens then settled onto the Golden Eagles favourite ledge and redoubled the efforts of the calls - even I wouldn't stand for that!! The Goldie was off the ridge in an instant and made a beeline for the Ravens. They left, quickly! Tremendous views were had of the Goldie landing on the ridge above us and viewing his land. We left shortly afterwards and as we chatted about what we'd just seen another two Golden Eagle came into view. Just to be boring we got another two Goldies at the end of the day while looking for WT Eagle!
Friday the internet frustration carried on so there were a few phone calls to be made and some jobs to be done. Saturday was the same again. I had to get out otherwise I'd snap. I took the car and the cameras and headed out on a fantastic day. I had a wander on the beach to start with and bagged a crowd of Ringed Plover... a couple of Dunlin.
The Rock Pipits danced about me and seemed determined to get into photogenic places so here's a rubbish one.
The Starlings were busy cooling off in the stream and then giving it the 'shake the tail feather' treatment just above me - you can't not take a photo, can you? Does that even make sense? Have a photo.
Suitably relaxed I carried on with the sightings adding Pintail, Wigeon, Black Guillemot, RT Diver, a tribe of Long-tailed Tits, a couple of Coal Tits and a Great Spotted Woodpecker too. An Otter was an easy find in the glassy water at my next stop and it was getting warm too. A couple of these bird were close to the road but why do they always put their head down when you press the shutter?!
You can't fail to be impressed by the Great Northern Diver and nice to see the green gloss on the neck and head.
While watching the divers I got a brief glimpse of two Porpoise before a juvenile WT Eagle flew into view - how lucky was that? I watched the bird fly down the loch, pick a fish out of the water and then head into the trees to devour it's catch. It was on the other side of the loch but I reckoned there was a chance of picking it up again. I drove past an Otter to continue the search for the eagle but a few Redwing caught my eye briefly.
I couldn't locate the eagle in the trees so I headed back towards the Otter and had a quick look at two Long-tailed Duck along the way. Just as I approached the spot where the Otter was I noticed a big bird coming across the water. Switching the camera on as I abandoned the car I could see the legs of the WT Eagle drop - was it going to land? was it after something? Have a look at this!
The Heron was taking evasive action and a Hooded Crow joined in the fray.
That was enough fun in the sun so I headed for home to cool off.

1 comment:

Fiona said...

Wow - fantastic sightings Bryan, and that last photo is a corker!