Friday, 22 October 2010

Snow is falling...

Tuesday we managed to dodge a lot of the showers that were blowing around. A big thanks goes to the person that didn't turn up - a quick phone call wouldn't hurt! A cracking view of a Peregrine started the day in style before checking out the usual fare outside the shop. Three Otter were next on the list with close views had before they moved on and eventually went into the holt. We had some tremendous stag action too as one big stag rushed from one place to another, roaring all the time, trying to keep the other stags away from his harem!! Next on the list was an adult WT Eagle preening in a tree. We gave this a bit of time to see if it would go but it wasn't to be. The list was growing nicely - RB Merg, Common Scoter, Shag, Cormorant, Rock Pipit etc. A Stonechat posed for us as we headed for lunch so I took the chance of a quick snap.
Just as the lunch was coming out I picked up a Golden Eagle in the distance so the food and drink had to wait. I got the eagle in the scope before checking the bird out again with the bins and it was then that I noticed a small flock of birds in the distance that were heading our way. I wasn't sure if my eyes were working properly so I pointed the other scope at the flock of five birds - they were all Golden Eagles!! You could get all six in the same view of the bins too. We watched as the birds approached and one bird gave a decent fly past at low level...
...and the others cruised over the top of us - top notch!!
They sailed out of sight for a wee while before we picked up one of the adult birds with a juvenile in tow. It was tremendous to watch the mastery of these birds - no flapping, just a flick of the wing or twist of the tail had them cruising about with ease. We weren't going to beat that for excitement but it had been an excellent few hours. The Red Deer seemed to be out in force...
...Mountain Hare was an easy find as the weather started to turn and I added one to my Mull list when we picked up the lone Coot amongst the Tufted Duck.
Wednesday we had to head for Oban so Shop Lady could get the cast off her foot. When we got up it was a bit frosty looking outside and it was nice to discover that Ben More had a covering of snow. No camera to hand so no photo and the snow had melted by the time we returned.
Thursday the weather was pretty poor with showers pushing through in the morning. With the dreary condition the photos aren't up to much but better than no photos at all! We picked up a few Red Deer early on with a small stag being the most photogenic.
As we rounded a corner we were straight in on 4 Otters. It was a good show too with the dog Otter interacting with the mum and two cubs. He was very cautious in his approached but when there was no reaction from the female he relaxed immediately. The party of three soon moved on and the fourth one hung around fishing for a while.
We left the dog Otter and went to look at the mum and two cubs. We found them all sprawled out on the rocks having a clean up before they were back in the water fishing. It was a busy old time as they clambered in and out of the water with fish, the dog Otter turned up again and the cubs had a good romp around too.
Another bit of video too...

video
We returned to where the stag action had been on the Tuesday and located the hinds immediately and then found the stag looking a bit tired. He'd obviously run himself ragged over the last couple of days but he'd got his harem. A couple of Golden Eagle put in a brief appearance too but they were moving away from us. This sighting was easily surpassed by another two Golden Eagle that put in an appearance while we were looking at the Common Seals. There was a cold wind blowing today so it wasn't too pleasant standing outside and the sea was a bit rough too. Plenty of views of Buzzard were had, a swift fly past by a Sparrowhawk, lots of Eider, my first Greenland White-fronted Geese (10 adult birds) of the winter, the Coot and a few waterfalls that were flowing upwards but no sign of a WT Eagle anywhere. We weren't going to be beaten on this one so we made a thorough search and then resorted to the last ditch effort:-) Did we find one? Thankfully, yes we did and it was just reward for the effort. The bird we picked up was a two year old (Turquoise 1) from the East Coast introduction. A good end to another action packed day.
The weather forecast says it's going to be a cracking weekend here with a bit of snow on Saturday night - we'll see....

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