Saturday was another pleasant day which was spot on for the French film crew that I had in the afternoon. It was all a bit of a rush but we still managed to get footage of Common Seals, Pheasant, Red Deer, WT Eagle etc and some stunning scenery.
Sunday was a day of rest so we'll crack on to Monday instead. Only a quick jaunt out in the morning but quite productive in the flat calm conditions. Stonechats seem to be in good numbers so there seems to be very little reduction in numbers despite the cold Winter.
A good scan across the loch was productive too with 21 Eider, a few small groups of Razorbill and numerous Great Northern Diver.
Another new bird for the year were this pair of Goosander.
A quick stop to look for Wheatears. I could hear one singing but I never saw it. A well camouflaged Rock Pipit was feeding close to the motor.
While scanning the ridges I picked up a flock of large birds too distant to ID with the bins. A bit of waiting and I could hear the birds trumpeting to each other...
...a flock of 27 Whooper Swan heading North - excellent.
I did catch up with Wheatear just after lunch as two birds flew up from the side of the road when I drove past. I stopped pretty smartly and waited for the birds to reappear and sure enough they did. The male was a bit more brazen than the female and lacking my usual camera for digiscoping I had to rely on the coolpix 4500 for this shot.
I should have been heading for home but I missed the turn and mysteriously ended up looking for Golden Eagle instead! When a Golden Eagle did appear it was in a real hurry to get somewhere - I stood and wondered what the fuss was all about. I thought about getting the camera but it was too distant for a decent shot - a foolish mistake! A WT Eagle cleared the ridge and the Goldie was on it in a trice with talons outstretched, the WT Eagle turned upside down and locked a talon with the Goldie as the Goldies free foot smashed into the WTE's wing - all exciting stuff eh? What happened next? The WT Eagle had a lucky escape as the Goldie could only grasp a feather or two and remove them as they plummeted earthwards. They parted before it all went pear shaped and the Golden Eagle escorted the bigger bird off it's territory. Not the best of photos but you can see the gap in the secondaries where the contact had been made. It wasn't just me that had made a foolish mistake.