Friday, 14 October 2011

Window of opportunity.

Wednesday was supposed to be a nice day but we managed to hang on to the dreich weather instead. Our first stop of the day provided us with good views of Wigeon, Teal, Curlew and Dipper. Two large birds in the sky had us pulling over to the side of the road to ID them. WT Eagle was the result of that and after a quick drive along the road we had them overhead - awesome!
Three Otters in quick succession were good to see. There were another couple of Dipper sightings with one close enough for a photo.
Late records of Summer migrants are always a good find so the two Swallows we picked up were appreciated by all.
Another three WT Eagles soon had the focus of our attentions. We attempted to get closer to these birds but to no avail. Plenty of Lapwing and Golden Plover around too and with 59 species on the list for the day too many other things to mention apart from the 5 Whooper Swan we found...
...nearly forgot about the Red Deer in someones garden on the way home!
Thursday was another cloudy day but it was marginally brighter in the morning so we were hoping for some good sightings. With the same group on board we headed for a few different spots. A gentle start was had as we picked up a few wading birds including a flock of 12 Turnstone. A couple of Mute Swan were nice to see as I don't get them that often down 'my end' of the island. We soon livened things up with a mum and cub Otter fishing and scampering over the rocks. We headed for higher ground as the cloud started to lift off the tops and we were soon rewarded with a couple of WT Eagle on the hillside and then in flight. An Otter on the shore behind us was a good distraction too as were the three Slavonian Grebe that put on a show for us. One last scan around produced a Red Kite - annual on the island but you have to be lucky! Fallow Deer was on the list of requests and just as we were giving up on them we found three together - nice.
The tops of the hills were just about clear by now so this would be our window of opportunity to get Golden Eagle. It paid off handsomely as we managed to get three Golden Eagle together plus four WT Eagle with another Golden Eagle not too far away - result! A Common Buzzard got in on the act too as it caught some prey and landed close to us to devour it's catch.
Another bonus find was a single Jay that was calling in the trees behind us before taking flight when we were looking at a Summer plumage Slavonian Grebe.
The window of opportunity closed after that as the cloud dropped down and the drizzle started. We ploughed on with the good sightings though with a RT Diver and a Peregrine at lunch. All three divers were seen in the afternoon with the Black-throated proving a bit difficult but everyone got it eventually. Another Otter, WT Eagle and a female Hen Harrier finished the day off nicely.

No comments: