Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Tigers and snakes

You might think from the title that I have zipped off to some exotic location but it's not true. The weather has finally broken and the sky is blue for the foreseeable future or at least there is no rain forecast. The views change dramatically when the sun comes out but it can put the birds to sleep through the day or warm the Adders up too early - you know what it's like, we're never happy!
This is in no particular order from the last couple of days but it's just been pleasant to get the sun on your back. The Eagles have been showing well, Otters are ten a penny at the moment (I'll probably not see any today now).......brief pause while I try to rescue a Swallow from the caravan.....Swallow rescued Where was I? It doesn't matter really. The Tiger Beetle was a nice find and an opportunity to try out the camera on macro - I didn't do very well but here is a cropped shot anyway. We managed to find an Adder too but it was off like a shot. None of the paparazzi got a photo!
The Thrift is finally blooming on Mull and looking really nice nestled in amongst the rocks....
An indication of how warm it is now is this very sleepy looking Mountain Hare that didn't move when another ran over the top of it! Check out the heat haze too.
The funniest thing I've seen over the last couple of days was this Great Northern Diver. We were trundling along the side of the loch and picked up an Otter at close range, all very nice until a Common Seal popped it's head up and the Otter did the disappearing trick. Anyway, the GN Diver was just a bit further along the road so we went for a closer look. Not too far away, summer plumage, lots of oohs and aahs as it was preening. It stopped preening, went fishing and caught a crab, as they do. It seems like an awful lot of work and then they swallow them whole. Check out the bulge in the neck and he doesn't look too happy either!
I've had a couple of opportunities to get birds of prey in flight but it's usually out of the vehicle window in between passing places or it's over too quick. All of the efforts so far are blurred - plenty of time though. Three Hen Harriers soaring around was a real treat for the some of the guests as what they wanted was to see a male - he performed superbly. This Common Buzzard played hard to get but he didn't want to fly too far.

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