Thursday, 24 September 2009

Wet, wet, wet

Monday was another wet day that proved to be hard work for everyone but we managed to get some of the goodies. We started off with the search for Mountain Hare that proved fruitless although the Skylarks and a Buzzard gave us a decent start considering the weather. We didn't see anything else of note until we bagged 2 Otters. The hard work continued as we missed out on Golden Eagle due to the low cloud but the Seals were showing well. Golden Plover, Dunlin, Redshank and Turnstone provided some interest to keep us going. Best sighting of the day was two adult WT Eagle flying alongside us in driving rain and we managed to relocate one of the birds after it had landed.
Tuesday was a day of showers so we tried to seek out the wildlife in the sunny spells. I did have a Peregrine on a fly past before I set off but first on the list for the day were two WT Eagle, one perched in a tree and the other sitting on a headland. The adult in the tree was soaking up the sunshine/drying off but it was some sight when she half opened her wings.We picked up a herd of Red Deer after this before heading off on the trail of Otters. No sign of any movement in the water except for the odd Common Seal and a fine selection of waders outside the shop. We managed to relocate a single Knot amongst the Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Redshank. After an hour and a half hold up for the road resurfacing we finally made it to lunch and immediately picked up a single Golden Eagle. The bird of the day was going to be this female Hen Harrier that performed tremendously......the Greylag Geese were just flying into the fields at the same time........but this was totally eclipsed by the appearance of a male Hen Harrier at our next stop - what a stunning bird this is!!Shame about the photo though! We travelled back to home base trying to pick up an Otter but it wasn't working. I decided to give it one last go before dropping everyone off. The waves were sporting white horses and it didn't look good, a shout went up for a head appearing but it was just another Seal. I put my eye to the telescope, focused on the waves and couldn't believe it when an Otters head appeared in the view. Could I find it again though? No chance. I scanned back and forth in the choppy water with a quick check on the nearest rocks just in case - still nothing. I wasn't giving up on this one so I kept scanning and it paid off as the Otter appeared on the rocks and we all managed to get a good view!
Wednesday started off with rain that was heavier than forecast but it was supposed to clear a bit. We failed on the Hares again today but it's no surprise given the poor conditions. The Skylarks showed well and some great sighting of Buzzard and Raven gave some hope for the day.
We actually struggled after that but the raft of 200 Eider in the loch was a good sighting with Gannet and Kittiwake providing some backup. I spotted a WT Eagle perched up on the other side of the loch so we headed off for that before the clear weather could spoil a good sighting. Along the way we stopped for the waders with the Knot number increasing to 3 and the usual suspects still in the area. A quick check for Otters didn't reveal anything and we eventually arrived at the spot for the WT Eagle which, thankfully, was still sitting in the same tree. What we hadn't seen was the other WT sitting above the first bird and the youngster on the ground! Three for the price of one! The youngster took flight and gave a great display as it headed towards us......and soared above us..... but just after the camera went away the bird came down against the trees and made half an attempt on a Hooded Crow - stunning! We managed to get some decent views of a herd of Stags instead of the usual view of a beast up on the skyline and then we were back on the trail of Otters. It proved to be a difficult task again as the sea was whipped up into a fury. I did manage to locate 2 Otters on the shore but sadly they dropped behind the rocks and didn't reappear so nobody else got a view. We'd done the best we could in difficult conditions but we didn't find any more Otters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great picture of the WT drying off. Thanks