Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Scaup scoop

Friday was a day off to do a bit clearing up after having one shed demolished and another one built. It rained in the morning but by the time came for the removal of the dead shed it wasn't looking too bad. Birding wise I didn't stray too far from the door and the bins never made it out - the usual array of waders were head calling but that was about it.

Saturday we had a bit of a wind blowing. All the ferries were off at some stage through the day and I was pleased to be stuck at the shop rather than face the windy conditions!
Sunday was just superb - it was flat calm and sunny. I was scanning about early on and picked up a Slavonian Grebe that had been blown in. There was surprisingly little change to the waders outside, if anything the number of Golden Plover had dropped. I decided to check Loch Scridain for any new arrivals expecting to find a few divers out there. Not much luck on that score but on a second look around I caught sight of a flock of duck a mile or so up the loch. A closer inspection was required............they never came close but 23 Scaup was a scoop to say the least! Checking a bit further out there was another flock of 10 Scaup - result. Two GN Diver were located from the same spot so it was more than worth the drive up. I had a go at the Slav Grebe in the afternoon but couldn't really get to grips with a very mobile bird. It was up and down the loch like nobodys business. There is only one way to get decent shots of these things and it involves a lot of lying down in wet places but the results are good.....here's a butt shot of the local wildlife.....There was little else of note through the day but this Hooded Crow showed well in the sunshine.Monday was a day of sunshine and showers and I didn't get out again. A couple of Golden Eagle over the ridges being the highlight.
Tuesday was another good day after a night of heavy rain so a bit of a trawl around to see if there was anything about. I roped in the snap happy DSLR fiends B&B for a bit of company on the run out. As I waited for them to arrive I was amusing myself by watching a Golden Eagle that was flying about over their place! We headed off in search of anything that was going to be photogenic - a bad idea from the start. One of the rogue Rooks was the best I could manage........but the the twin (DSLR) guns of B&B were blasting away at seals and Hen Harrier. Any chance of me getting a shot? 'Don't get out, you'll frighten it off!' - that's my excuse for the poor shot!

Pigs, yeah pigs, you heard right the first time, were next on the hit list. A bit of a novelty on the island and I haven't seen one for ages. They were friendly too, a bit of a scratch and they were lying down grunting away. It made a change from the often elusive wildlife although this was my second visit to see these porkers.We bagged a couple of Golden Eagle in the distance so it was time to get a bit closer. As we drove towards them I failed to notice one of the birds going straight overhead but DSLR man who was following managed a few good shots of said bird - jammy so and so! It all seemed a bit quiet for a while after that until we came across a hind with a youngster. They were out in the open when we spotted them and they made for the trees but that was a far as they went. They were quite happy to pose for snaps on the edge of the wood...Next in line was the prospect of an Otter or two. We hit lucky finding the mother and cub fishing offshore and they soon had a fish that needed to be taken ashore. A quick digiscope snap or two in poor light was the best I could get........but the sight of DSLR man's head popping over the rocks about 5 yards from the Otters meant some stunning shots for him!


Kate S said...

I entirely refuse to lie down on wet seaweed!

I guess that I need to book in with you Bryan - take your pick 5/6 November.


Andrew Kinghorn said...

I am coming up to Mull at the end of October for three days. Where can me and my friends go to stand a good chance of seeing:
Golden Eagle
White-tailed Eagle
and Hen Harrier?

Thank you,
Andrew K