Friday, 30 July 2010

Never a dull day.

Wednesday was a poor day for weather and a bit of a struggle for finding the wildlife. Even when it's dull it's never a dull day - read on! With the juv WT Eagle fledged and out of sight there was no sign of the adults either. We trailed around the loch for Otters and found nothing but the usual Grey Heron, Oystercatcher, Greylag Goose and these two Common Sandpiper who will soon be on their way to Africa.
A Common Buzzard was a welcome sight sitting at the top of a tree as we headed for a Golden Eagle site that was free from the low cloud base. By the time we arrived at the location the cloud base had dropped again! Rather than waste time waiting in a poor situation we headed off. As we drove down the road a brief glimpse of a bird sitting on the fence had me reversing to find out what it was. My first sighting of a juvenile cuckoo on Mull - that was me happy for the day. It flew off before I could get a photo but it was a cracking find all the same. With Red Deer, RT Diver, Common Seal and Adder on the list we weren't doing too bad but still no sign of the Mull specialities. Having the patience to wait for these things to appear will always help and we eventually got our rewards in the afternoon. A female Hen Harrier was busy feeding two fledged youngsters. We watched the youngsters fly around and then lost sight of them but a bit of careful scanning with the scope and we had both of the youngsters sitting on the ground. You could see how orange the youngsters were compared to the adult bird. We also located a Golden Eagle in the distance so we headed off to get a better look at that. It was all coming together quite nicely now and we continued with the good luck as we located two separate Otters and then finished the day with stunning views of an adult WT Eagle sitting in the sun that had finally came out.
Thursday was a much better day for the weather. Just prior to the first guests arriving a male Crossbill was singing at the top of a conifer behind the shop.
After picking the last of the guests up we headed straight for the Hen Harrier site. Two minutes of scanning and we'd picked the birds up. Once again it was just the female and two youngsters and I wonder if the male bird has succumbed to the pressure of feeding the young when there isn't much food about -we'll see. Next on the list was Mountain Hare and a Golden Eagle sitting on top of a hill. We chased the Goldie down and got views of the bird in flight but not for too long - 'there'll be more' said I. An impromptu stop next as the spidey-sense started tingling. I hopped out of the motor watching two Cormorants flying off high and the local gulls were just starting to call. All of a sudden the gulls went up and there was an adult WT Eagle flying up the loch towards us - what a sight! That one earned me a round of applause - thanks, people. An imperial stag was a delight to see at close quarters before we headed for lunch.
Lunchtime was spent waiting for Golden Eagle. We ate lunch, told a few tales and it was getting near to leaving time before we spotted a bird clearing the ridge. With everyone watching through binoculars and a few directions being given 'it's flying right', 'no, it's flying left', 'right', 'nope it's still going left' - we had two birds on the go. The second bird had landed and another one appeared over the ridge! It was certainly worth the wait. I had a quick check to see if the perched bird was still present, it was, but here was a fourth bird just appearing over the ridge - classic stuff!! We moved on to see if we could get the one thing missing from the days list - Otters. It was an unusual find for the day as there was a photographer was staking the Otter out. Lying full length in the seaweed with the camera pointing at the rocks we knew there was hope of seeing it but how long would we have to wait? He indicated the Otter was asleep so we headed for the WT Eagle site just in time to get the male bird in flight. We watched it fly off and headed back for the Otter. We didn't have to wait long before it woke up and gave us excellent views. What a day!

1 comment:

Den said...

Thanks for some lovely blogs Bryan what a relief after decorating.