Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Back in the field.

Not a great deal done on Wednesday or Thursday due to more decorating. After dining out on Thursday evening there were a nice selection of waders parading around on the loch side when we got back with 25 Dunlin, 20 Golden Plover, 3 Greenshank and a BH Gull - nice. By Friday I was getting a bit stir crazy so I headed out for a quick fix of wildlife watching. I got some cracking views of one of the Otter families with the mum and two cubs out on the shore cavorting around.
The juv WT Eagle was showing well jumping up and down, flapping wings all in preparation for it's imminent departure into the big bad world. Little did I know this was to be my last sighting of the bird on the nest. Saturday was my last day of decorating so we'll move on to Sunday back in the field! The previous couple of days had been quite nice but Sunday was a stinker with low cloud and drizzle. Not to be deterred we headed off and had a couple of Corncrake calling in a field. Other highlights from the day were a couple of RT Diver, two Golden Eagle that appeared as the cloud was lifting, another Golden Eagle in flight as we watched an adult WT Eagle and a cracking female Hen Harrier hunting at the end of the day.
Monday I had a request for Otters and that request was filled within 20 minutes of being out. There was no sign of the WT Eagle nest as the cloud base was so low! We moved on to pastures new but the visibility wasn't improving so we returned to the nest site to find the cloud had lifted and the female WT Eagle was posing beautifully. We had lunch overlooking the loch picking up 4 RT Diver, Black Guillemot and a flotilla of eclipse plumage Eider. We got half a dozen Dunlin at the end of the day....
....before we got an absolutely cracking sighting. We'd just stopped to listen to a Corncrake when a shout went up for a large bird approaching....a female Hen Harrier was homing in...on the Corncrake!! This was all about 10 yards away!! The Harrier shoved her talons into the long grass and the Corncrake squealed like a Water Rail and she made a second attempt before flying off - fantastic!! It was still pretty foggy down here and we drove on and got another close fly by from the same female Harrier. As we returned down the road the Corncrake was in the ditch on the side of the road still calling - a lucky escape! 
Tuesday started off overcast with a few showers. We had poor start with no sign of any Otters or WT Eagle but things changed all of a sudden when I caught sight of a WT Eagle disappearing over the ridge back towards the nest site. We turned around and headed back and immediately picked up an Otter! By the time we got to the nest site there was nothing in view so back around the loch again having another look at the Otter. A male Hen Harrier flew straight in front of the motor before we picked up a WT Eagle and a Golden Eagle in flight then headed off to lunch. Two Golden Eagles were seen just after viewing an Adder while we demolished the lunch. The fields where the Corncrake had been were being cut so all was quiet with them but the local Buzzards were on the hunt for anything that tried to escape the cutting.
It was nice to be back in the field again watching the wildlife. That's enough for now and I'm making a sharp exit just like the Buzzard!

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