Monday, 4 October 2010


Thursday was a very pleasant day with no rain and some corking sightings. First on the list for the day was a WT Eagle sitting on the ridge which was viewed through the scope but it didn't stay for too long. Another WT Eagle appeared from nowhere and they both flew off - what had made them go? At a guess the Golden Eagle that was close behind them might have spurred them on! We turned around to go in the direction of the birds and managed to catch up with one of the White-tailed Eagles while the Ravens dive bombing an area we couldn't view gave us an idea there might be another bird. We kept our eyes on the ridges and on the water as we drove along and it wasn't too long before we picked up an adult Golden Eagle. The bird kept dipping behind the ridge but there was a tell tale head in the water to keep us in the same spot. When the eagle disappeared we paid a bit more attention to the Otter only to find it was three Otters - no complaints there then! We watched these three for a good hour before they headed for shore and then we got a real treat. Mum just shuffled of on her own...
...but the cubs had better things to do - when feeding stops the play starts! There should have been a video in here but I've had problems uploading it so a few photos will have to do.

When mum had finished whatever she was doing she gave a quick whistle to the youngsters and off they went.
We then had a stunning performance from a juv Golden Eagle as it was seen to stoop at a flock of Sheep! The Sheep, naturally, panicked and gathered together while the Goldie just swept along the ridge. It dived towards the ground again with talons out and appeared to pounce on something. It pecked at the object then threw it in the air before flying off again. It performed some outstanding manoeuvres that showed off the white patches on the wings and tail to great effect - just stunning!! A quick run to the other side of the loch gained us a Pink-footed Goose to add to the list.
While we waited for Golden Eagle to appear at lunchtime we watched a couple of hinds on the rise of the hill. The couple of hinds were joined by another two and then another and before long we had a small herd including a stag. He wasn't the best looking beast but he'd been wallowing and there was vegetation hanging from his antlers so he was impressive enough for the hinds!
The Goldie never appeared in the air but as we left the area we located him sitting on the hillside. The pick of the bunch from the afternoon included a lone Swallow and a lone House Martin before we latched onto a couple of juv WT Eagle that appeared to be just passing by but they flushed a Peregrine so that was lucky. A juv Hen Harrier gave a fabulous performance. We watched this individual for a good twenty minutes as it quartered the marsh.
As we left the area a female Hen Harrier flew alongside the motor for a couple of hundred yards but only about 10 yards away from us!! The day was polished off in good style with another two WT Eagle in flight.
Friday was a lucky day off considering the weather - wet and windy.
Saturday was a return to good weather albeit a tad breezy. We located a Mountain Hare that was really pressed into a bit of cover and a challenge to identify. With a group keen to lay eyes onto everything the sightings rattled in with some stunning views of Common Buzzard wheeling around and showing off the white under the wings to good effect, Skylarks and Linnets feeding together and eventually two WT Eagles sitting together with one bird taking flight every couple of minutes. I didn't get any photos on the day because I left the camera at home - doh! Gannets were out in force so there must be plenty of Mackerel in the loch. A small herd of Red Deer hinds with a stag was a good find. We'd spent the morning on the calm side of the loch but had no luck with Otters so the prospect of finding them in choppy water was going to be a challenge. We picked up two Golden Eagles coming over the ridge and one bird performed an impressive roller-coaster display right above us! We viewed the loch from a high point to try and improve our chances of finding Otter - it did. Five minutes of searching and I caught sight of a head poking out of the water. It took a bit of time to get all the guests onto it but it was getting closer all the time. It came to shore close to us but it was behind a rock then it launched back into the water and we could follow it as it swam under the water - fantastic! It came ashore again but right below us this time before it swam further along the shore and then it was out again to head into it's holt. We topped this off with superb views of a WT Eagle perched up and when it took flight another bird appeared too - we couldn't have hoped for anything better.


Kate S said...

Great day out Bryan. Loved every min of it!


Bryan Rains said...

Cheers, Kate.