Saturday, 4 June 2011

Four days in June.

Well, June arrived under a cloud but it still doesn't spoil things. Wednesday didn't look the best but we kicked the day off well with a couple of Mountain Hare, Redshank and a male Hen Harrier before we picked up a nice Summer plumaged Sanderling.
A cracking Great Northern Diver was added to the list too. An Adder was a surprise find for the guests but with a decent air temperature I would have been disappointed not to find one! The afternoon provided the best entertainment. While watching an Otter fishing close by a couple of gulls started calling in alarm. I looked up to find a WT Eagle heading straight for us - lovely view as it went over the top of us.
Thursday was a better day with much the same sightings but a better chance to photograph the Adder.
Poor views of Golden Eagle on the day but they can't all be good sightings. We made up for that with two Otters together and a nice WT Eagle viewing too.
Friday was an absolute scorcher and flat calm too. You would think this would provide an easy day but it doesn't work like that. Not a sign of an Otter and nothing of great note until we viewed the WT Eagle nest with just the chicks present. We'd have to wait for the action. First off the mark was an Otter and when that disappeared a young Golden Eagle put in an appearance with an escort of Buzzards for comparison. There was just enough time to draw breath before the male WT Eagle started soaring closer and then the female flew to the nest with a prey item - phew! It was certainly easy after that performance as we picked up another Otter, two Golden Eagles, Hen Harrier and a couple of Mountain Hare to finish the day.
Saturday the weather was still holding fine and the camera got an airing too! We started the day with an elusive Otter and backed that up with a very showy Otter.
A couple of good distractions along the way were a singing Yellowhammer and a posing Curlew.
The WT Eagle flew in just as we were settling in for a long wait so that was a bonus. We found a Fragrant Orchid that was just coming into flower - cue the group taking turns to lie down and have a sniff!
 A Golden Eagle put on a stunning display...
...before landing on the hill side. Another location and another selection of sightings included a cracking Lesser Redpoll, Whinchat, two Golden Eagle and my first Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Golden-ringed Dragonfly of the year. A single Cuckoo was deemed to be a good find but after we'd viewed some Ringed Plover and a Dunlin...
...we picked up three Cuckoos together!! A cracking finish to the day with four Mountain Hares, Redshank...
...Skylarks dust bathing on the side of the road, a Buzzard carrying a young Rabbit...
...and baby Lapwing too.

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