Friday, 31 August 2012

The last laugh.

Another tour with the same guests but very different weather - pretty dull, plenty of rain and windy. What a day we had! We didn't bother looking for WT Eagle as it was lashing down so a look at the water was in order and we found a Great Northern Diver - awesome.
Next up was an Otter that gave us the slip while we got soaked! A couple of Little Grebe and a female Hen Harrier kept the spirits up. A few wading birds had dropped in with about 14 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover and 3 Knot.
A couple of Red-throated Diver showed reasonably well as we searched for another Otter. A brief look at the sea was quite productive as we picked up Great Skua, Manx Shearwater and a Little Gull. The weather wasn't really improving any but we'd had some good sightings including this persistent Goldfinch begging for food.
Another two Great Skuas were seen while we watched the Gannets fishing and the weather started to clear. With bits of blue sky showing it was time to go eagle hunting. We located a Golden Eagle sitting on the hill side that was superb in the scope. We watched as it took off and was joined by it's mate before they both disappeared. We headed further down the road to relocate the birds but we found them in flight heading back towards where we'd come from! Back we went to find nothing but a Red Deer that must have been sniggering at us!
We managed to get the last laugh as we finally got a close view of the Golden Eagles sitting next to the road - cor blimey, mate.
We finished the day with a WT Eagle sitting in a tree as the rain started to fall again - awesome day.
On my way home I bumped into Doc - he loves Greylag Geese
We stood chatting for a wee while, long enough to see a couple of Hen harrier to fly about and for this monster to fly over.
She landed beside the male who was busy plucking a Grey Heron but he soon got the message that he should be taking this one home for the kids!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Back with the camera.

I've been entertaining the kids for the past week or so and we've had some awesome encounters but no camera to hand. We got caught in the rain on the beach and headed back to the bus and a Golden Eagle flew over us as close as you like, an Otter spotted from the back seat while driving along at 30mph, some awesome WT Eagle encounters plus Adders, butterflies, dragonflies - it's been brilliant!
An exclusive tour was a good way to get back in the saddle with the main focus being White-tailed Eagles. We started with a bang with a juvenile WT Eagle on the nest and then the adult male brought some food to the youngster before settling in a tree. We went for a closer look and got the bird in flight again - awesome!
As we left the area we picked up a couple of RB Merg and a group of four Greenshank.
We filled a bit of time with many Buzzards, Meadow Pipit, Northern Wheatear and Common Seals etc. A Golden Eagle was seen but the views were brief, another view of the bird on the ground then it was gone. Another Golden Eagle flew around at low level in front of us before being joined by the first bird.
As we were leaving the area two WT Eagle flew over us. A Common Lizard performed well in front of the camera...
...but the Adder that showed well to start with turned camera shy!
Another couple of female Hen Harrier in the afternoon, plenty of Stonechat around, Skylark, Twite and Rock Dove.
One last Hen Harrier, with the sun shining on it, was superb. There was plenty of other things seen through the day and we had a group of five Mountain Hares too.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Last stint.

Another visit to the wader flock was productive as there were a small flock of Sanderling present...
...along with the Dunlin, Ringed Plover and my last view of the Little Stint.
A couple of the Dunlin stood out from the crowd as they sported a ginger colouration.
As you can see the weather was a bit dull but it was helping with the wader count. Next one to be found was a single Knot with a flock of Ringed Plover.
A Hen Harrier gave good views when it flew in front of us but we got better views of the bedraggled Buzzard on a post.
Best find of the day was, for me, was spotted when we were viewing a couple of Red Deer - a single, tatty, Common Swift. This one took my year list to 149.
The Otter we found performed superbly before going to sleep in a place we couldn't see from close by.
As the weather broke we managed to locate a couple of Golden Eagle preening in the sunshine but they were not showing any signs of taking flight. The Adders may have been damp but they were still on show. There were plenty of Stonechat seen through the day but only one that sat long enough for a photo.

Monday, 20 August 2012

New stuff.

Another hot day produced a slack time for the wildlife and not much camera action. The House Martins look like they are ready to go...
...and the Swallows are not too far behind with their second brood. Highlights from the day were a couple of Golden Eagle at close range...
and, of course, the Adders.
We had three Hen Harriers through the day and a single WT Eagle but no Otter.
The following day was overcast but it looked like it was going to be more productive than the hot days. I took a couple of snaps of a Grey Heron in the sea just to check the camera settings.
The start of the day was a bit frustrating as the best we could find was a small herd of Red Deer after we'd had some good views of a couple of Greenshank.
The sightings soon picked up as we pulled in to view a Common Seal. The seal disappeared and we waited and the next thing to be picked up was an Otter. We got decent views of this one fishing but we changed location to improve the viewing a bit. While we watched the Otter two WT Eagles appeared over the ridge. The Otter came ashore in front of us...
...and a Golden Eagle flew over the top as we headed back to the motor! Sparrowhawks were a feature of the day as we'd got cracking views of one sitting on the fence in the morning, two more in the afternoon and this one at lunchtime.
Cracking views of a RT Diver were had before we went for lunch where we had another Golden Eagle, Adders and some nice views. The afternoon was quite productive too with a close encounter with a WT Eagle.
A couple of Northern Wheatears were seen in different locations - still a smart bird though.
This Mountain Hare was very obliging...
...and there was plenty of stuff to finish the day off. Hen Harrier was missing from our list so it was nice to find one, Twite and Skylark were seen, Ringed Plover and Dunlin were in good numbers and a single Sanderling. A new one for me, on Mull, was a cracking Little Stint which took the year list to 148.

Friday, 17 August 2012


A trip out to take some folk to Ulva turned up a couple of goodies. First off I had to drive past an Otter that was showing well but worse was to come. Not doing a wildlife tour I put on some regular shoes but I couldn't resist a look around. I only found an Otter and had to get a bit closer - wet feet but worth it!
A Hooded Crow looked like it was waiting for me to take a slip and become dinner - no chance.
Enough of that and back to the proper stuff with proper boots on;-) Two WT Eagles and a Buzzard on a pole - what more could you want? It was just the Buzzard on the pole though.
An almost Otter turned out to be a Black Guillemot. We got some cracking views of Golden Eagle sitting on the ridge before it dropped out of sight. While viewing the Adders the Goldie reappeared and the camera was in the motor. Ruuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnn - click, click, click....rubbish, it's too far away now!
The best moment of the day was when one of the Golden Eagles rose from the ground with an Adder hanging from it's bill - you won't see that every day! We saw quite a few Kestrel through the day but the close one was the best.
A cup of tea while watching a Hen Harrier and a couple of Stonechat was a treat.
We filled the last part of the day with a whole bunch of birds. Twite bathing...
...Ringed Plover making sure the Dunlin can sleep in peace...
...Rock Pipits showing off their giant feet...
...Swallows collecting nesting material...
...and a big ginger rabbit! It's a busy world out there.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


The WT Eagle youngsters may be capable of good flights now but you can see the results of at least one crash landing with, what looks like, a snapped seconday feather.
A Black Guillemot was a nice find but we soon lost that as two Hen Harrier came over. The first one was doing a bit of leg stretching...
...while the other was trying to impersonate a Kite with it's forked tail!
The weather was the usual stunning but Ben More still had a scarf on;-)
We stood around admiring the views but there was little else to look at. A Kestrel put in an appearance as we were about to leave so we gave it a bit more time. A Golden Eagle appeared from behind the Kestrel and headed towards us, the advance stopped right above us and there it stayed! It looked a bit like this.
Getting views like that kind of spoils your day because you know you won't get any better! The grins stayed in place for the rest of the day and the Adders, Yellowhammer...
...Whinchat, Linnet, Wheatear and Mountain Hare all helped to make up a cracking day.
The following day couldn't have been any different as far as views were concerned. We had a fly past Hen Harrier and the same for RT Diver. A single WT Eagle was on view but no action so we had to be happy with a Buzzard on a pole.
Three RT Diver showed well while an Otter swam around behind them. The Golden Eagle we saw was brief and distant but we had a good showing of Adders.
It's well seen that every day is different but there is always something good. A Common Lizard sunning itself was the last thing to be photographed.