Thursday, 25 October 2012


A stunning day for a tour - blue skies and a reasonable temperature too. A small herd of Red Deer saw us on our way before getting a nice close Common Seal balancing on a rock as the tide came in. Grey Herons tend to fit in wherever you find them but this has to be the most out of place one!
A drive around for Mountain Hare was fruitless so we resorted to walking to find one - nice in the sunshine.
 A few Buzzard were feeding on the remains of a Mountain Hare.
A couple of Hen Harrier were seen but they were all too brief. Our next stop was for Adders - we did see one one but not that well. It was soon forgotten about as a Golden Eagle appeared. The Goldie drifted off, we had lunch and enjoyed the views. Just as we were leaving another Golden Eagle put in an appearance - nice.
There are plenty of Kestrels to be seen at this time of year so it was no surprise when this one had a go at the Goldie.
Keeping on with the raptor theme the next one to show itself was a Sparrowhawk...
...closely followed by a Hen Harrier with an itchy head!
We found a young WT Eagle, 3 Otters and an adult WT Eagle to finish the day off in style and in sunshine!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


A trip out with Doc resulted in some good sightings and a lot of chat to fill the gaps! We were after an Otter or two to photograph but after seeing nothing on the loch we headed for the hills. The Tawny Owl was on view in the barn.
A WT Eagle was giving us the runaround and tried it's best not to be seen.
The winter thrushes are starting to push through now but I'm not getting many chances for photos - here is one that did pose!
Back on the trail of the Otters and we walked along the lochside, stood around and chatted some more - a few Goldfinch were worth looking at.
A Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard occasionally through the day and finally it showed itself at some distance - in the absence of Otters I pointed the camera at it!
We finally located the mum and two cubs but they were too far away and the dog Otter was a bit closer. We got to a good viewing spot and waited. It finally swam past us and that was the last we saw of it! Back to chatting;-)

Sunday, 21 October 2012


The weather forecast wasn't too good for this tour so we did our best to work around it. We started off in spitting rain to look for Golden Eagle. You could see the weather starting to close in but a single Hen Harrier, a distant WT Eagle and this young Golden Eagle were good enough.
Prolonged views of GN Diver as we hit the lochside and another two WT Eagle were seen before the rain started properly. Our next stop was a real treat as we picked up 4 Otters - a dog Otter was quite far out but the mum and two cubs gave a superb performance. We spent the next couple of hours looking for smaller birds and our reward was good views of Redpoll, Siskin, Song Thrush, Redwing, Reed Bunting and Mistle Thrush to name a few. Another visit to a site for Golden Eagle as the rain started to abate gave us good views of two adult birds. You can see this one has a full crop.
We finished the day off with a couple of WF Goose...
...two Lapwing, an itchy Mountain Hare...
...and a single Barnacle Goose.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Mostly Otters.

I had a quick run out in the morning to have a look for the BT Diver with a view to getting more photos. I found the bird easy enough and gave it an hour but it never came close to shore at all. As I moved back to base I picked up four Otters, a mum with two cubs and a dog, too far for photos. Not a bad effort but I thought I would have another run out after lunch - glad I did. First up was this Otter that was too far away for any decent shots but when it brought the fish ashore the Hooded Crow moved in and pecked at the Otters tail until it moved on!
A quick trip up the hill added two juvenile WT Eagle, one Golden Eagle and a Hen Harrier to the list. There were plenty of Ravens about too that provided plenty of entertainment.
The main thing lacking from the photos is they could do with the sound of the wings thrumming as they raced past and the calls of the bird - you had to be there!
I was happy with that and heading for home when I picked up 3 Otters on the shore. It looked good for a chance at some photos so I parked up and headed down the shore to wait. I was easily spotted by a Common Seal that popped up close by...
...but the Otters couldn't see me and I couldn't see them. Not too long to wait before mum was heading out to get some lunch and one of the youngsters made an appearance on the top of the rock they were hiding behind.
There was a few fish brought ashore but all the action was out of sight for me until this one. Not the greatest shot but I did laugh as mum brought the treat ashore and the cubs scrambled over each other to be first in the queue. Look at the first cub launching itself off it's siblings head!!
Despite the mum catching all the fish at the moment the only way the youngsters will learn to fend for themselves is to follow her and watch every move.
They will all dive together and surface together. You can't get much closer than this - sweet!
It's always a special experience to get close to these beasts and I left them to it when it was safe to move off. I watched them for another hour in the same place apart from when a Golden Eagle put in an appearance.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Good eyes.

All you need for a decent day out is some good eyes - keep them open and things will be found! A cracking start to the day with a female Hen Harrier, Mountain Hare and these two WF Geese.
A distant Golden Eagle was seen and while setting the scope up the first bird I picked up was a Red Kite! The next stop gave us slightly better views of Golden Eagle and an Adder getting ready for hibernation.
A Great Northern Diver was a good find, well appreciated etc...
...but unceremoniously dumped in favour of a White-tailed Eagle.
We found an Otter asleep while we had lunch but when it woke up it disappeared from view. All the regular waders were seen before we located another Otter that we managed to get better views of.
Another two WT Eagle were seen, an adult with a juvenile, another Otter and cracking views of this Black-throated Diver.
We finished the day off with a couple of Hen Harrier and the roaring stags. Top quality!!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


Another wet day that proved difficult to start with. There were good sightings of various waders, Buzzard and Tawny Owl before the camera came out for some Highland Cows!
The weather was improving as the day went on but a single Redshank was the best we could manage.
Things were starting to look a bit better when we found a Mountain Hare next to the road.
We finally found an Otter late in the afternoon and watched as it ate a fish on the shore. Two Eider were seen catching Crabs.
A Dipper showed well too.
An adult WT Eagle was found sitting in a tree and some Red Deer put in an appearance just before the guests were dropped off.

Monday, 15 October 2012

A quick dash.

Just a quick run out for this batch of photos. The rain was slackening off so I grabbed a few snaps of the waders on the shore - Dunlin...
...and Turnstone.
This one could have been nice but the grass was in the way - the humble Dunnock.
While looking at a couple of GN Diver a WT Eagle flew over the top - nice!
I was hoping to come across some Long-tailed Tit but the best I could manage was a couple of Coal Tit, 1 Blue Tit and a Great Tit.
I finished the day off nicely with a Golden Eagle as I walked home.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Spot on.

Another good day for a tour. It was flat calm in the morning but the wind was to pick up through the day. We started with an Otter that was quite keen to keep an eye on the passing traffic.
Plenty of waders on show at the next stop with Golden Plover, Turnstone, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Greenshank and Curlew all on show. The numbers of RB merganser are starting to build up and the males are coming back into their smart plumage.
A Cormorant resting on the loch side was back lit so I've made this one black and white rather than making it brighter.
A WT Eagle was a good find but it soon disappeared but a flock of Starlings were posing in a tree.
A Razorbill showed quite well and there were plenty of Stonechat about.
Another Otter came ashore and disturbed a Grey Heron.
We watched the Otter disappear behind the point and picked up a couple of GN Diver and a RT Diver. We relocated the Otter and watched from close quarters as it brought a fish in then came closer still for a clean up. It looks like this one has had a drink of milk!
A quick stop for this camp looking Common Seal...
...produced another Otter!
As usual there were plenty of Buzzards to look at but these two stole the show as they tussled mid-air.
Another GN Diver before lunch, a Red Deer stag and a Golden Eagle while we had lunch...
...a couple of Adders and 3 Kestrel after lunch. Amongst the common birds the afternoon highlights were a Common Snipe, 2 Whooper Swan a couple of  Long-tailed Tit and a cracking view of  a Hen Harrier. Spot on!