Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sunny Scotland! (part 1)

Finally managed to find some time to get to Scotland.

Obviously should have been going in May really, but had to make do with July, making a few species  a lot harder to get.

First stop was a layby at Loch Lomond where there was a Carrion Crow with a motley selection of Hoodie hybrids.

This one is a lot more Hoodie like than the other, but some dark feathering and a dark nape in particular give it away. 

Chucked out some bread to keep them interested but only managed to attract the local Common Gulls.

Here's one in naturalistic surroundings. You would never know it was at a roadside lay-by.

Somewhere further north

 Glen Coe 

Poplar Hawkmoth roosting on steps at Fort William

Next stop Isle of Skye

Portree, with Raasay in the background. A good place for seeing White-tailed Eagles. There are organised boat trips which go out into the Sound and throw out fish to the Eagles. Not really my sort of thing and it looked like rain. Did have a scan but nothing doing, so headed north to do a bit of exploring.

Inver Tote

Some locals


The gamble not to go on the boat trip and to drive around aimlessly in the hope of seeing something, paid off when I found these two feeding on a carcass about 500m from the road. It was quite lucky really as they were out of sight as we drove by, but one flapped its wings briefly and broke the skyline.

This third bird was a bit further away. 

Next stop Uig. Had a look in the bay for some Black Guillemots. Was tempted to take the ferry to Uist but didnt really have the time.
As with most trips and outings I do, I am always underprepared (usually a time thing) and this trip was no exception. After getting White-tailed Eagle by chance, I wasnt so lucky with Black Guillemot, so we headed back to Portree in the hope of finding a local birding guide to Skye.
Luck was in and we found one. Had to memorise the site though, as I didnt want to buy the book just for one bird.
The site was the island of Wiay. Now to me that sounds like geordie speak, but we gave it a go. 

and we were in luck, there were two birds close enough in the bay to be digiscoped.

Whilst driving around we saw some truly spectacular scenery, (in the context of the UK) which
probably isnt saying that much. But it is spectacular, a bit of a shame it was overcast though.
This is where the spectacular photo should come in. Here are a couple of 'nice' ones.