24.6.12

Scotland

So I spent the last week in the Highlands for my holiday, in Plockton close to the Skye Bridge. Before I went, I was a little unsure how successful any birding I did there would be, as from what I had heard it wasn't the most popular destination in Scotland for birding, but actually it was a fairly successful week. The trip got off to a good start, when I got an easy lifer on the journey there in the form of Hooded Crow. We spent the second day at Portree, on the Isle of Skye, and decided to go out on one of the Sea Eagle cruises. There were plenty of Eiders and Guillemots, around but the rough-ish conditions made steadying the camera to get a picture fairly difficult. A pair of Sea Eagles showed really well, coming with in a  few feet of the boat, only after the guy threw out some fish of course however. I managed this terrible picture whilst one of the birds was perched in a tree. 
There is one there... honest!


Despite the fact I was starting to feel a little sea sick, I managed another lifer on the way back, and one of the birds I wanted most for the trip. A Black Guillemot. Unfortunately by this point I was unable to take a picture because it was far too rough. And that was it for the lifers. I was hoping for more like Raven (which I may or may not have seen on the way), and Golden Eagle, and some mammals like Red Deer and Red Squirrel, but after searching constantly I had no luck. But that didn't mean I didn't see any other birds of interest. On the Journey back from Applecross on the third day, I got great views of a Ring Ouzel which flew across the road in front of the car, landing on the roadside, but as per usual too slow in getting my camera, and another highlight was fairly good views of several cuckoo on two occasions on the journey to and from a hide on Skye. Both trips to the hide proved fairly unsuccessful, apart from a great number of both Grey and Common Seals. When we arrived on the second visit, I did see a long v shaped trail in the water, but I'm not confident in saying it was definitely an otter, and unfortunately no Cetaceans were to be seen either.
     Despite seeing so many seals from the hide, the next day we went on one of the Seal Trips from Plockton Harbour, where for me the highlights were a couple of large flocks of Eider. The morning of the same day, like much of the rest of the trip consisted of Kayaking on the sea loch. As well as getting really close views of Grey Heron and Oystercatcher, and on the final day a Sandpiper which definitely wasn't common, but too far to ID without bins, on this morning in particular there were a great deal of Jellyfish. Most of these were Moon Jellyfish, but there was also single Lion's Mane, which was amazing to see, and so close up as well!
        Overall, despite not seeing as many species as I'd hoped, still a successful trip, and the place itself was so incredible it more than made up for it. Can't wait to return!

4 comments:

  1. It really is a beautiful area up there isn't it (especially Applecross). I usually go up to visit family at least once a year (you didn't happen to visit Shieldaig did you?), and now I'm itching to return after reading your post.

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  2. It is, I want to live there, wish I had family there! And yep, we went to Shieldaig on the way back,that was one of my favourite places we visited.

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  3. Like this comment if you want Jess to post more things onto her blog! Ough wait you cannot like a comment in Blogger. Anyway... I want to read more news of your birding adventures! :D

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    1. Jeje, pronto! Pero antes tengo q ver unos aves! :-)

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