Friday, 5 May 2017

Handa Island


We headed north this morning for the small town of Tarbet where we found the ferry waiting for us on arrival. After the short crossing we landed on the sandy beach to hear the volunteer talk before heading up the hill on to the board walk that leads out to the stack.

Sitting on both sides of the track were several Great Skuas allowing some nice close up shots.
We had dozens of Bonxies flying around us and they were joined by four Arctic Skuas giving great close up comparisons.  At the stack we enjoyed yet more Skuas flying around the cliffs with two Artic Terns for company. Fulmar, Guillemot and Razorbill are numerous here and a few Puffin had already made it in to start pairing up. Black Guillemot and Red throated Diver made up the numbers from the beach but the big stars were the Bonxies with over thirty splashing around in a small pool and several displaying pairs it was an experience to be remembered.

Great Skua
Arctic Skua

A trip south today moving down the A82 through Fort William and crossing the Loch at Corran we headed along the Ardnamurchan peninsular towards Strontian were we picked up a brief view of the Black Duck in flight up river before heading further down to Kilchoan and a ferry to Mull. Lunch in Tobermory then we moved on to Fionnphort where we took the short hop across to Iona. The weather seems to have held up the Corncrakes with only two heard and one distant sighting a complete contrast to last years experience. The Island was spectacular and the weather great but with a long return journey we needed to cut short and head back north via the Fishnish/Lochaline ferry.

Song Thrush on Iona
Hooded Crow on Iona

Spent the day in the valley watching Mountain Hares and Dippers whilst hoping for some Eagle activity. The Hares and Dippers performed well and a Peregrine showed well but any Eagles we could have got we missed. Reports of several Golden and a couple of Sea Eagles did nothing to make us feel better about the blank. An Osprey put in an appearance and a smart Woodcock walked across the path in front of us but took flight as soon as the camera came out.

Young Dipper
Mountain Hare in the Findhorn Valley

Year list now 222

No comments:

Post a Comment