This was a mainly walking (and drinking) trip to the west coast of
Thursday 5th July - Glen Affric – An Osprey circling over Loch Affric. Invergarry – a Water Shrew watched for 5 minutes hunting around rocks in a stream.
Friday 6th July – Walked 15 miles through mountains from Kinloch Hourn to Inverie on the Knoydart peninsula, where the remotest pub on mainland
It’s worth it, though – a cracking old community pub, with excellent food and real ale.
Old Forge, Inverie and view when sitting outside it. (Photos by MC)
We saw: 17
Scenery on walk to Inverie. (Photo by MC)
Saturday 7th July - Sound of Sleat (i.e. the sea between Isle of Skye and Knoydart) - c500 Manx Shearwater coming close in to shore, Arctic Tern, Fulmar, Gannet, 3 Silver-washed Fritillary and 2 Grasshopper Warbler reeling. Also 1 Wheatear.
Inverie - Siskins, Redshank. A Roe Deer in the woods.
Sunday 8th July – Walked 15 miles back out of Inverie to Kinloch Hourn - Crossbill, 3 Twite at Barrisdale Farm, Curlew, 3 Grasshopper Warbler reeling again, Silver-washed Fritillary, Gold-ringed dragonfly and 14+ Red Deer.
Gold-ringed Dragonfly and
Monday 9th July – Isle of Skye – drove around Trotternish peninsula in north of island, scanning the cliffs along the centre and eastern edge of the area for eagles – after scanning 15 miles of ridges, I finally found a magnificent Golden Eagle which came off the cliff called Sron Vourlinn when we were parked in the picnic area near Loch Langaig and flew along the ridge, being mobbed by 4 Raven. It flew along the length of the cliff 3 times to gain height and was then mobbed by a pair of Peregrine, before disappearing over the top of the cliff. We waited in the hope of it reappearing, and after about 15 minutes an eagle rose above the cliff again, but this one appeared to be a White-tailed Sea Eagle, with straighter, broader, wings and more bulky body. It only stayed in view for a few seconds before going around the north end of the cliff and so I didn’t want to be too greedy and claim both eagle species – I was more than happy with one ! We drove on around the north end of the cliff in the hope of re-finding it, and stopped near the Flodigarry Hotel. There was no sign of the eagle in the air, but on scanning along the ridge with my bins there was an eagle-shaped rock – now I’ve spotted hundreds of these, and they have always been just rocks before ! But this one turned its head !
On scope’ing it, I couldn’t believe my eyes; an adult White-tailed Sea Eagle just half a mile away. It was at this point I realised that I hadn’t got my camera in the car, but took the following pictures using a small digital camera held against the lens. (You can see the small hump of rock the eagle was sat on by looking at the right end of the cliff shown in the Flodigarry link.)
White-tailed Sea Eagle.
After a while, I saw that the bird had what
looked like a red wing-tag in its left wing, with some white at the end. [Upon reporting
the bird I have been told that it is most likely a Pink wing-tag with a white
‘G’ on it. This is a female that fledged from a nest site
in Wester Ross in 2003 and has been seen several times on
White-tailed Sea Eagle, showing wing-tag.
We also saw Gannet
(diving), Fulmar (on breeding
cliffs), Black Guillemot (flying
into breeding cliff), a Snipe and 2 Tufted Duck on small pond by Loch
Waternish - Common & Arctic Tern and 2 Eider at the Stein Inn.
Portree boat trip (Sound of Raasay) – In the evening we went on one of the boats that does wildlife trips around the Sound of Raasay (between Skye and Raasay), which have been feeding fish to a pair of Sea Eagles for about 10 years. The pair of White-tailed Sea Eagles were sat on the cliff, but had had enough fish given to them for one day ! We also saw an Arctic Skua which flew right over the boat, c30 Puffin to within 20 feet, c50 Guillemot, Black Guillemot, Kittiwake, Porpoise and a Grey Seal off the jetty in Portree harbour.
The photo below of the Puffins is better before zooming in on the birds!
10th July - drive to
Despite continuously searching, we never saw any Otters !
Also: Hooded Crow and Rock Dove.
Last revised: 14 July 2007.