Good weather continues with a mirror calm sea here. Trips have been very successful with as good as it gets otter view yesterday and a distant but spectacular view of a golden eagle breaking the skyline between two mountains and carrying what was probably a mountain hare. If you didnt know what you were looking at most people would simply think this was a hang-glider.
I forgot to mention the crossbills yesterday while everyone else was watching the otter ! And a few more crossbills today on the wonderfully virgin Island of Ulva, which is across the sea from our house. It was also a delight watching our two small grandchildren Sonny and Charlie enjoying the whole Island thing in the sun that I so yearned for as a little boy.
Well a good day today and a reasonably keen group !! So two sea eagles alighting on islets offshore, hundreds of manx shearwaters, female hen harrier, male hen harrier passing prey to another female, mum and cub otter wandering around on a small mussel farm platform, a further otter and then two golden eagles, whinchats, stonechats, rock and meadow pipits, wheatears, sandpipers, red deer, seals and others also.
The scale of The Highlands and Islands deceives everyone. So I would urge visitors to beg, steal or borrow binoculars for the trip here and certainly for my Wildlife Expeditions !! Whether you are looking at a ruined castle on a distant headland, a possible whale offshore, an eagle breaking the skyline or a pine marten in a forest, you need binoculars. So forget that huge camera lense or the kayak and bring binoculars.
Its the most beautiful and still morning here and I know its lovely anywhere when the sun is shining but in such stirring surroundings of ocean and islands it’s positively awesome. The Islands trees are steadily recovering from the storm damage of May and swallows are still nesting in the eaves of the house. Young eagles are also not far off flying now.
If I am noticing anything as time rolls by amid the planets inhabitants it is that eagles, dolphins, otters and most other wild creatures stay much the same but the people I meet are definitely ‘dimmer’ than they were. They are far less free spirited and overtly PC. I have no doubt at all that city life makes humans more sheep like and far less individual and interesting. Few people I now meet are going to make the world a better place.
Good weather and top sightings of the big three continue. Add male redstart, red throated diver, great northern diver and hundreds of manx shearwaters to the pot. My problem from now is historical, in that many people don’t have binoculars, sensible footwear and might wheel out a colourful umbrella during the trip! Or possibly feed the poodle !
More super weather for the trip and most people had binoculars today !! The show was stolen with a really big encounter with two golden eagles, as they sailed above us and out across a glen chased by calling kestrels and ravens. They then landed on distant slopes and repeatedly flew and landed. Then they flew back still pestered by other birds and landed to give super close views.
Its been a beautiful and eventful weekend. On the way to Oban to get some pictures framed the postie asked me to drive the Post Office van onto the ferry. I felt like Postsman Pat in this rickety rackety thing. The antique map from Sam and Heather and the drawing of a hare from Tim are going to look good around the building though. Today we collected lots of oysters and I reflected on how exciting this Hebridean life would have seemed as a working class boy from Sheffield all those years ago.
Yesterday I was writing in my mind that this was the worst day of the year so far with dreadful conditions but my forever optimism won out laterly, when we had a sea eagle coming over us and across the wetlands putting all the other birds up. Then we got the elusive otter and male hen harrier over our heads. So a happy ending.