Tremendous weather again today but as I so often tell people sunshine and showers is best, not clear blue sky and blazing sunshine. So today less species but the big ones were big including white tailed sea eagles and male hen harriers. We watched a bird meandering as they do and then setting off across the road to find more vole habitat. After a few minutes he was up and cirling with his wings outstretched and his white tail fanned out. They do this when atracting a female but this time it was to warn off another male. Both of them locked into a chase of weaving and diving at each other before they split up and went their own way. In Glenmore we stopped to have lunch and wait for golden eagles. We picked them up about 2 miles out and proceeded to have a number of views at distance and then closer as they rushed after some ravens and powered along the mountainside chasing each other. Then up and circling triumphantly after the battle. They then hit the wind and rushed over us and along the cragside to alight and tender their young. It was the best of eagle encounters, to have waited and then tracked them for a long period to then get really close views. Terrific and always inspiring to me !!
Very good weather and trips the last two days and fabulous start today looking from my office. Yesterday is now typical for me and in ideal conditions, with big views of sea eagles flying and sitting on a tree and on the ground where they are tough to find, fleeting male hen harrier with better views later of male and a flash of a female, whinchats, stonechats out with first youngsters, manx shearwaters, razorbills, great northern divers in winter and summer plumage, male otter close and female with young curled up on an islet. We waited for a big shower to clear and todays elusive golden eagle for about 15 minutes and as the rain stopped one tumbled out of the sky in a ball and landed to give excellent views sitting and both of them flying, on the way back a short eared owl but we were now in a hurry for the ferry. Great day !
Its beginning another beautiful day here and yesterday was a cracker. No Wildlife trip but every day can still be an adventure here. I mean how many people get a 40 minute ferry to just get a haircut? I had been invited to meet with some people from Norway for dinner with Speyside Wildlife and even my limited amount of hair was a mess and so over to see John in Oban on the 8.45 ferry, a quick trip to Tesco and their £10 meal deal, which included a choice of main course and vegetables, desert, AND a bottle of wine worth £7.99 !!!! Then back on the ferry to collect Joy at our local garage down the loch, as she had left her car for a service. Back home to a bit of work and rest and then off to meet the Norwegian party, interested in the way we operate our wildlife business’s. They all lived in a stunning part of northern Norway where they get stellers and king eiders, Gyrfalcons, arctic foxes and white billed divers !!! They have the wild product alright but just don’t know how to sell the experience yet and so I hope I helped a little.
I have had two excellent days with enthusiastic people, though I did lose 5 of them today as the ferry was cancelled due to high winds. The really strong cold winds and bright sunshine are not good but I try to think like my wild friends and work out what they might do. Very good encounters with male hen harrier at Grasspoint and beyond. What a looker he is !! Sea eagles pretty close, no whinchats today but yesterday and stonechats too. Wheatears, common sandpipers, great northern divers in summer and winter plumage, razorbills yesterday, eiders and mergansers, fabulous views of golden eagles both days very close flying and sitting and plucking prey etc. Cuckoos yesterday not today, red deer of course, whooper swan, sparrowhawk yesterday not today but female harriers both days, mum and two otter cubs yesterday and a male, but today a single otter very close initially today on Loch Scridain, ravens, hooded crows, pipits and lots of more obvious things. So tough weather but great sightings.
Sunny all day today with a coldish wind and so challenging !! However another enthusiastic crowd with some who come out with me annually and so they know my little foibles. We still saw our big creatures in golden eagle, white tailed sea eagles, male and female hen harrier and mum and her two otter cubs looking dry and furry and asleep on top of each other on a small rocky islet. As the tide came up and wet their backsides and tails she moved all of them up another metre and piled on top of each other again. Cute !!! always. Whinchats, stonechats, wheatears, seals, ravens, kestrels, buzzards, red deer, great northern divers today. Also bumped into our friends from down south who come up a couple of times a year Noel and Sue. They are a great help as spotters out and about on Mull.
These are very good wildlife times as usual here. Sunny and pretty calm today with a keen crowd who were very focused. So off we go with and otter at Craignure, cuckoo, whooper swan, meadow and tree pipits two sea eagles flying and sitting, stonechats and whinchats, willow warblers, red deer and then various auks off Grasspoint. Into Glenmore and a male hen harrier soaring over us and attacking a buzzard, whitethroat, wheatear, common seal, kestrel chasing buzzard, adult sea eagle racing along the mountainside being chased by a raven, big views of golden eagles with prey flying and repeatdely landng pretty close, female otter with two cubs, great northern divers, eiders with young, mergansers, common sandpipers, finally young sea eagle at the RSPB nest site in Seilesdair.
Its great weather here and lots of quality sightings today. Sea eagle sitting and flying, red throated diver and great northern divers in summer plumage, whinchats, wheatears, stonechats, pipits, cuckoo, male amnd female hen harriers, more sea eagles, short eared owl, otters and after the waiting and feeling of great expectation, golden eagles landing to repeatedly get nest material and soaring above us. The usual list of other things such as whitethroats, ravens, rock doves, hooded crows, kestrel and heard about a magpie in Tobermory which is rarer than a whale here !!! etc etc. I also had a pretty keen party today.
A glorious Hebridean day yesterday and the same this morning. A full contingent Tuesday saw short eared owl very early on and close as we turned for Grasspoint. Further on we waited patiently to then get big views of a sea eagle dropping from the sky with feet outstretched to land with its mate. A distant male hen harrier on the way to see the small seal colony and whinchats, whitethroats, wheaters etc. In Glenmore a very distant view of the Ben Taladh golden eagle and then lost in cloud, further on top views of golden eagles soaring and landing plus female harrier for some time and close again. Great Northern Diver in summer plumage, eiders and otter asleep in the sun, redshank, pipits and homeward bound another ahort eared owl sitting on a post and then flying, red deer of course,shags, seals and things I forget. Tomorrow my friend and top thriller writer Gerald Seymour is joining us. He calls me the Ayatollah !!
It’s not been great the last couple of days but our very nice guests loved it here. Today was one of those Hebridean windy and sparkling light days, with very blue sea, white crested waves and big showers racing over to be replaced with clear blue sky. I have a trip tomorrow and I think it’s similar weather but slightly less windy, hopefully !! However as I’m always telling people the best weather for wildlife watching in Britain is sunshine and showers. A clear sunny day as you enter Eagle country and they can fly whenever they choose but a showery day with one just passing and I know we are going to see eagles because the last thing they do when it clears is just sit around like modern humans might. And that’s because humans can now go to Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s anytime they wish to feed !! Eagles don’t have such things and must feed and dry off as soon as the rain stops. Frankly, more to dry than necessarily hunt each time but always to dry off anyway and the same with all wild creatures. We behaved exactly the same way a few thousand years ago when Waitrose was just a pipe dream !
Rubbish weather today but pretty good for yesterdays trip and plenty of good sightings. Really good early veiws of two sea eagles sitting and flying, stonechats, wheaters and whinchats, twite and same day before, red deer, seals, golden eagles at the nest and flying and pretty close male hen harrier, two female harriers arguing, common sandpipers and a group of very noisy whimbrel, great northern divers in summer plumage and female otter with two cubs. Finally 3 adult sea eagles with very unusual behaviour so near the nest.