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Two excellent rips

More people today from other parts of Europe, which is so encouraging to me that other nationalities are following Britains lead in enjoying  watching wildlife.

Yesterday around 6 otters and today we struggeld until we had one near the end of the trip.

Sea eagles both days at different sites and today high over our heads and then landing among some sheep. Golden eagles sitting today on a peak in Glenmore and hen harriers both days. Peregrine falcons both days and porpoise yesterday.

We are in lovely weather and tonight pink and blue skys out over the sea.

This is such a visually inspiring place with every day different. Why arent there more artists painting thse magical islands. I think that even Turner only painted Staffa and Fingals cave. Is every artist just another posing townie ?

Always odd time of year

July and early August has always been a strange time of year here. Maybe its because very keen people know that April, May and June are best, and it’s true to some extent, with all creatures on the move now as their yougsters fledge and sightings become more challenging.

However as I always tell people enquiring about a trip. It’s not really ‘just’ about the time of year, but the actual weather of the day and so it was today but with only two people on the trip who saw and learned a lot.

Big view of previously ‘missing’ sea eagles, when I found one in a tree a mile away, until it launched off into the fold of the hills and reappeared heading fast and low across the loch to land among some ‘couldnt care less’ sheep. Just previously we had a female harrier and later a handsome male passing prey dramatically as they do to their mates. We had more harriers today and then a golden eagle sitting on top of a peak as the weather began to clear a little.

Onwards then and a big view of another adult sea eagle, this time sitting and then two or maybe three peregrine falcons sitting on the sea cliffs.

Terns, gannets,red deer, common seals with young, a beautiful female goosander [ they have the best legs in Scotland ] with her young, common sandpipers, wheatears, golden plovers and things I have forgotten.

Driving back along Loch na Keal’s wonderful coast I am pretty confident that I was singing John Denvers songs better than him today. It’s like spotting golden eagles,  just about practice !!!

 

Beautiful weather

It’s the most serene  and luxuriant start to the day, as I look at the scene from the door of my office this morning. I genuinely don’t think that you can get such sweeping and exotic views of mountains, sea cliffs, ocean and Islands such as we can get in the Hebrides and though it can be wild at times, which has a beauty of its own of course, when it’s calm like now, it can be very very calm and I feel I should be walking on the white sand beaches of the south of the Island. Though it’s only 7am !!

Its Joy’s birthday today and she is with our son and his partner David and our two eldest grand children Sonny and Charlie at Tims gorgeous flat on the edge of Woking.

My last trip was on Thursday when I again had people from yet another country in Europe. We had hen harrier in Glenmore, Adult sea eagles with thier two young now getting bolder and though a bit distant we had another young sea eagle gliding along the mountains of southern Loch na Keal and I was dead chuffed having followed it, to then find the resident golden eagle launching from the craggs to whirl aroud the sky chasing a buzzard behind the sea eagle . Good to see the goldies getting back to their normal selves after the appalling start they, and we had, to this year.

Last two trips

Today like yesterday was another very good outing and today I had my very first familly from Taiwan on the trip !

No otters today though, but we did yesterday as we had lunch under gribbun cliffs and the otter eventually came ashore and rolled around on the seaweed as cutely as they do.. The adult peregrine falcons and their new young were out and blazing around the cliffs there today.

Golden eagle yesterday but not today. Hen harrier up with a buzzard yesterday and today a female off to the right on the Salen to Loch na Keal road.

On both days the sea eagles gave thier now expected and dramatic action and today I got my first sight of one of their young which flew and landed in the bracken, but it was not bad for a first go !

Lots of seals of both species and porpoise today. Red deer stags on both days, wheatears, common sandpipers etc.

I am doing the trips and catering for a few days as Joy is off down south to visit our boys for her birthday bash and picking up Sonny and Charlie from Glasgow on the way.

I know they will all have a super time together.

 

Ospreys

Yesterday I had my first ever visitors from Korea in the party but the forecast was for a truly iffy day with strong winds, drizzle or serious rain, with very little respite in between. BUT !! as I often tell people it’s in the dryish  slots between the wet  ones that the most activity takes place.

Off to Grasspoint where the two Ospreys had now appeared to have left a couple of weeks ago, but I was no sooner over the little bridge there when through the mist I had an Osprey off to the right searching the waters. Good moment for us then ? Down to Grasspoint now to look for the sea eagles and distracted by lots of Orchids I only fleetingly caught sight of an adult Sea Eagle coming low from across the loch and going along the sea cliffs.

Up the Glenmore road and a check for hen harriers. As I scanned the landscape 400m away there was a colourful female harrier quartering the ground. Looking back along the old stone wall there I was gobsmacked to find an adult Osprey, or another Osprey, sitting on the wall and tugging away at a fish ! In time it lifted off and crossed a small watery area and landed by it. Lovely views for us then.

Up to Garmony and as I drove along coaching my guests on how to fnd an Otter, there one was one on a small islet. More good views then and into the Garmony viewpoint area and another otter rolling around on a very small seaweed covered rock which it eventually had a sleep on.

Ducking and diving with the weather we were now off to a very windy Loch na Keal and lunch where the soup was really welcomed. Half an hour there and one of the sea eagles launched over us and raced along the shore putting up hundreds of gulls to eventually soar against the Golden Eagle territory across the loch with gulls still chasing it and race back again giving the sort of wild views that all would hope for.

Another very good day for me where people learned a lot. Yet the severe forecast would have put so many people off going out to look for Britains rare and very wild creatures.

 

 

Back on track

Yesterday I was back in the groove after my two weeks off and though there were no golden eagle sightings it was a really good day. However the seasonality of my customers showed, in them having virtually no binoculars, unlike April, May and June when all are fully equiped for the day.

Off then from Craignure going north and within 5 minutes we had a group of Bottle Nosed Dolphins. Hundreds of Terns were up which may have been spooked by the Dolphins. In the same area there are always lots of seals and for some people from France all of it was interesting.

10 minutes north now and we followed an otter along the shoreline for some time. Off again and in another 10 minutes we saw some porpoise which are great to compare with the dolphins.

Onto Loch na Keal and two adult sea eagles did all they could to entertain us with all manner of a hundred degrees of dynamic action.

Tamer now on the opposite coastline but rock doves, black guillemots, kestrels, wheatears, twite, buzzards, red deer, more seals etc. But what a start it was for us in the first couple of hours of the trip !!

Much needed break

Sorry about the lack of postings in the last couple of weeks but we needed a change of scene and so it was off to glamorous Corsica with our two eldest grandchildren Sonny and Charlie. Rufus being too young just yet.

Everyday turned into a snorkelling day in the clear warm Mediterranean sea. How could anyone not enjoy that and it was great to see the two boys so happy and so at one with the sea !

Islands seem to draw us unwittingly it seems, as did Mull all those years ago and whilst Corsica is about four times bigger than Mull it doesnt have the variety that Mull has. Our accommodation was high class. In fact perfect in every way, from access to an arching white sand beach to the equipment and interior in the property.

The French drive far too fast and they do have luxurious yachts of all sizes and quality sprinkling the bays all around the lsland. We took a trip to Sardinia on the local ferry where there was one yacht the size of a football pitch.

Wildlife is not so easy to find as it is here but we saw various shearwaters, lots of red kites and buzzards, spotted flycatchers and Jays. I hoped to see Eleanoras Falcoln but no luck, so there has to be a next time !! Maybe on Sardinia ?

Nice to be back home though and a very warm sunny day today.