Monday, 17 June 2013

Scotland Day 22 (Saturday 15th June)


Saturday was our last day on the Outer Hebrides.  Our self-catering accommodation was called 'Otter View' but we hadn't spent any time there to see if any ever did come past!  As we were cleaning the place prior to leaving, the owner (thanks Ron) alerted us to a female Otter fishing the sea loch next to the croft (poor quality images below).

After leaving Otter View for the last time we decided to spend our last hours on North Uist at Balranald (again)!  We notched up a Short-eared Owl and a Hen Harrier on our way there.  Needless to say the Harlequin Duck was conspicuous by it's absence!  However, two more Otters put in an appearance, initially tumbling around on the machair and then fishing off one of the beaches where they caught and consumed a large eel.  Birds included several Great Northern Divers which included a gorgeous adult emitting that haunting call you hear on all American film tracks!  Two Whooper Swans, Corn Buntings, Corncrakes calling and the usual waders and sea-birds made up the usual inventory.

A drive then to Lochmaddie and the ferry to Uig on Skye.  A large pod of Common Dolphins were mostly distant, a Sunfish showed briefly and seals and auks dotted the sea as we churned along.  Birds included Bonxie, Arctic Skua, three Storm Petrels, good numbers of Puffins and Manx Shearwaters, Kittiwakes, Gannets, terns etc.

On arrival at Skye we had time to do a little birding and dog-walking after finding our new accommodation.  An adult Golden Eagle on the north-east side of the island still hunting at 10.25pm was the highlight.


Eleanor and Neil

Otter at 'Otter View'

Sanderling and Dunlin


'Drumming' Snipe.  Displaying Snipe fly overhead
and regularly fly upside down and on their side
whilst fanning their outer tail feathers.  This creates
a bleating sound referred to as 'drumming'.

Otter at Balranald

Common Dolphin

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