Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Scotland Day 24 (Monday 17th June)


Still on Skye and a visit to Staffin Beach first thing in the morning to exercise the dogs was also quite good for wildlife.  A big dog Otter fed off the beach and nearby island and a pair of Bonxies terrorised the local terns and gulls.  Hooded Crows (which seem particularly numerous here on Skye), Ravens, Fulmars and Wheatears inhabited the small cliffs here and the shallow bay provided a feeding area for Black Guillemot, Kittiwake, Razorbill, Red-throated and Great Northern Diver, with Manx Shearwater flying past further out.

We then checked out a couple of sites including the tourist walk to see the Old Man of Storr, an impressive and almost foreboding stack of rock set in an ancient landscape.

Next was a boat trip out of Portree, primarily to try for close views of White-tailed Eagles.  We were fortunate to have two adults coming down for fish near to the boat - definitely a series of wow moments! For good value an adult Golden Eagle came up over a nearby cliff causing the White-taileds to emit a warning call to warn him/her this was their territory!

A couple of Porpoise came surprisingly close but remain pretty much impossible (for me at least) to photograph.

Later that afternoon we took a hike along Glen Sligachan on the edge of the Cuillin Hills range.  Why they are called hills is beyond me, they're huge!  Despite boasting the highest density of Golden Eagles in the UK we didn't see any, but a pair of Greenshank interacting with a Merlin was interesting and even more Cuckoos called and chased each other across the boggy moorland.

We spent the evening exploring Loch Ainort which yielded plenty of Eider, auks, Red-breasted Merganser and plenty of Common Seals and several Porpoise.  Our final interesting observation was a Merlin flying alongside the car near Staffin as we made our way back to the north of the island.  Another very long day!


Neil M

Yep another Fulmar!

White-tailed Eagle - adrenalin rush bird!

Jackdaw - perhaps not quite
such an exciting bird but I like them!

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