http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-19886345 - Shot goldie
Technology on tagged birds can help reveal truth and encourage action to be taken...
One down already, Don't know how reliable the tags are or has one just flown over Mordor?
My Aurora picture made it to the top ones in the country on BBC Scotland. I also had two photos shown on Reporting Scotland which I will provide a link to on my next post.
The SLS trips have quietened down at this time of the year and it has given me the opportunity to cover some wilder parts of Mull. Sunny spells and low winds encouraged me to do a peak climb and after parking at Ben More estate and walking along Loch Ba I started the ascent after picking an appealing route up. Good number of Mippits as I reached one of the smaller summits. A Male kestrel hunting and gronking Ravens overhead. The next thing I got was a large pale raptor fly by me unaware of my presence, I watched it all the way with the binoculars and I was a bit stumped as it was about the size of a Male Goldie with the same markings on its upper wings but it was just so pale. This is when Its important to photograph these sights for records.
Next I came across a Ptarmigan remains which was likely an eagle prey remains. I have never seen a live bird but it was nice to know there is birds around on the higher parts of the island. More items found were a large pellet, possible Goldie and a feather which after checking up was from a Goldie.
Click on photos for a larger scale...
|Higher ground looking towards east end of Loch Ba and Ben Talla beyond,|
a small Lochan in the foreground
|Ptarmigan remains near the summit of Beinn nan Gabhar|
|The summit of Ben nan Gabhar|
|Panoramic sweep showing Mull in all its glory|
|The land between the two lochs is debris remain from glacier 10,000 years ago|
|Cant beat been high up in the Scottish wilderness|
|My collection of items from out in the field, include Golden eagle feather, pellet and prey remains of Rabbit. Also Ptarmigan feathers...|
|On route down, one superb waterfall that I came across which my mate Gary would of loved|
|Local Otter in Tobermory...|
|Knobble the minke whale! last sighting of the season :-(|
|Otter porpoising at Croig|
|Otter on the shoreline after views of it underwater!|
|Preparing for my Inland guiding trip...|
Torloisk upland pass for lunch as we watched a herd of Red Deer hinds on the skyline. Next stop to a Beech woodland so Erica could pick some edible mushrooms to forage on. Further round the north west part of the island we stopped at another traditional site and straight away Tim spotted a large bird on the hillside which took flight and was a large Goldie which started getting mobbed by a Kestrel making the bird look even larger. It settled on branch as we got the scope set up and got locked on it to enjoy tremendous views of the bird. I managed a phone scope shot through Tim's Leica scope and it came out nicely. Buzzard after Buzzard started to appear and we got seven in the sky as we watched one pick off a dead Hedgehog off the road and take it to the shoreline to feed off it. A couple of other buz's tried to get involved but the dominant bird stood its ground as a few Hoodies were waiting patiently in the pecking order (video below). After all this excitement a Hen Harrier started mobbing the Goldie before the huge predator came towards us and started circling right above our heads joined by the Buzzards! It was great to see a number of folk stop and enjoy the spectacle with us and after talking to the folk they had travelled from different parts of the UK just to have a sight like that of an eagle. Seeing that is almost as good as seeing the birds them selves and gives me a lot of joy.
Next was a brief view of a WT Eagle and after checking Loch na Keal I got rewarded with a single Common Scoter. A great day with lovely people and I would see them again for the Whalewatch trip on the Thursday. Leeds v Everton in the pub on the evening and the mighty whites put on a great performance to go through 2-1!
|Tim, Erica, Janet and Mark enjoying the Otter|
|Stunning secret beach looking north|
|Goldie near Laggan Bay|
|Eas Force waterfall...|
|An amazing encounter with the group of a goldie and 7 Buzzards overhead!|
|Looking towards Gribun Cliffs from north LNK stretch|
|Island of Eorsa on Loch Na Keal, Ben More summit in the back drop...|
A full seven hour Whalewatch on the Thursday and the strong northerly winds had dropped right down so we could get out to some good grounds. The new found local Tobermory Otter was showing well at the pontoon as we casted off. There was still a bit of sea running but we landed at Cairns of Coll to see the healthy seal colonies and in the second half on the east side of Coll a small group of Common Dolphins came to join us putting on some good excitement for everyone. Erica's home-made soup was again very welcome on a chilly day out at sea and views of a WT Eagle were enjoyed on the way back down the sound. I said my goodbyes to Erica, Tim, Mark and Janet and I really enjoyed their company and the two days together.
|Dead Minke whale washed up near Calgary. Tongue and Jaw in a bad way, possible Orca attack?|
|Otter in Tobermory feeding on a Ling...|
Buz eating a Hog with Hoodies in the pecking order pulling Buz tail feathers! (I know it didn't remove a feather it was v windy!)
Common dolphins bow riding on wide angle by Andy Tait
Thanks for looking, as I type this I am sat in the most westerly Hotel on the mainland on Ardnamurchan peninsula, (Not in the Hotel I am in the Bunkhouse next door but stealing their WiFi!) so along with my SLS staff trip to the outer isles I will have plenty of content to add to my next post. 8-)