Sunday, 27 January 2013

Spectacular Scotland

On Sunday 20th I headed up to Mull to do a five day Coastal Skipper Theory course with Hebridean Sea School. I set off in the early morn and took it slow on the way up as I had plenty of time before the 4pm ferry. A couple of Red Kites at Argaty elegantly circling over the fresh covering of snow. A few Ravens on route and as I arrived at the breath taking Rannoch Moor and stopped to do some photography for a spell. 

I was in awe of the snowy landscapes all around me. I stopped at Glencoe further north and scanned the higher terrain for Goldies as I have never seen one in the valley but no joy, I will keep trying. 

 After getting the short Corran ferry I stopped in Morvern at a traditional Goldie territory and got an adult bird straight away patrolling the valley. Had my jam sandwitches and flask of tea while scanning further and got a Mistle Thrush and a couple of Buzzards to add to the sightings. Red Deer on the lower ground looking for green grazing pasture. 


Rannoch Moor looking west...

Winter mode on the moor...
As I spent 5 days in a class room I did not have much field time but enjoyed views of an Otter in the harbour on most lunchtimes and one day I got Porpoise and an immature White-tailed Eagle further out towards calf island. What sightings while eating my corned beef sandwiches on the bench...only on Mull!

After completing the course and poor weather stopping me travelling back on Friday evening I spent an extra day on the isle and the weather was nice on Sat as well as I did a circuit of the north part of the isle stopping at a few Favored sites. The highlights were seeing Goldie and Buzzards carrying probable nesting material in their talons. The head of Loch Na Keal had 4 Slav Grebes, 12 Goldeneye, 25 plus Mergansers, Plenty of Shags and one Cormorant. Checked the gulls for white wingers but no sign that day. As heading for the ferry I had  a Ringtail fly right over my car. 
On the ferry crossing I had two Guillemots in the sound as I watched the Lifeboat heading south at speed. Another Goldie while driving on the very productive morvern stretch.    

Glencoe village with moored boat...

Snowy peaks reflecting off the still loch, Glencoe village in view...

The classic view going through Glencoe on the A82...

Back at Gdale and snow beginning to arrive...


Birch woodland...

High Hynam...

Photo courtesy of Tommy Milo...snowy Gdale while I was on Snow-less Mull

Snow Drift up at the Greens, Thanks again Tom. He said it was a privilege to be on the blog...

Finish with a bang...if you missed BBC Africa on Wednesday then watch footage of the sensationally captured marine feeding frenzy here...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCuYH_JUxwk

Thanks for looking 8-)

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