Thursday, 15 August 2013

Its all about the field...

Cain has been busy this summer doing a few projects including Time lapsing for ITV, filming the Tyne Kittiwakes and also filming wild meadows for the Northumberland National Park. Read his latest article (online version) in Hexham Courants Environmental Supplement...
http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?referral=mypagesuite&refresh=6Mf1p80NY1j2&PBID=3991d5c6-38bb-4d60-a5cb-752a17d36339&skip 

His superb astrophotography filming was also featured on the ITV news regarding Northumberlands 'Dark Sky' bid...http://www.itv.com/news/tyne-tees/story/2013-07-15/northumberlands-dark-sky-bid/

More Basking Sharks have been tagged this summer involving Sea Life Surveys, SNH and University of Exeter. Follow the animals live movements here...
http://www.wildlifetracking.org/index.shtml?project_id=839&dyn=1374766063

Amazing bird has 50th Osprey chick in Britian...
http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/lady-osprey-50.html

Scotland introduces new measures to deter wildlife crime... http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/scotland-crime-wildlife.html

Guy Broomes excellent new photography website...
http://www.avefaunaphotographic.co.uk/

One of the major highlights in the last fortnight was pin pointing the harrier nest site for one of my two territories I am covering. The female bird was working hard all morning bringing in small birds with no sign of the grey male during the four hour spell. 


Female Hen Harrier working the conifers

Another highlight was being surrounded by up to a hundred Common Dolphins off Ardnamurchan point. Even when we stopped the engines they came in to us and had a look. Bow riding, wake riding, tail and side slapping was being done by the very sociable pod. Andy and I were on the bow getting wet from Dolphin spray!



Andy filming Commons
Minke Whale approaching the boat
Golden Eaglet!! in 7 foot nest construction on Ardnamurchan viewed from sea

After a four hour trip later in the week we had a problem with one of the engines and action was needed to beach Sula Beag so Lewy could check it over properly. Spring tides made the job easier as we anchored up tight next to the main street on high water and waited a few hours for the tide to expose Sula Beags hull. We had a nice BBQ on the aft deck as we watched the same boy/girl racers drive past the main street a million times. It was like watching one of those old cartoons with the repeated backdrop.
It was low water at about midnight as Lewy got to work on the engines and Richie and I started scrubbing the hull. Richie and I could not resist taking a few shots of SB with a strong moon behind the clouds. Went to bed on the top deck at about 4am and up at 7am for high water to take SB back to the pontoon and ready for mornings whalewatch at half 9.     



Sula Beag beached in Tobermory for some overnight work
Another angle with the moonlight...

A couple of days later I did an inland guiding trip for package people for Sea Life Surveys and it was a 6am start with a group of 3 to take them to some good Otters sites on the isle. All three sites were productive with a dog in each, South stretch of Loch Na Keal, Loch Schriden and Ulva. Back to Tob for lunchtime for the afternoons family wildlife adventure where we got more Otter action along with great wt eagles.



Fulmar sat next to Sula Beag
Steve the Herring Gull on Muck

I crewed for a charter to Sanna bay on the Sunday with residents of Glengorm including their friends and family. It was wet as we made passage but it soon cleared and ended up being glorious sunshine throughout. The kind passengers invited us on to the beach for the BBQ and a lovely spread of fodder. Captain Lewy took us round to see a Minks den just after we watched an animal swim across the bay. Puffin scull remains were there along with fish and crustaceans. 
Ringed Plover nesting on the rocky shore with 4 fledglings (Ruth was in haven). Later I headed to the higher ground to see the super volcano ring dykes and admire the spectacular view as I was surrounded by Bog Murtle, Harebells, Devils bit Scabious, Bell Heather and Bog Asphodel. 



Sanna bay charter with Bell Heather, Bog Murtle and Harebells.

I did another inland Otter safari at the start of the following week and a 6am start again to pick up passengers down at Laggan bay from the anchored Bold Ranger. A family of three and Winky were present as we tracked an Otter from the word go at Ulva ferry. We moved onto scan the shorelines of Loch Na Keal to no avail but some early morning landscapes were admired by all. After picking up Lewy from the ferry I was back in Tobermory for 9am ready for the days whalewatch where we got three individuals known as Nosey, Smoothy and of course the one and only Knobble!...remember to follow Knobble the Minke whale facebook page here...https://www.facebook.com/KnobbleTheMinkeWhale  



What light! dark rain clouds with a break

Another big highlight was some of the kids on board trips in recent weeks as the school holidays are in full flow. Huge enthusiasm by some of them with one kid (8 years old) carrying his bird of prey book around with him throughout the trip going through all the species with me. Another young lad had a go at wind farms for "cutting up birds". Also a young Chinese girl jumping up and down in delight everytime she saw a jellyfish...great to see.

Ewan

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