I've been away again. The Ardnamurchan peninsula is a little pointy bit of land in the south-western Highlands, just above Mull, and it's very wild. It's probably the best place in the UK for mammals and is damn good for eagles too. I went with Rob and Dianne in the hope of seeing Wildcats, but this didn't happen. We saw plenty of good stuff though. We arrived in sunshine but then had a few days of chilly gloom before the sun returned for our last two days. We stayed in a static caravan in Kilchoan, on the south-west coast, and much of the wildlife-watching was very local to there. I took about 4,000 photos, here are a few of them.
Ardnamurchan Charters. A very interesting couple of hours this was, with our guide Andy and his charming black lab Tag. The loch is full of jellyfish, which were mesmerising to watch. When we looked up we could see Arctic (and Common) Terns fishing, and the occasional Common Seal swimming past, giving us a very dour look as it went. Then we reached the shore where the seals haul out to rest. A Harbour Porpoise showed briefly, and on the cliffs of Carna island several Shags were perched.
The best moment of the trip for me came on the very last morning. We'd planned to leave the site at about 7am, in order to get home not-too-late in the evening. I got up at 5am to a clear dawn, and walked down to the shore in front of the campsite, where there is a rocky sort-of-beach by a tiny bay. Approaching the bay, I saw that something was swimming in it, and a look through the bins revealed the something to be an Otter. By advancing when it was underwater and keeping still when it surfaced, I got quite close to where it was fishing, and took a seat on a rock. After a while, to my delight it came ashore to eat a crab it had caught, right in front of me, lit up by the just-risen sun. An unforgettable encounter :)