Saturday, 11 June 2016

Ardnamurchan photo-dump part 3 - the mainland

Next post from our mid-May week in Ardnamurchan. I must say (because I've forgotten to do so til now) how AMAZING the weather was. Warm sunshine every day, except for our very first morning which as a little bit grey and drizzly, but had become glorious by lunchtime. I've never known Scotland to do that before. It made things much more inviting, photo-wise. And I'm not sure I've ever eaten as much ice-cream north of the border.

First off, things seen around Kilchoan. We went for walks near the bothy where we stayed (here - recommended!) every day. Some of the locals.

Robin right outside our door. There were also Great Tits and Pied Wagtails nesting in the various buildings on the (small, lovely) campsite.

Twites were numerous in the fields lining the little road into the village. Lovely to see lots of them at close range.

On our first morning, this fabulous beast flew overhead as we walked into Kilchoan. One of two White-tailed Eagles we saw on the mainland during our week.

Sedge Warblers are very common round here. This one was on the way to the ferry port. We saw him several times. Also in this area were singing Grasshopper Warblers but we couldn't see them.

Ahhh. Fledgling House Sparow and her mum, again on the way to the port.

And in the same area, all on his own for some reason, this Red Deer stag. We did see many more Reds up on the hills. Oh, on the subject of mammals, Nick saw an Otter on the beach near Kilchoan but I missed it - did get a distant one on Mull though.

A bit of landscape - taken from the beach at Kilchoan.

A pukka British Bluebell, one of lots lining the road.

More of our neighbours. From the top - Common Buzzard, Common Whitethroat, Goldfinch, Meadow Pipit, Spotted Flycatcher, Wheatear, Sand Martin, Swallow.

 And a little further out of the village - a lovely male Whinchat. We saw a number of Stonechats too but I didn't get any pics.

The day after our Mull trip, we drove east a bit to visit Glenborrodale, the RSPB reserve that climbs through woodland out onto the moors (a bit) then back again.

We'd hoped for a Wood Warbler here and we found one. Also Tree Pipit, and a ton of Willow Warblers.

AND a couple of butterflies - Green Hairstreak and an oblita Speckled Wood. There were many Latticed Heath moths around too.

It was while I was trying to photograph one of these lepidopterans that Nick quietly pointed out a Tawny Owl perched in a tree right in front of us. This photo is pretty much uncropped. WOW.

The Tawny didn't much like us staring at it and flopped away to a slightly more distant tree, where it was actually a little easier to photograph.

We went for a cup of tea after that at the nearby Ardnamurchan Natural History Visitor Centre, and were entertained by these two. The female was clearly mad for it - every time the male dismounted she'd yell and yell until he came back and did it again.

I was going to talk about Sanna Bay and Ardnamurchan Point here too but this post is already pretty long so I shall do a fourth one in a minute

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