Posts Tagged ‘Guided Bird Tours to Scotland

09
Jul
13

A walk on the wild side

I must admit the walk we had planned to do didn’t look as good now we were on site as it did on the OS map the night before. Maybe it was the wine that had effected judgement. Immediately on exiting the car however the footpath into the forest started to shed its secrets.

Ardnamurchan is a truly beautiful part of Scotland and anywhere looks much the better for being bathed in bright warm sunshine. We had been lucky with the weather on our trip to Scotland last month. Despite the bright day however a Tawny Owl saw fit to stir the afternoon stillness with a hoot or two. This brought into action a Redstart chattering in the undergrowth with the supporting cast of a Wood Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher … things were looking up. Maybe the dark dank forest wasn’t as bad as it first appeared.

A little further on and trackside ditches started to fill with Large Red Damselflies and then Four Spot Chasers. Not one or two but hundreds. Half a Dozen Golden Ringed Dragonflies were noted; perching out in the open too (for once). We started seeing Emerald Dragonflies with chestnut coloured eyes; Northern Emeralds, newly emerged … we counted fifty or more. These are Dragonflies of the treetops that were festooned around us on the heather. Conditions were just perfect. There had been a hatch.
Tree Pipits came to feed on the glut … and then so did a bat. I’ve tried to photograph bats before. Not easy. I wanted a record shot to see if we could identify it. Debate still rages but Whiskered looks likely.
We found Chequered Skippers mating – a new site – and Potter Wasps building their nests from Mud amid Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries visiting the Rhododendrons. Even a Red necked Footman put in an appearance, a little out of range I would have thought; given the still heat it’s a shame he wasn’t accompanying a G&T with ice. Could we ask for more? … probably not … but just what was that large pale blue dragonfly disappearing over the treetops?

Chequered Skipper

Bat sp

Golden Ringed

Northern Emerald

21
Jun
13

My second love

Although birds are engrained within me; part of my genetic makeup. I have a love of cetaceans. This is a love that has to be fulfilled from time to time; not always easy in Norfolk.
I was pleased therefore to encounter a good sized pod of Common Dolphins last week off the Scottish West Coast around the island of Coll.
Do you remember a programme on Telly years ago where certain garden herbs were given characters? One was a ‘very friendly lion’ called Parsley; an extremely laid back character who took his time and never rushed. Another was ‘Dill the dog’ a chap that shot around like a yappy Yorkshire terrier. Well you can compare Bottlenose Dolphins to Parsley – easy going and thoughtful; the thinking man’s dolphin. The Dill the dog of the sea is without doubt the Common Dolphin.
We had upwards of 25 bow riding the boat and leaping in the air; playful in the extreme and a joy to watch.

Common Dolphin




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