Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Scotland birding trip 2015, Eagles, Dolphins & Deers

Day 4: Sunday 7th April

The last day of the trip, With the flight back to Stansted  due to leave at 8.10pm we had plenty of time left to take a drive along the road towards the Ardnamurchan lighthouse. 
The weather today was much warmer, but there was still rolling mist to contend with as we drove along the narrow roads. Having left the Hotel at first light, we had to take the longer route round Loch Linnhe as the Corran Ferry was not running at this early hour.
The first bird of the morning is a Woodcock, flushed from the roadside as we approached. Red Deer were seemingly everywhere this morning either bounding across the road in front of us or feeding in roadside fields.

Red Deer

Further into the journey Brian spots a large raptor perched up on a mountain ridge as we approach. Pulling over and viewing through the bins reveals it to be a White-tailed Eagle. It took to the air and flew directly above us giving stunning views! It drifts away and drops down below the mountain and out of sight.

White-tailed Eagle

From the same location we find our first Wheatear of the trip and year, and it's quickly followed by four more. Perhaps they had just arrived back in the Highlands that day?


 While waiting for the post office in Kilchoan to open so we could get some much needed diesel. ( yes the guy who ran the post office also pumped the diesel across the road). We decided to drive back to the Kilchoan ferry terminal. Twite were seen on the telegraph wires and several dolphins were seen  from the ferry boarding stage along with several Great Northern Divers.

Bottlenose Dolphin

 As we approached the Ardnamurchan lighthouse, Ravens were "kronking" and became even more vocal when a Buzzard appeared on the scene.
A scan from the lighthouse produced several Gannets, Divers and another year tick in the form of four Manx Shearwaters.
The return trip back towards Fort William was made more memorable by a pair of Golden Eagles thermalling high above the mountain ridges, and then dropping down below the mountain top and giving fantastic scope views. We watched them for 30 minutes before we had to reluctantly start the 100 mile drive back down to Glasgow Airport.

Another amazing Scotland trip, which added 2 more life birds, 22 year ticks and 90+ species over the course of the trip. 

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