Sunday, 31 July 2011
Good weather again, this time I headed towards the Natural History Centre in Glenmore only a mile down the road from our house. On the way I encountered 5 Shags (4ad. 1 juv.), not to mention the c.20 Gannets seen from my room earlier in the day. The walk also produced 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Rock Pipit, 3 Meadow Pipits and several fledgling Swallows were at the centre behaving extremely tame and allowing close observation.
view from the cottage window
Our family holiday this year was on the dramatic west coast of Scotland, well into the Highlands. We stayed in a large rented cottage on the Ardnamurchan peninsula near the village of Ardslignish on a small headland either side of two bays called Camas Fearna and Port na Croisg. The weather remained fantastically hot and sunny with very few showers (fortunately) so I had plenty of opportunities to get out and do loads of birding. Even on our crossing over form Corran there were 6 Black Guillemots (one of which flew up to the jetty on which we were standing and landed only meters away from our feet were it was using the girders of the metal structure for a nest), other interesting birds included several ♀ Eiders and juvenile Shags. From the window of our house and with the help of my new scope we soon had good views of Habour Porpoises throughout our stay surfacing very close to the shore. Gannets were also gliding over loch Sunart (the main loch which our cottage overlooked) and would occasionally make a characteristic nose-dive into the water to catch fish. Other commoner birds included Common Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls, Herring Gulls, 3 Curlew, 2 Oystercatchers, Willow Warblers and a singing Sedge Warbler.