Sunday, 7 May 2017

Scotland Again - Cape Wrath and Bits and Pieces

This is the last post for this Scottish trip, but it won't be the last for Scotland this year as there is at least one more more wildlife based trip planned this year.
So on our 'Windy' Thursday explorations we added, Redshank and Greenshank to our list of birds,
 Stonechats were everywhere,
 and we came across Pink-footed Geese on a surprising number of occasions
 and another great sighting of Black-throated Diver was had.
 On the Friday the wind had dropped so after checking with John the Ferryman we drove north again and went for the ferry at 10:30. The 'ferry' only takes four people at a time and there were 15 of us, plus the mini-bus driver. While we were waiting we saw our first Sandwich Terns of the year, I didn't expect to see a Sandwich tern until we visit the Farnes in June.
 A Rock Pipit obliged us as well while we waited for John to row out and get the slightly larger boat,

 The crossing.....
Once all of us were assembled and after adding a Willow Warbler to the list, we boarded the bus for the 1 hour, 11 mile journey to Cape Wrath, where upon the weather decided to stop being nice and it rained the whole way and with 16 people in a bus the windows steamed up fairly quickly, but we did see some Red Deer and then some Whoopers in a small loch. Others on the bus saw some Red Grouse, but neither of us saw them. We eventually made it to the most North Westerly point of the UK and the rain stopped, hurrah! So we pose for a photo, where the next stop behind us would be Canada!
 Up on the point we saw thousands of Pink-foots heading to Greenland for the Summer, plus a few Redwing, Meadow Pipit, Fulmar, distant Gannet, Razorbill and Guillemot
 After an hour it was all back on the bus and the return journey, then as if on cue the rain started again! Only allowing a murky scenery shot along route,
Once back we drove up to Durness for a late lunch and a visit to Smoo Cave and waterfall.
 Then as the weather was now not very nice, wet and cold, we visited Cocoa Mountain, a brilliant chocolate shop at Balnakiel and had the best Hot Chocolate ever!!
We paid one last visit to the harbour at Kinlochbervie before going back to pack, the reward this time being another Red-throated Diver (in the rain of course!!)

 So finally on the way back home via Edinburgh, we stopped to see our faithful pair of Osprey, at first the nest looked deserted, but after a few minutes we weren't disappointed and we had about 10 minutes of decent views, a great birding end to a week in Scotland

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