Sunday, 25 January 2009

Colder and Otter

All this scratching is making me itch!

Well today started cold, wet, windy - one where you look out the window and think "indoor jobs today" but not for me - I had arranged to go out with a friend hunting out "wildlife" - you must be joking - nothing in its right mind will be out in this - Wrong! Waiting at the ferry terminal was a dog otter frolicking about in the waves just in front of us - great start! Bit of a break in the weather, we spotted teal, wigeon, the first of many kestrels for the day and a buzzard that was doing a kestrel impression, hovering on the wind! Further down the loch, red breasted mergansers and a pair of male goldeneye - stunning birds. Then it was into the Glen - quite a bit of snow and it was sleeting quite heavily now but still managed to spot a female hen harrier and a buzzard plus several dozen red deer. At the end of the Glen, we stopped by the loch for our lunch - just in front of us, a head bobbed out of the water - another otter - fantastic - then a little grebe and a great northern diver - we moved further round and again we picked up something moving in the water - an otter with a fish in its mouth - we held our breath - it came ashore - devoured his fish with gusto - then had a roll around in the seaweed - we held our breaths just mesmerised - they are just adorable. Then as we started to head inland, we kept a sharp eye out for sea eagles - "there" i shouted - where? "there" I shouted - I darent take my eyes off the juvenile - against the trees, in poor light, I knew if I looked away I would lose him - trying to explain to someone the location of a bird against a backdrop of trees, all the same species is nigh on impossible - he disappeared out of view but as we drove on we caught a brief glimpse again as he changed trees - as we carried on thru the glen, must have been abut 50 red deer, all down from the mountains to feed. The light was starting to fade and the weather was dire by now - we started to head for home - quick check for the barnacle geese - even they had gone into hiding - but 3 lapwings again, another stunning bird. all in all not a bad day - but the otter stole it for sure. Apologies for the quality of picture, the light was awful and my camera lens is just not quite big enough - pleeeease Santa can I have ......

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