Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Scotland Journey Pt 6 - The Road To The Isles

After a late night with alcohol into this morning, we took a relaxing drive down The Road To The Isles towards Mallaig from Fort William.
It was our second gloriously sunny day with hardly a cloud in the sky.
We drove for an hour stopping a couple of times to watch Buzzards soaring along the ridges to arrive in Arisaig.
We took a first left in the village which takes us to Rhu peninsula.A wonderful coastal single track road with various inlets and a view over to the Isles of Rum & Eigg.
Oystercatchers were the first birds on the beaches.
Our progress was then hampered by a trio of cows, one which was rather reluctant to give way to passing vehicles:)
Goldeneye and Shelducks were found in the next quiet bay.
Male Goldeneye
A pair of Shelducks.
The bay at the end of the public road produced a pair of Great Northern Divers still in Winter plumage.
Numerous Red Breasted Mergansers played on the waves with males displaying without reward to the females and so decided to bathe instead.
Ignoring the amorous Mergansers were a group of Harbour Seals(12 in all in the bay) lounging on the rocks enjoying the Spring sun.
As we returned back the way we came into Arisaig 3 Buzzards circled over the moorland.
Continuuing along the main coastal road took us past more white beaches with crystal blue waters.(photo by Majella Fox)
Watching the Oystercatchers from the beach near Arisaig.(photo by Majella Fox)
A Rock Pipit patrolled the rock pools on the beach.
 The famous White Sands Of Morar between Arisaig and Mallaig.
Into Mallaig and the harbour was filled with gulls, most resting in the sun on the pontoons.A Kumlien's Gull has been seen here but I could not identify it amongst these gulls.
More Gulls, Eiders and Shags were on the distant rocks and waves but a single Shag had tried its luck within the harbour and found it to be just the right Plaice;)
Shag catching a Plaice.
On our way back east to Fort William we stopped at Glenfinnan to view Loch Shiel.
The Highland cattle were waiting for us when we got back to the cabin.
On a late night walk around the farm in the dark I failed to find the Barn Owl that was out the previous night but it nests in the farm barn so will try again.
Total Bird List for trip -
58.Red Breasted Merganser 59.Shag 60.Great Northern Diver

Tomorrow is an early start as we head to a local lekking patch in hope of seeing Black Grouse do their thing:)

Thanks again for continuuing to follow my blog:)

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