The Portland Naturalist

The Portland Naturalist

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Outer Hebrides - Day 4

The forecast for today was pretty bad, so we took the chance to have a bit of a lie-in to catch up on sleep.  Once out, our mission for the day was to find Otters.

Before leaving the B&B though, we marvelled in the fact that Corncrake were visible from our window, as were the Whooper Swan and Scaup on Loch Sandary.

Our B&B owner furnished us with two hot tips of spots for Otters, so we headed for the first one of the camera-obscurer near Lochmaddy.  That wasn't until we got our customary male Hen Harrier encounter from the car, near Ben Langass.

The weather wasn't quite as bad as feared, though that didn't help us at Lochmaddy, with little of note to see, and no Otters.

We moved on to our next chance, along the shores of Loch Langass.  It was nice to encounter a bit of woodland on the way, but a rather wet and muddy tramp across the moor later, still nothing of great note!  Today wasn't quite living up to previous days, so far!



I wanted to explore further north up the island, so took the road to the isolated Loch Portain.

It was a good thing we were joined at our lunch spot by a quartering ringtail Hen Harrier (probably a 1st-summer male), cause otherwise this was equally uneventful to earlier excursions!

For no particular reason, we headed back to the picnic spot near Grenitote, where the Iceland Gull was still present, showing much closer than before.  The most exciting moment was watching an Arctic Skua failing to chase down a Little Tern!

Onto Malacleit, where we found our second Golden Plover of the trip, feeding in a field.

We then happened to bump into Heatherlea leader Dave Pullan, who directed us to a spot at Loch Euphort, where he and his group had just seen an Otter!  Surely now!

We soon found the spot, but a wander round revealed nothing Lutra-shaped whatsoever!  We did have 2 Arctic Skua fly over, and found a fascinating Greylag Goose skeleton, but not much consolation to be honest!

We thought we may as well spend the rest of the evening back at old faithful, Aird an Runair (where Otters had been seen recently).  A Curlew skull was an interesting find here, and we did happen to see two distant Long-tailed Skua, but otherwise, nothing new.

Could a day in which we saw Long-tailed Skua and Corncrake really be described as disappointing?!  Well, sort of.

1 comment:

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