Thursday, June 30, 2011

Over the sea to Skye II

Part I is on the moth blog, link on the right...

Last week was spent on holiday on the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides. Despite having covered most regions in Scotland, this was our first time on the isle. Rather than go on in details just see pictures and comments below...



Our cottage for the week, Gramarye, The Braes. Google it.


The road down to the cottage...


The evening light on the hills from the garden...


The view the other way towards the Isle of Raasay...


It just didnt seem to get dark. This photo was taken at 11.10pm. Wheatears were still hopping from post to post down at the waters edge.


It wasn't all sunshine. Some dramatic, heavy showers...


One morning a party of 9 Bottle nosed Dolphins appeared as we had breakfast outside. They could be seen tossing salmon into the air...


Some of the neighbours didnt look too good ...


You can see how the 'Black Cuillins' get their name. Click on it to see the cottage in the middle to give some scale.

The scenery was truly amazing. You should have been there....


The view from Elgol looking towards Soay. No idea who the bloke is but those dogs look familiar.


This is one I've stuck together in photoshop to give a better idea of the vistas...


Jane and the terriator enjoying the sun. From here a dozen Black Guillemots were on the sea and a few Bonxies were on a low island just out of shot to the right...


One of the trips highlights for me were the fantastic hay meadows. Full of wildflowers with not much grass we located three calling Corncrakes in two locations. One was here in the distant field full of ox-eye daisies...


Plenty of  Hoodies around. Unusually these were quite confiding in supermarket car parks etc. Ravens were all around the coast too...


In the wildflower meadows and even on roadside verges orchids were in abundance. The Greater Butterfly Orchid was one of many seen along with Lesser Butterfly, Common Spotted, Heath Spotted and Northern Marsh Orchids.


Another great highlight was at Neist Point the most westerly part of Skye. Two Minke Whales were feeding only a hundred metres offshore and showed well for over an hour. Although I have seen Fin Wale, Sperm Whale, Pilot Whale, Killer Whale and Cuviers Beaked Whale, this, the commonest of British whales has always eluded me. Superb. Also here were a few Common Dolphins and Porpoises upping the list to four cetacean species in the week.


Families of Twite were all around the coast. I had a colour ringed bird that I will submit later.


A new plant for me was Oblong leaved Sundew. I have seen Round leaved Sundew in many areas but this one was nicely different.

Species that managed to evade the camera were two Otters together on the first night from the cottage, two Golden Eagles over the cottage and Rock Doves ( or as near as you can get) were all over.

A great week was had.


5 comments:

Greenie said...

Stewart ,
What a great trip and super place to stay .
You might have missed out on a few species , but a terrific collection seen and photographed .
I'm sure I saw your 'neighbour' as I came out of the pub last weekend .

Killy Birder said...

Sounds like a great trip.
The image of the rainbow brought back memories of my trip to Islay and Jura. There was much rain during that trip, but plenty of rainbows and the most dramatic skies I can recall. I don't mind the rain if there are other benefits. Western Isles are a wonderful part of the world. Cheers Brian.

Warren Baker said...

Wow! Just stunning. A dream place to live :-)

bedlingtonwanderer said...

Fantastic trip and great shots - I've only been to Skye once and it was cold and windy but still a magical place.

Got me itching for my trip up to Orkney next month!

Birding Ecosse said...

You have done Scotland proud Stewart, great photographs.
If you're up this way again and fancy a different coastline get in touch, I have a spare room for you and the misses and a very dog friendly location.