The upshot of this was that whilst I was free for our annual late Spring holiday, Our Lass wasn't. This opened up the possibility of a pilgrimage to the north west of Scotland in the attempt to see a few of the rarer dragonflies of these isles.
Having booked a cottage on the shore of Gairloch Bay that slept four, it seemed rude not to share the opportunity, so I was accompanied in my sojourn by the Admiral, Second Born and Her Lad.
The trip began on a Friday evening, when we journeyed north as far as Lancaster, stopping briefly to drop off Our Lass for a girlie weekend with First Born in Littleborough. On leaving the hotel at 7am the next morning, the first sound we heard was the piping of Oystercatchers, a constant theme in countless late Spring holidays over the years! Following a long day on the road, we finally made it to Gairloch in Wester Ross at 6pm, and unloaded the cars in the rain.
|Travelling west from Inverness, here's the view towards Loch Maree
The bay was now a-buzz with life...
|Red-breasted Mergansers, Mergus serrator
|Black-throated Divers, Gavia arctica
There was plenty else to see, amongst the wet flushes and bog pools...
|Slender St. Johns Wort, Hypericum pulchrum
|Azure Hawker, Aeshna caerulea
Buoyed up by this success, we stopped off at another possible dragon site, the Bridge of Grudie. Here, we were only to see a singleton Four-spotted Chaser, two Large Red Damselflies and one Common Blue Damselfly. However, the scenery more than made up for the lack of odes.
|Bleached branch on shore of Loch Maree with Slioch in the background
|Spot the Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos
|View across the bay - sunny!
|The small garden of the cottage was right on the shore
|Grr! Wrong lens! Merg with approximately 17 chicks
|Local radio doesn't come much more local - 200 yards from our cottage