Thursday 8 June 2017

A trip south, part 1

For a mini-break, we decided to have a long weekend in Glen Lyon, Perthshire. The ferry trip across the Pentland Firth to mainland Scotland was uneventful, despite much gazing for Orca. Predictably, several hours later, a pod was seen off South Ronaldsay. Gah!

We had a rest halt at Helmsdale, one of those relaxing tea/cake/walk by the river pitstops, which also included a Common Sandpiper by the water's edge and a Blackcap calling in vegetation by the path.

After Inverness, we detoured to Abernethy Forest, to visit several prime odo spots, being suitably rewarded with five species.

The two bog pools above are  excellent habitat for Large Red Damselflies, Four-spotted Chasers and White-faced Darters.

White-faced Darter, male

Emerging Four-spotted Chaser

Raft Spider

W-fDs making out in the sunshine

Sage advice

And also,

A lochan that is home to loads of...
Northern Damselflies
By the time we arrived at the rented cottage, it was early evening so, after unpacking, we took a stroll up a track that ascended the hillside behind the property. We caught a glimpse of a largish brown bird which plunged into the undergrowth some way off. We puzzled over its ID... too small for Buzzard... too big for Sparrowhawk... but definitely looked like it was hunting supper. The fact that it was still quite light was what threw us, because it was in fact a Tawny Owl. When it took to the air again, it became apparent that the owl had been unaware of our presence, as it flew within three feet of our heads!

In part 2, we start listing bird species seen from the hot tub.