Saturday, 28 February 2009

Larking about

Not a great deal happening up here at the moment. I think everyone will be gagging for the spring migrants to come flooding in after the start of the local birds singing and the return of the Skylarks and Wagtails. A patch tick was found on Wednesday in the shape of 2 Mute Swan and they are still here today - it saves an 18 mile drive to see one. There is a Coot on the island at the moment but I can't bring myself to drive 50 miles for that!

Both types of Eagles have been displaying and mating in the brief clear spells that we have had and next month (March) will see them all settle down to nesting.
Two of the Common Scoters have decided to put in another appearance after a long absence. I tried for a photo of these birds but they flew off just as I got them into focus. I'll keep trying for them as it's the drake bird and one of the females.
Today looked a bit brighter so I thought I would have a look around to see how things are changing if at all! Naked eye birding at 30mph isn't easy but you always see a few things so 6 Shag, 3 GN Diver and 5 Buzzard was a decent tally on the way down to Fidden.
The Lapwing are gathering well at the moment with 200+ scattered around the fields and moor but only 8 Golden Plover today. Skylark were singing everywhere and they even allowed a half decent photo.A quick stop at Bunessan to look for the dodgy Eider that wasn't there again but a nice female RB Merg was fishing in the shallows. I got about 10 photos of the bird snorkeling before getting this shot!
The weather didn't know what it wanted to do so it was intermittent rain usually starting just as I get out into the fresh air. A view across to Burgh produced a single Golden Eagle displaying and you just know there has to be a second bird if you wait long enough. The displaying bird disappeared behind the cliffs than reappeared with another bird in tow...was it the female? Nope, it was a young bird with white in the wings and tail and he was displaying too - interesting. The two birds were roller coasting like mad but eventually they eased off, touched talons and drifted left which brought another 2 Golden Eagle into view!! All 4 birds were circling round and occasionally there would be a touching of the talons and all too soon they all dropped behind the cliff again. I waited for about 5 minutes before the adult male came back up to do some spectacular dives on his own. I guess that put everyone in their place as there was no more action after that. The rest of the afternoon was spent indoors helping someone out but it was good option looking at the weather. On the last leg of the journey home was the incident with the Scoters so I opted for the scenic view down Loch Scridian instead.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Camera trouble...

Just a quickie today as I've been off Island up to Fort William again. I took all my gear this time, or so I thought!
It was an early start as I had to get the first ferry from Fishnish at 07:25. Driving from home to the ferry had us disturbing 3 Barn Owls, 2 Common Snipe and 5 Woodcock - not a bad start to the day. Arrival at the ferry terminal, with the day just starting to break, the birds were singing their hearts out. A quick scan of the Sound of Mull didn't produce anything but it didn't matter with the stunning view of Morvern and a flat calm sea.
The drive up to the Corran ferry was uneventful but with no time to waste it's no surprise. As we arrived at Ardgour and the ferry just leaving it was time to have a look on Loch Linnhe. 4 Eider, 3 Shag and 9 Black Guillemot - a camera opportunity. Into the boot I go and there is no camera - I'd left it beside the computer after downloading yesterday's photos!! An opportunity lost - eight of the Guillemot were summer plumage birds but the other one was still in winter dress and all were as obliging as these beauties can be.
I cheered myself up with a big breakfast in Morrisons - no substitute at all but you have to try.
We had some time to spare on the way back to give us a chance to look around before returning to Mull. The one stop we made along Loch Sunart had me cursing the lack of camera equipment. I was looking through various gulls, Oyerstercatcher, Goldeneye and then an camera.....they're close too.....I don't want to look! They put on a marvellous display of fishing in shallow water, head down and tail sticking out, then one of them caught a large fish. It's heading for land - the camera would be handy - it loses the fish but undeterred it hunts it down again. I'm not watching this so I leave the scope and scan further up the Loch and see.......another Otter - oh the pain!! Back to the original two and the fish is hauled out and minced in minutes and the 2nd Otter is having no luck so it makes for the shore. The two of them meet up again, mother and cub, and indulge in some delightful wrestling - a fantastic sight. The third Otter was the dog, lazily fishing in the middle of the Loch. I'll be happy with the memories of this encounter as it was unexpected but I do wish I'd had the camera!
Obviously not a photo from today but it is an Otter eating a fish!

Monday, 23 February 2009

Milky tea

Not a great deal to report but I have updated the blog list on the right hand side. I do wonder sometimes who reads these things (thanks to all of you who read mine). There must be people out there who look at them and are, perhaps, daunted by some of the knowledge that is on show. I'm sure I speak for most birders in saying that I can get as much pleasure from enhancing someone else's day by passing on my knowledge compared to the time spent birding in company of like minded folk. The whole birding thing would probably collapse without encouraging others.
We have access to TV at the moment and I basked in it's unhealthy glow yesterday while drinking tea. I was mainly watching football and also lots of things that were probably rubbish but it was moving colour pictures with sound and I didn't care!
It was a bit too windy and dull for photos yesterday but this pale Buzzard provided me with an opportunity - a bit milky tea in colour this one.
It has potential to be the offspring of the bird pictured below.
This Common Buzzard catches out lots of people so there are 2 or 3 reports of Osprey through the summer and it's a Rough-legged Buzzard in the winter. The only other notable bird yesterday was a Golden Eagle that was picked up by someone coming the other way to us. It always seems to happen just after you have left so these guys pulling in and jumping out of their car was a good clue to something being there. A proper view filling adult bird - stunning!
The photo below is what it looks like today - a bit gloomy to say the least. The birds are still singing though with Skylark, Curlew, Ringed Plover displaying, a wren trying to drown out everything else. The Lapwings are down to 16 today but the other 4 may not be too far away.
This next shot is our first Daffodil of the year. You can tell from the size of the Blue Tit in the background that it is one of the smaller varieties!!
I'll leave you today with the local pet Herons having their breakfast of Sunny's leftover cat food - yum.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Wild goose chase....

I set off this morning in search of the dodgy looking Eider Duck that I found yesterday to see if I could glean any extra information on it. Needless to say it wasn't there at all! After reading up on these Eider sub species it was clear that all races are variable in bill colour. Boulmer Birder has some cracking shots of Eider that look similar to my bird so I'll have to leave it as a Common Eider but I'll know better next time.
I did find a nice Rain Goose (Red-throated Diver) in the bay that was just starting get it's summer plumage. A GN Diver was in attendance too. Cracking birds but bad light so no photos of them.
After driving 15 miles for a no show I thought the extra 5 mile to Fidden would cheer me up with hopefully some nice birds on show. It was the right thing to do. As I arrived there was a break in the weather and the sun was shining for a good half an hour. The Barnacle Geese can be difficult to connect with at times as they do fly over to Iona to feed as well as roaming around the Fidden area. The flock of about 100 birds were reasonably close to the road so I took a few shots. Looking in the opposite direction there was a good number of birds on show. I had just finished counting the 61 Lapwings when everything lifted......Buzzard? Peregrine? neither of those as it was 2 ringtail Hen Harrier, superb! Surprisingly the small birds settled down quite quickly and didn't even budge when one of the Harriers crossed the field they were in, a bit odd I would say! Bear in mind there were about 100 Starling, 29 Golden Plover and 12 Skylark along with the Lapwing and none of them batted an eyelid!
A couple of hundred yards further down the road there were at least 6 displaying Ringed Plover along with a smattering of Starling and Lapwing. I love these Green Plovers. The display flight, the noise of the wings, the pee-wit calls they make and the way they change from an essentially black and white bird in flight into something completely different when they land and the sun catches them - always a treat.
Around the sheds at the farm there are always a few finches, buntings, larks etc you just never know what you'll get or how many. The stars of the show today were the Reed Buntings. I was trying my best to get some shots of the 15 Skylark but the light was failing and they were running around an awful lot. I noticed a few birds flying in from my right and landing not too far away but just out of sight. I turned my attention to these closer birds to find it was 8 Reed Bunting and they were starting to show well. This bird stood still long enough for me to get a decent shot.

It wasn't too long before the Skylarks took flight and the Reed Buntings followed. Next on the hit list were the Greenland White-fronted Geese. As I was approaching the field where these birds spend a lot of time one of the Hen Harriers put in another appearance. It had been sitting close to the road eating what looked like a vole so as it flew off with prey in talons I just waited. Not too far up the road it dropped again but out of sight. It soon lifted again, talons empty, and started hunting again but it was too close for me to get out of the vehicle to attempt any photographs. Mastering a blustery wind can't be easy so it's great to watch the small adjustments needed to keep the bird on track - a stunning display of agility. Too many distractions down here...I noticed a Buzzard approaching from the left hotly pursued by a Raven 'cronking' like mad and when I looked back the Harrier was gone.
For once the WF Geese were not that jumpy although I did get out of the passenger door and got the scope without the birds being disturbed. I had just taken this shot when the Harrier reappeared further up the road so I swung the scope round and it was gone again - damn! I took a few more shots of the 23 WF Geese and then moved on.
The rain was coming in again and the wind was picking up so I had a scan around the distant shore. 10 Shelduck were notable along with good numbers of Herring and Common Gulls.
On the way back I noticed a few Rock Dove dropping down so I hauled in to get a couple of shots. With the wind howling and nothing to shelter behind I was lucky to get this. The males were in full display puffing their chests out and hassling the ladies. As you can see from the left hand bird it too cold for any of that!
Another check in Bunessan to see if the Eider was going to put in an appearance but it wasn't to be. No sign of either of the Divers but I did complete the set with this Black-throated further down the road. It was keeping a very low profile in the water for some reason. There were Common Seals around but they would attack from underneath given the opportunity so that couldn't be the reason for the low profile. Another puzzler.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Close Encounters!

I spent yesterday afternoon with some people who wanted to see Otters and anything else that was on offer. We set off round the loch and managed to pick an Otter up quite quickly but it eluded any close viewing so we kept looking picking up GN diver, Slavonian Grebe, RB Merg etc. Another Otter was located within half an hour and this time gave prolonged views while fishing and eventually hauling out on land - a marvellous sight! A pair of Golden Eagle sitting on the top of a hill was the best of anything else that we saw but it wasn't bad for a couple of hours out.
Today was a bit of a fiasco as the folk who booked a tour didn't turn up but not to be deterred I had a tremendous time. Despite the inclement weather there was plenty on show - 6 Skylarks passing through from the East, Grey Wagtail going in the opposite direction, an increase in the Lapwings to 20 birds, 8 Ringed Plover, 3 Goosander, a Golden Eagle in the distance disappeared in the Glen and 2 Hen Harriers quartering the marshy area. It was busy enough for the time to fly by. Another scan around produced a juvenile White-tailed Eagle that disappeared over a ridge but it would be worth keeping an eye out for that one and I got more than I bargained for.
A jaunt round the loch in the rain wasn't a great prospect but with what I'd seen already it couldn't do any harm although photos weren't going to be a priority. A couple of Otters in Loch Beg were too far away for the camera but always good to see. This Heron was waiting the weather out and not in a hurry to move - a photo opportunity.

On the return journey I had a seriously close encounter with what I presume was the very same WT Eagle that had disappeared over the ridge earlier. It came up off the lochside and almost got wiped out but the bird seemed unconcerned which is more than I could say!! The Eagle kept on flying away from me and into a ride between the trees and appeared to land. Gathering my wits I continued down the road and got into a position where I could view where the bird had disappeared. Sure enough Lucky was sitting on a branch laughing, I guess!
I returned to home base for lunch and a change of underwear before setting off to refuel the motor.
The weather was really closing in and the wind was picking up so I wasn't expecting to do anything but do the refuelling. There is always something out there that gets you to stop. As I was driving through Bunessan I noticed an Eider on the sea, not too far out. 'I'll have a go at photographing that on the way back' was the thought. On my return the bird was still in reasonable close proximity and as I looked through the scope I noticed the odd bill colour. I'm no expert on the borealis Northern Eider but it looked a good candidate in comparison to some photos that I have seen of this subspecies. I'll probably have to go back tomorrow for a better look but any comments are welcome. The only thing this bird has going for it is the orange bill. I didn't see any 'sails' but most of the viewing was through the camera (bad move) and the photos aren't really clear enough.
Not much else to report but the 2 Raven that were sitting pretty on a cliff top. I got soaked for that shot and it's not even a good one! Still, there is always tomorrow.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009


It's been an eventful couple of days but I'll try to keep it short! After hearing the Skylark singing it seemed a reasonable idea to go and find one somewhere and take in a few places along the way. I checked out a pair of White-tailed Eagle to see how the nest building/refurbishment was coming along. Both the birds were at the nest sitting side by side when I arrived. One bird left the nest then came back in with a branch which was unceremoniously dumped and they both stood and looked at it. It must have been good enough as about 2 minutes after that they left hand in hand for some much needed shopping (extra furniture, I guess) a spectacular sight nonetheless. The usual Otter, Red Deer, Common Seal, GN Diver etc were seen en route to Fidden where there were 3 Skylarks poking around in the seaweed - superb!! A job well done but no photos due to low cloud and no light.

Yesterday I got a phone call to say one of the neighbours had picked up an exhausted Barn Owl while out walking the dog - could I help? I took the bird into care and he was really looking sorry for himself as you can see from the photo. I left him to recuperate and contacted the local bird hospital. I thought I would check on him about an hour later and as I approached the caravan Sunny, the cat, was staring intently at the window. A Barn Owl flying around in your caravan is not something I would recommend but it was a hoot (couldn't resist that one) trying to catch him again. Firmly caged for the rest of the day we released him later in the evening - hope he makes it.
After 2 days of not seeing the the other side of the loch it dawned reasonably bright with the view restored so off I went to see what delights I could photograph. First on the list was going to be a Shag but he wouldn't stay up long enough for a photo so I turned my attention to this Little Grebe. Most of the time these birds are in the middle of the channels or the far side of the Loch so it was nice to get a close one!
I'd noticed this Grey Heron was sitting playing statues while I was playing spot the Grebe so I thought I would give it a go. The light wasn't great and it's well zoomed in but a cracking adult bird showing all the plumes.
There was a small splash of rain while I was shooting the Heron so I moved on to get to the other side of the shower. It's great when you can see the end of these showers. I was now presented with an opportunity to get the camera out for a courting couple, I know what your thinking, of Rock Pipits. Boy, did they give me the run around. I had one of them sitting pretty, nicely lined up and a Buzzard flew round the corner and scared the pants off them - game over on that one. This Shag was sitting on the shore the whole time so I guess this is what he wanted. A handsome beast.
I scanned up the side of the Loch to see if there was anything close inshore. A single Shag, 2 RB Merg, 2 GN Diver and something else about half a mile up. I couldn't see head and neck so it had to be an Otter. Brrruuuuuummmm up the road........... one Otter not too far out but very camera shy!
Another shot of the same beast.
Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a movement in the water but right on the shoreline....another Otter! Both of these beasts were dogs and the closer one was keeping a low profile. They seem very tolerant of each other on the crossover of territory as long as there is a bit of distance between them. The first Otter didn't even look in the second Otters direction. I followed the second Otter until he climbed out and he really showed his feelings!

This Oystercatcher was busy feeding along the shoreline in the same place so another worthy subject was snapped. He did have a lucky escape though - the Otter surface right in front of him and he jumped a bit, well, a big bit then!!

A late addition to the post but very welcome is the return to Loch Beg of ....... Pied Wagtail - hooray! I also had Grey Wagtail this morning but only a fly by.

If there are any car enthusiasts out there we have just had the course organiser for Scottish Malts Classic Reliability Trial in the shop. He was wanting to know if it would be possible to have the classic cars stop out front for the drivers to have a cuppa when they are on Mull. We told him..............YES! Check out FANTASTIC!!!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

A treat

The last few days have been a bit driech and not much has changed out there. Last Wednesday was an absolute corker of a day and I was in Fort William with no optics. My best sightings on that day were in Glen More, in the dark, 3 Mountain Hare looking very white and at the Corran ferry where I had 2 Turnstones and a Shag at close quarters.
The big changes over the last few days has been the amount of birds singing now. The Chaffinches are very pleased with themselves, you'd think they'd just invented singing. The Dunnock's mate has returned which prompted him to start singing and the Robins have followed suit.
This mornings treat was a Skylark bursting into song - fantastic to know they are back in the area although these initial birds may not stay to breed here.
Off for a short walk this morning so I thought I'd give you an idea of the patch. The closest piece of water is tidal with a river running into it then you have Loch Beg and finally Loch Scridain. If the photo opens you might get a better impression. In the photo the tide is in and shows all the channels where the birds can hide when the tide goes out.

The place we were heading for today is Derrynaculen farmhouse. On the walk out here we saw very little in the way of wildlife, 1 Raven, 1 Buzzard and a couple of Hoodies. It doesn't really matter where you go on the Island you always keep one eye on the ridges and sure enough a Golden Eagle cleared the ridge just as we arrived at the destination.
This Ash tree with the holed trunk is a an attraction for photographers, artists etc. Probably one of the most photographed trees on Mull and I've got my shots of it now!

This one looks like the Ash tree is storming the farmhouse. I like the small trees growing out of the top of the walls too. As we were departing we had the female Golden Eagle again closely followed by the male but no display from them.

Back home for lunch then out round the other side of the Loch. The tide had dropped so scanning for the waders turned up 1 Golden Plover, 1 Goldeneye (I know it's not a wader but it was there to see), 2 Greenshank, 12 Redshank, 2 Turnstone, 10 Ringed Plover, 1 Dunlin, 8 Curlew, 6 Lapwing, 22 Teal, 14 Mallard, 2 Little Grebe, 8 Grey Heron and eventually an Otter too.
Onto Loch Scridain where there were quite a few RB Merg and Shag but it was a bit of a struggle for the Divers. We had 5 GN Diver but no sign of BT or RT Diver. The last treat of the day was this Slavonian Grebe that showed very well and would have been a better photo if the weather had been better! An Otter hauled out a fish just before we left too. Once finished he was back in the water so we left him in peace.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Golden delicious

I'll start with last night's moon which rose huge and golden over the mountains - what a sight! A bit later on in the evening as the moon was high and casting it's silvery light you could hear a Tawny Owl hooting in the background and a few Golden Plover 'pee-oo' on the loch.
Anyway, this morning was nice and clear so I was off the mark early. I checked the loch for last nights Golden Plover and they were still there, a tidy group of 10.
The view of snow capped Ben More was breathtaking with the clear blue sky as a background.
Not much sign of any birdlife except Hooded Crow, Buzzard and the odd Raven. Lots of Red Deer were trying to eke out a living down in the glen but it was that quiet you could hear the snow melting. While looking down over these lochs I could see some ripples on the near shore of the furthest loch. As I waited for something to surface a ringtail Hen Harrier took off from the lochside and landed in the water - bathtime! Another ringtail approached from further back and chased the first one off and then had a good wash in the same place. Not something I'd seen before so it was notable.
There was a gang of 8 Hooded Crows up behind me making a nuisance of themselves but it was just general banter between the birds. Looking in the larger patches of snow there was a superb print of where a Hoodie had taken off, footprints in the middle and primaries spread either side. Also lots of vole tracks with little footprints and a line where the tail was hitting the snow.
This next shot of the Golden Eagle was a treat. I saw the bird flying so I hauled in as soon as I could but it landed on the top. I decided to wait and wait.....and wait..........then she was off again. It was a struggle to get this but it looks ok!
As the sun was beating down and creating a bit of heat I thought I'd give the Adders a go on the off chance. The first 2 locations were a bit damp but third time lucky there was one basking. It had obviously been there a while as it looked quite alert as I approached. Nice and easy does it....superb!
A close up too.
It was way past lunchtime now and time to be heading back but not before checking the loch. As I was scanning around I could hear a Buzzard mewing and a Raven alarm calling and turning around there were 2 Buzzard and the Raven having a go at a Golden Eagle. I managed a couple of shots but they weren't up to the earlier photo. Scanning the ridges on the other side of the loch produced 2 adult White-tailed Eagle circling low over the ridge and they soon dropped against the land and then moved out of sight.
Back on the loch I'd picked up 4 Razorbill, 4 BT Diver, 2 RT Diver and 8 GN Diver but nothing close enough to attempt with the camera until this one surfaced. I only managed the one shot as he was a fair old distance away when he next came up. A cracking day out though!

Monday, 9 February 2009


I had a few things to do this morning but I still managed to squeeze in a shot of this Buzzard. He's a regular feature on the telegraph poles here and I can't resist having a go. As soon as I walked away from the camera he came and sat on a closer pole. No worries with that though because he would have been too close then!A check round the loch with the scope didn't reveal anything exciting but I did see the Goosander flying in. I'm guessing he spends the night on one of the hill lochans. So the usual suspects were out there - Turnstone, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Greenshank and the drake Goldeneye. A White-tailed Eagle over the far ridge spiced things up a bit. It appeared to have something sticking up from it's back but it was difficult to make out over distance. It could have been one of the Loch Frisa satellite tagged birds though.
The weather didn't seem too sure what it wanted to do and that had me hanging around waiting for the right moment. While I was waiting for that moment the Starlings were doing their thing. This is the chap that does the Buzzard impersonations. He was doing his best to impress his lady friend until another Starling tried to muscle in but he was having none of that. He berated the impostor and shuffled down the wire until the other bird flew off - well done mate!

I'd waited long enough and that nice clear spell of weather just wasn't going to happen so off I went. Loch Scridain was reasonably calm and also reasonably blank with 8 GN Diver, 2 Little Grebe, 20 Shag and about the same number for RB Merg. A juv Golden Eagle sporting lots of white in the wing and what looked like an almost completely white tail was patrolling the far ridge. I took some shots but they are for my eyes only or the bin probably!
A bit further up the loch this Cormorant had his best outfit on and he was soon joined by 3 Shag. It's a nice comparison between the two different types of bird - the Cormorant being the large bird on the left hand side.
It was still pretty cold standing around with the wind coming off the loch so I thought a bit of a wander in the shelter of some woodland might be good. Woodcock, GS Woodpecker and some of the smaller birds would have been nice but I saw and heard nothing but a single Great Tit. At least it wasn't completely wasted.
I was looking for this Kestrel as I drove down the road but I still didn't see it till it was too late (better on the road than in the ditch) and I had to drive past it. It was obviously time for afternoon tea as a delicious looking mouse/vole was being devoured. I waited for the meal to end then we went our separate ways.
A late addition - todays view!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Ice crispies

The shop was closed today so we had plans for a walk. There were clear skies last night so we knew it would be icy conditions today but the forecast said the weather would be good until about 3pm.
Just before setting off this morning I heard a Greenfinch singing so I scanned the trees until I found it. They seem to disappear in the winter probably to another part of the Island so it was nice to see they are on their way back.
We were heading for Loch Ba today and it's been a bogey walk for us for a while. The weather has beaten us every time with rain, gale force winds, thunder and lightening but today would be different with a bit of luck! We stopped along the shore of Loch na Keal in a couple of places to get a few birds in as we knew there wouldn't be much up Loch Ba. First stop produced 1 BT Diver, 3 GN Diver and 2 Black Guillemot and the second stop gave me an opportunity to photograph these Red-breasted Mergansers. As soon as the scope and camera came out the birds decided to go for a swim but I managed to get this shot of the male and female in the same frame.
We set off on the walk with the wind in our faces and it wasn't too cold but the various streams that come off the hill were in various stages of freezing. The walk is approximately 4 miles and flat - just right for me! Not too far in and a Common Snipe exploded from the side of the path and away into the distance. While there were no birds to watch I was busy crunching my way through the iced over puddles or looking at the ice formations on the overhangs at the side of the path. I'm sure I'll find one that's worth taking a photo of but it's still fun to break the fresh ice or crunch though the virgin snow!
The woodland areas along the loch are made up of Birch, Hazel, Oak and the odd Holly tree here and there. They are all wizened with age and the harsh conditions - fascinating to look at. We actually found some birds in there too but not many. A Buzzard was the first one we disturbed rapidly followed by a Robin and not too much further on we found 3 Mistle Thrush, 5 Fieldfare, 2 Blackbirds and 3 Lesser Redpoll.
We were nearing the top of the Loch so I thought I'd better take a snap of where we had come from. The field area of this photograph is where we saw 5 Golden Plover on the way up but on the way back we picked up 16 Golden Plover and 2 Lapwings - superb! As we approached the loch again there was a flock of 8 Wigeon (the only birds we saw on the water) and a fly by of 7 Curlew.

Another surprise find were these Hazel catkins. It's obviously reasonably mild in this area. There was a small, broken, tree stump that had a collection of Hazelnuts scattered around. This was the scene of a wild party held by the local mice as we don't have Squirrels on Mull.
Next one for the hungry eye of the camera was this bracket fungus - nice.

At last I found some ice that was worth trying to get some shots of. It never seems to do it justice but at least I tried. Spiky formations always look good but you don't get the added extra of the sound of the water gurgling underneath it. Quality stuff though.
The next shot looks like a real cold one with the ice covering the small rocks and the ice gargoyle clinging to the side. The gargoyle part actually looked like a Seal so apologies to the Seals for that!
This next shot was taken looking further up the glen and in the centre of the shot, at the base of the snowy hill, is a settlement. Pre Highland clearances there used to be 800 people living in the Loch Ba area - unbelievable!
Another shot of the settlement but zoomed in this time.
We could have carried on from here but the clouds were starting to gather and we didn't want to get caught out again so we headed back.
A super-wide angled lens or a panoramic view would have been a better shot than this but it was just to capture the snow on the hills.
I actually took some shots of this fallen tree on the way up the loch but as we approached it again the sun was shining through and gave a much nicer feel. Not a moment too soon either as the sun was swallowed by the clouds at this point and you could feel the temperature drop.
As we neared the end of our walk there were 11 Red Deer, hinds and youngsters, grazing on the top of the rise. The camera was out but the settings were not right so I missed the whole group but I did manage to get 5 of them!
We were pretty well walked out and in need of a nice cup of tea and musing over whether there would be a welcoming party for us with a medal presentation etc. after all this was our bogey walk laid to rest. We got our medal in the form of a stunning Grey Wagtail in one of the burns!