Saturday, August 21, 2010

Islands and Highlands 5

Enough islands. From Bass Rock we headed north to the highlands, but sadly the weather worsened. In this shot you get an idea. Beautiful when the sun was out, but mostly cloud, some real wind and intermittent rain.

The mountain tops were out of the reckoning, and even lower down we didn't fare so well.
Slavonian grebes were seen, but I didn't get any decent shots and they were looking a bit tatty anyway. Lovely to see the youngster though.
We did poorly with the local birds, although I had an eyeball-eyeball encounter with a crested tit that would probably have been too close for my macro lens!
There were quite a lot of common sandpipers around. This adult was unusually perched in a tree, but actually it was keeping an eye on at least one youngster scuttling around in the vegetation below.
Where we were staying we watched a small group of youngsters gain in confidence and finally start to fly around the small loch.
The sparrows posed nicely in the sun.
After a very rubbish day weather-wise - we went fishing and had a brilliant time, albeit with stockies - we headed up the next day to the Moray Firth for the dolphins. Again the weather wasn't great, but they put on the best show I've ever seen - and I've watched them a lot over the years. There were probably 15 or so around in various small pods at one point (you can see 4 in one shot below), and they were breaching so well that even I managed to snap a few in mid-air.
Remember the flying fish in the first of this series of posts? Well this is what it was all about - dolphin volleyball with salmon. We saw a few caught. I presume this breaks then up into better bite sized chunks.
To close, a birch wood robin, summing up our highland experience - a hint of sun, but mostly shade.

Have a look at the web album (links to the right) if you want to see some better views of the dolphin shots. Not great light, but you get a feel of how good the morning was.

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