miércoles, 24 de agosto de 2011

Holiday report: 2-Scotland

This one will be the most extensive part of the report.
We arrived the 22nd July in Edimburgh, and stayed two days there. We rented a car and started our travel to the North.
In Thurso we spent the night, and the next day, we took the ferry to St.Margaret's Hope on the Orcadian Island of Mainland. On the ferry I could do my first observations of birds and Seals. I made four lifers on the ferry: Fulmar, Razorbill, Guillemot and Black Guillemot. There also were birds like Arctic Tern, Puffin, Eider Duck...
On the afternoon, we visited a little hide where I saw Sedge Warbler (lifer) and a nature reserve on the North-West of the island called Burgar Hill, where I cluld see Red Throated Diver, Curlews, Great Skua, and others.
After Burgar Hill, we went to a cliff area called Marwick head, where there were plenty of Skuas and Fulmars.
The next day, we decided to do a guided walk on the South of the island, at the nature reserve of Hobbister next to Scapa Flow. On the car, getting to the reserve a Short Eared Owl (lifer) flew over the car. At the resserve there were birds such as Black Guillemot, Red Throated Diver, Arctic Tern and Twite (lifer).
The 28th august we woke up early so we could take the ferry to an outer island, Sanday. Unfortunately, it was quite foggy and there wasn't much to see from the ferry.
Once on the island, we made some walks on the beaches and I saw plenty of waders and some Skuas and Fulmars.
I used the next day to sleep and relax a bit, but we also did some excursions on the island. On a beach, I saw the best species of the holidays, an adult Great Northern Diver and three young ones.
I saw them again the next day, when I was birding on another beach. On that beach, a Seal approached to us up to ten meters.
On the afternoon we took the ferry back to the island of Mainland, and the next day we left the Orkney and travelled to Durness, at the North coast.
Ar Durness we spent two nights. We made two trips, one to a cave called Smoo Cave, and one to a cape, called Faraid Head, where I saw Rock Pipit (lifer), Red Throated Diver, Hermelin among others.
After Durness, we continued down the West coast, to a place called Achininver, where we spent two nights more.
On the way there, we decided to take a look to a nature reserve called Handa Island. It was very nice there. Thee were lots of nesting Great and Arctic Skuas. There, you also could see the nesting seabird colonies, which weren't as full as in top season but still impressive.
In Achininver, my dad got sick, so my mum and i had to make the planned excursion alone. We did a roundwalk around a mountain called Stac Pollaidh. While we were resting on a mountain pass, my mum suddendly pointed me out two large mammals which were quite close to us.
My mum started to get nearer to see if she could take some photos, but they didn't seem very frightened. Finally, she could take some really good pictures.
We continued down the coast to Gairloch, our last stop at the Highlands. At Gairloch, we did a little boat excursion to see Dolphins, which showed brilliantly, swimming under and on the side of the boat.
There also was a group of Gannets fishing, and lots of Great Skuas which approached a lot.
After Gairloch we spent a night in Stirling and then drove to Edinburgh to get the plane to Germany with my mum.

1 comentario:

  1. Hi Nico , sounds like a really great holiday in Scotland , its truely a magical place to visit .

    all the best