Scotland Trip – Days 2-4 – 26-28/vii/15

Days 2 and 3 were quiet on the birding front, though I did manage to see (and hear) a pair of Scottish Crossbill near Boat of Garten.

On day four, we headed west, for a two day camping trip on the Isle of Skye. We crossed the Skye bridge just after mid day, and made our first stop at Loch Airnord. A quick scan of the shoreline produced a Common Sandpiper with several Redshank and a Curlew. Offshore, were a few Red-Breasted Merganser and a few Eider. The highlight here, though, was the group of four Arctic Skua (two pale morph and two dark morph), which flew down the loch towards the sea.

Further north, at Staffin, I had distant views of a few Great Skua, circling over their nesting area on Staffin Island. There were also good numbers of Arctic Terns there and a Whimbrel with a small flock of Curlew. A few Manx Shearwater were seen passing by offshore, as well as plenty of Kittiwake, Gannets, Cormorants and Shag. The nearby cliffs held a couple of Twite, including one singing bird. The scenery around here was also pretty impressive:

P1260706 Ced P1260724 CedWe set up camp in the far north of the island, at Shulista (near Kilmaluag).P1260726 CedP1260740 Ced In the surrounding area, there were plenty of birds, including good numbers of Twite, and some pale, chunky Lesser Redpoll. A juvenile Wheatear and a couple of Stonechat were nearby, and it was interesting to see some wild (not feral) Rock Dove.

P1260755 Ced

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