Thursday, 20 January 2011

Neist Point & Lighthouse

Photographs taken on 22 November 2010 at Neist Point, the most westerly part of the Isle of Skye.

Unfortunately, there were signs about saying 'No Dogs on Hill!' - we weren't exactly sure if this meant on the lighthouse path as well, there were sheep down there, so we had to leave ours in the car just in case and run down to take pics... the running downhill was easy, but the uphill a struggle on the way back, it's steep back up the steps near the car park!

Stevenson's lighthouse at Neist Point - automated in 1990
View across to the Outer Hebrides
Afternoon light on the cliffs

Monday, 17 January 2011

Our Bridge Has Gone!

Update Feb 9: From the update Article in Perthshire Advertiser it doesn't look like our bridge will get replaced. Such a shame as it is very popular, especially with those of us with dogs who use it most days.


I heard today that the bridge over the River Devon, by Rumbling Bridge, got washed away over the weekend. I have seen the water just a few inches from it before, but I couldn't believe it was gone! I expect it will take some time to get a new one in place.

The bridge before - I took this in April 2010, the highest I had seen the river flowing under it!

I went down with the camera today and took these photos of how it looks now.

The bridge, further down the river than it should be!
The bridge supports

Friday, 7 January 2011

Long-Tailed Tits

The Long-Tailed Tit is not a common visitor to my garden, having only ever spotted a couple.

During the Christmas holidays, I looked out into the garden at dusk one day and saw the fatball feeder covered in lots of them! I counted a group of 10 in total. They have since become regular visitors, now they know that the food is there for them.

I took a video the first evening I saw them and some photos when they came back another day. Cute little things!

Long-Tailed Tits sharing the fatballs with a Blue and Great Tit
A video of them feeding - sorry for poor lighting but it was getting dark when they appeared.

© Photos and video copyright Karen Hartnell, and may not be reproduced, copied, etc.

Camas Daraich, Point of Sleat

Day One, Walk Two, Skye 21 November 2010

Camas Daraich - a beach of white sand, turquoise water and stunning views to Ardnamurchan and Arisaig on the mainland. It is also my Labrador's favourite beach, he never wants to leave!

The weather was perfect, a lovely sunny November afternoon, the beach to ourselves for the most part, with just a couple of people also visiting. The water looked very inviting, clear and still, shame it was so cold!

I sat for a while with my binoculars scanning the water. There were plenty of cormorants and then I spotted the first of two otters. Both were swimming and diving. They were quite a way off shore and I wouldn't have seen them without the binoculars.

A seal popped its head up close by. I wonder if it was the same one who came to say hello last time we were there?!

Before the paw prints covered the sand!
One lucky dog!
Seal pops up to have a look
Spot the otter - can see it's head and back near the centre of image
Bye bye beach...

Acairseid an Rubha, Point of Sleat

Day One, Walk One, Skye Holiday, 21 November 2010

A slightly cloudy morning, hills were clear, and the day began with a walk near Point of Sleat.

Isle of Eigg
Our walk took us along the track from Aird of Sleat and to the cairns at Acairseid an Rubha. As we arrived there, the sun appeared and the Cuillins were cloud free!

Spot the well camouflaged croft remainsSmall harbour with the two cairns visible on the outcrop
View to the Cuillins
Bla Bheinn
Isle of Rhum
View to Eigg
Next stop, our Labrador's favourite beach at Camas Daraich ...

Thursday, 6 January 2011

My Christmas - In Search of the White Tailed Eagle

Timing, as always, was perfect - a nasty cold just in time for Christmas! I woke up early on Christmas morning and decided I needed to do something memorable for the day, instead of focusing on how awful I was feeling.

The plan? To head to Loch Leven, near Kinross, to try and spot the White Tailed Eagle that has been frequenting the Loch recently. My other half was feeling almost as bad as I was and an early morning of bird watching wasn't exactly his cup of tea, but it was Christmas Day and he knew I'd enjoy it!

We parked in a deserted and icy Vane Farm car park and wandered along the road, keeping eyes peeled for the 'flying barn door'.

We walked a short distance along the Heritage Trail and slogged through the snow to the fence, giving a clear view across the frozen Loch. The rising sun was turning the tops of the surrounding hills pink.

Binoculars in hand, I began to scan the horizon looking for the Eagle. I was set up for disappointment, but soon I caught sight of the 'flying barn door'! It flew low in the distance for a short time before disappearing behind trees. Even though it was obviously the Eagle, I was still doubting what I had seen. A few geese in the vicinity began to honk and took flight, casting any Eagle doubts from my mind. I had definitely seen it. Then I caught another glimpse of it flying, the huge wings unmissable against the snowy backdrop.

After losing it for a few minutes, I saw it standing on the snow next to a bush. My other half joked, saying that it looked like a Labrador sat there it was so large! It flapped it's massive wings a few times, and then didn't do much else.

By this time, my feet were like ice, throat as sore as it could possibly be and I was coughing, so thought it best we headed home. Spent the best part of the rest of Christmas Day in bed ill, but at least I saw my Eagle!

I've cropped the original photo I took and circled the Eagle, so you can see it. Unfortunately, it was quite misty, which didn't help with clear photos.

Views from the loch side