Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Scourie Bay, Sutherland

29 June 2014

One of the first places we visited on our recent holiday to the far north west of Scotland, was Scourie Bay. A beautiful inlet of turquoise water, surrounded by a rocky coastline. A stunning sandy beach lines the head of the inlet, and there is also a hide filled with useful information on the area and its wildlife.

Scourie Bay
Ringed Plovers scurried across the white sands, their little legs seemingly moving at warp speed!

Ringed Plovers 
Ringed Plover
We walked to the headland, overlooking Eilean a' Bhuic, a small island inhabited by various seabirds, including Great Skua (Bonxies), Great Black-Back Gulls, and lots of Cormorants bobbing in the nearby water.
Eilean a' Bhuic
There was a good view across the water to the Point of Stoer and the Old Man.
Old Man of Stoer
The 'Bonxies' were putting on a good show, often seen standing on top of the nearby rocks and summit cairn.  At one point one flew just a few feet above our heads.  Thankfully they weren't nesting around this area, otherwise we would've ended up with a headache: having experienced diving bombing Arctic Terns on the Isle of May, I really didn't fancy the same with a much larger Bonxie!

Great Skua, aka 'Bonxie'
A lovely walk out to the headland gave good views of the distant Assynt hills including Suilven, and nearby Handa Island, with scores of sea birds swirling around the cliffs.

View towards the Assynt Hills
© Karen Hartnell - all images and text may not be reproduced in any way.

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