Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Isle of Skye, November 2015 - Part 2

Tuesday 3rd November

Mist clung to the hills behind the house this morning.  A female Chaffinch perched on the garden fence.

We were just about to depart the house on a walk, opening the gate for the car, I looked up over the Sound and caught sight of a couple of passing Gulls - with something much bigger.  I grabbed the binoculars from the car and confirmed what I thought - a White-tailed Eagle!  It soared along cliffs and disappeared from view. I didn't see it flap its wings once, just glided on the breeze.
A passing White-tailed Eagle
Following the eagle excitement, we drove to Lealt, taking the short walk to the edge of the cliff to see old mine works down on the shore.  Then we drove further on to another nice viewpoint looking along the Skye cliffs. Ravens flew overhead.

Old mining works on shore 
Looking along the Skye coast south
Next stop was Portree. I didn't manage to spot either of the resident White-tails, but Herring Gulls were enjoying a spot of bathing on the shore.
Herring Gulls bathing
Portree Harbour
Next on our travels was the Fairy Glen, near Uig.  I didn't get to walk far as I had limping Labrador with me, but as I had already see the stunning rock formations in good weather, I wasn't too disappointed.  I got a nice view of a Buzzard who was perching at various locations near our parking spot.

Buzzard perching
Quiraing in the clouds
The afternoon's walk was down to Brother's Point again.  There were many Common Seals, heads bobbing up and down watching us, as well as some bathing on the nearby island, together with gulls and Cormorants.
Seals and Gulls
A couple of Common (Harbour) Seals pop up

We were blessed with a clear night, so we sat outside looking at the stars.  I could see the Andromeda Galaxy but I couldn't work out why the sky wasn't as dark as the previous night.  The photos revealed an Aurora in progress!  It gradually intensified and we could clearly see beams of light pointing up into the night sky.  Although to the naked eye there was no colour in the light, the camera showed green, white and a bit of red. It was amazing to watch.  Here's a stunning photo taken by Graeme:

The Aurora Borealis lights up Skye's northern sky

Part 3 to follow.


© Karen Hartnell - all images and text may not be reproduced in any way.

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