25th January Winter wildlife tour

We set off from Salen at 9.15 to collect our guests, not to bad a day at all for the weather. Our route was changed for today as the bridge at Knock is being repaired stopping our usual circular route. This didnt hamper our wildlife spotting. We had a great day for close encounters. The first stop was good for Common gull, oystercatchers, curlew and a possible white tailed eagle in the distance. Next stop gave us a white tailed eagle in a tree, which flew when we weren’t looking, the eagle not the tree. Great Northern divers, buzzard and ringed plover mixed in with dunlin and turnstone. Busy place. Heading on and another white tailed eagle on the shore, being mobbed by hooded crows. Always a good indication of something around. Not  when we only stopped for the toilets. Heading to the mountains with a stop on the way. White tailed eagles flying two then another joined them. Another flying over the hills. Red deer and a common seal all with a hot cuppa and homemade biscuits. Into the hills, a male hen harrier right in front of us as we were driving, fantastic. We pulled in so we could watch him a bit longer, he eventually flew out of sight. Distant golden eagle then the cloud came down so we carried on. Toilet stop, and another white tailed eagle on the shore, again being mobbed by other birds. It was eating something in one of the gullies. Its head kept popping up and down. we watched it fly low to the ground, brilliant. On the way around the shore our next stop was for an otter, fishing happily just off the shore. Teal and mallard in the bay with cormorants and shags on the  islands. Our day was good already as we carried on to our turning point. No white tailed eagles in our usual place but we had done pretty well already. Heading back the way we came and a shout from the back. whats that. All we could see was a gull at first on the shore. then the otter moved and so did a huge dogfish (small shark) The otter was having a great time munching  through his catch. We watched for some time as he enjoyed his meal. We decided to stop in the mountains again as we know the golden eagles could be checking out their nest sites for this year. Parked up and started sky watching, we saw them, The pair were heading our way. They came closer and closer exploring an old nest site. brilliant views of them . Feeling very content we headed slowly home. A last stop and red deer stags walking across the road in front of us. Cant get much closer. Daylight going and the rain starting we headed back to base. great day with some excellent spotting by our guests. Jacqui