Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Friday, 6 August 2010

3rd August Ferry to Skye - 4th August Highland Games

A lovely sunrise then drizzly rain.

Seen from the ferry:

2 red-throated divers
1 black guillemot
26 gannets
148 manx shearwaters
16 razorbills,
25 guillemot
15 fulmar
10 puffin
14 arctic tern
19 storm petrels
6 kittiwake
1 great skua

Lunch taken on the 'scenic' road to Broadford but curtailed because of midges. Haven't seen many of the little blighters/biters but there were enough here to make up for the days when I hadn't seen any. Did manage to see a family of red-throated divers here before retiring hurt.

Also visited the excellent Sea Eagle exhibition at Portree and met Chris Butler the RSPB eagle information officer there. Superb set up and well worth the visit.

Cycled to the other end of the island, taking nearly all day doing so, in order to see the Black Islands, Eilean Dubha. These are two very small islands that form an RSPB reserve, so another one ticked off the growing list of reserves visited.

Not many birds seen here; a few black guillemot, oystercatchers and gulls, a few shags.

Cycled back to Broadford and stayed at the Youth Hostel. Now some people may sympathise but I forced one of my room mates to sleep elsewhere due to the force of my snoring! Sorry!

4th August

Rain forecast but the morning was fine, calm and sunny. Cycled to portree taking the now clear views of the mountains on the way.
Brought my ticket for the Highland Games and joined the crowd to watch the chucking of the small stone. A new Portree record was thrown and the girls danced on the stage in the Scottish way. Bagpipes were being played nearby and everything was fascinating despite the arrival of the occasional heavy shower.
A brilliant day caped by meeting a lovely local family I'd met the day before at the sea eagle exhibition [and who kindly made a donation!] and a great tug of war battle.

Rode on to a field about 4 miles south of Uig where i camped for the night to the sound of buzzards in the trees.

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