Wednesday 28th July
So after a night of camping next to a very noisy stream, awoke and cycled down to the ferry terminal at Kilchoan in rain. Was feeling a little down when suddenly three large stag red deer crossed the road, galloping just in front of me. they then jumped a barb wire fence before heading off down a nearby glen; not stopping until they reached the bottom.
Ferry over to Tobermory. No tourist office because the building was empty but found out where Loch Frisa was from a very helpful gentleman in the CLAMAC office. Up the hill and over on the Dervaig road, turned onto the forestry track before coming across a sign stating no access to the sea eagle hide. Asked a local but I can't print what he told me to anyone who tried to stop me!
Plenty of willow warblers, a couple of trilling grasshopper warblers, siskins and chaffinch, together with 4 kestrels, 3 buzzards, a few hoodies and a raven. Intermittent rain showers coming from the south west and a regular fly past of a helicopter delivering something to the fish farm at the west end of the loch.
Suddenly found a plush, new-looking wooden hide/display room. was a little shy/embarassed and shattered but went inside to be greeted by Debby, the fabulous, knowledgable RSPB lady. Turning round casually to look at the female white-tailed sea eagle, saw her perched on a reasonably nearby conifer. Here she was the star of the first Springwatch, a veritable 'barn door' preening carefully and wondering no doubt where her husband was.
The pair had failed to produce a fledgling this year. Sadly the first hatched chick died due to the cold weather and another egg was sat upon for 78 days, some sort of record but obviously dead.
Stayed for a few hours to watch the bird and just after a prolonged bit of heavier rain, and just after Debby's marvelous introductory speech to another batch of paying visitors, the male came flying over from the west, landing next to his loved one. 14 years together and love is still strong.
So thanks and hello to :-
Sandra and Tim from Shirley, Birmingham.
Stuart Marshall and family from Hexham,
Sheila and Kerr for their donation from Fife,
David and Margaret from Glasgow, with a donation also.
Thanks to everyone in fact.
All the very best