With the hire car booked for a couple of days I had been hoping that a few twitch-worthy birds would be reported that did not involve drives of over 150 miles. Alas nothing I really wanted to see has been reported so I have spent the time looking for my own birds. Yesterday, as I was due to undertake a pick-up from Inverness airport I made it a day out in the NE of Scotland and had a very enjoyable time at Spey bay. It was good to see relatively large numbers of birds and experience a long overdue cacophony of bird song! I got to see and hear my first singing sedge warblers and whitethroats of the year and had lovely views of common and little tern. A couple of ospreys were an added bonus and I spent some time enjoying the several hundred swallows and sand martins that were hawking insects over the river.
Today I drove down the west coast to Gairloch then headed up the 9 miles of single track road to the light house at Rubha Reidh. A great site for sea watching so I set up camp with the scope and a flask for a couple of hours. Passage was fairly light with only 4 great skuas of note, although I also brought the year list up to 130 with puffin and manx shearwater. As is often the case only the gannets and herring gulls presented photo opportunities.
As I have mentioned previously (and will probably do so again) I am not especially fond of the larger gulls, however on some occasions even the humble herring gulls can look rather splendid!