Saturday, 16 June 2012

The Minch

A brief overnight stay in Stornoway provided the opportunity for a couple more sea watching sessions from the Ullapool ferry. Thursdays' highlights included a dozen or so Arctic terns and at least similar numbers of great skuas. A few common dolphins and a grey seal grabbing a couple of breaths added to what was a generally quiet voyage.

arctic terns

grey seal
A few kittiwakes, fulmars, gannets and the commoner auks were scattered across the Minch but there was little to get the heart pounding.



An evening stroll around Sandwick bay just north of the town turned up a couple of dunlin, a few whimbrel and a ringed plover. The real highlight however was a corncrake calling from the thick grass along the coast path. Unfortunately as is usually the case with this species I did not see the bird.

The return voyage on Friday was in a rather unpleasant cold, easterly force 6. Despite the dreary conditions I was happy to see a pomarine skua and a basking shark that did a full breach which was very spectacular. Unfortunately it only jumped once so I did not get a photograph. A guillemot of the bridled form was also good to see.

pomarine skua

pomarine skua

guillemot- bridled form

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