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The Highlands and Islands Thread (1 Viewer)

jpoyner

Well-known member
Scotland
We will be camping on Skye 3rd to 8th June. We plan to take a boat trip as foot passengers, with the hope of picking up sea birds such as Petrels and Shearwaters. Any views as to whether the Calmac ferry to Lewis/Harris or a smaller local trip boat would produce the better chances? My better half doesn't fancy too small a craft. We did Mull to Staffa a few years ago and that was a great trip.

Depends on weather quite often for Petrels (ie not calm), but getting a few of them from the CalMac ferry is usually not that difficult once out in the Minch. You're a bit higher off the water than a small boat obviously but careful scanning should pick them out. Manx Shearwaters certainly also. To be honest I think you've just as much chance either way.
 
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vanellus

Andrew Hodson
Depends on weather quite often for Petrels (ie not calm), but getting a few of them from the CalMac ferry is usually not that difficult once out in the Minch. You're a bit higher off the water than a small boat obviously but careful scanning should pick them out. Manx Shearwaters certainly also. To be honest I think you've just as much chance either way.

Thanks for the advice.
 

Redwood21

Member
Hi guys, I'm off to Mull in a week or so and if the weather is favourable I'd love to do some sea-watching. I just wondered if anyone here has any experience of sea-watching on Mull and had any thoughts/recommendations for the best places for it?

Cheers, Edward.
 

Richard G

Well-known member
We will be camping on Skye 3rd to 8th June. We plan to take a boat trip as foot passengers, with the hope of picking up sea birds such as Petrels and Shearwaters. Any views as to whether the Calmac ferry to Lewis/Harris or a smaller local trip boat would produce the better chances? My better half doesn't fancy too small a craft. We did Mull to Staffa a few years ago and that was a great trip.

Not sure of your definition of too small a craft, but we used Gordon Mackay in Stein last year - http://www.divers-eye.co.uk/ - although his wildlife watchine schedule does depend whether he's booked by divers or not.

We had whales, dolphins, skuas, & sea eagles from the boat when we were out with him in August.

Richard
 

vanellus

Andrew Hodson
Hi guys, I'm off to Mull in a week or so and if the weather is favourable I'd love to do some sea-watching. I just wondered if anyone here has any experience of sea-watching on Mull and had any thoughts/recommendations for the best places for it?

Cheers, Edward.

Take a boat trip with David Kirkpatrick to Staffa from Iona. He is a very good captain and host. When we went four years ago, we had excellent views of Manx Shearwaters, Stormies, Tysties, Bonxies.
 

hampers

Hampers
Hi guys, I'm off to Mull in a week or so and if the weather is favourable I'd love to do some sea-watching. I just wondered if anyone here has any experience of sea-watching on Mull and had any thoughts/recommendations for the best places for it?

Cheers, Edward.

Pick up a copy of the book 'Birdwatching on Mull and Iona, by David Sexton and Philip Snow. It will help on the island and is a good read anyway.

Phil
 

Ddack

Well-known member
Whats the cairngorms like,im coming up on 20th may and was hoping to see dotterel on the top,but i hear there is loads of snow still,will they still head up there or do they wait around a well known site waiting forvthe snow to thaw.
 

Capercaillie71

Well-known member
The Cairngorms are still very white above about 2500' so I guess dotterels will stay on lower ground for the time being. The snow could disappear quickly if things warm up though (not this week!)
 

Capercaillie71

Well-known member
There's a webcam which shows the snow conditions at the Ptarmigan restaurant at the top of the funicular:

http://www.cairngormmountain.org/Webcam

I also found these photos that I took on the Cairngorm-Macdui plateau on 14 May 1995! There was more snow that day (down to below the carpark) but it shows what conditions can be like at this time of year - not much chance of Dotterel!
 

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We're forecast with snow on the hills today, and lower down at the moment it's pouring with rain. My husband drives buses locally and he was at the top car park on Cairngorm this morning, he said it was mostly rain with a bit of sleet. If this carries on, more of the snow should melt, and if we get a temperature rise, that will speed up the process.
 

jpoyner

Well-known member
Scotland
Slight warm up by weekend but I expect even then there will still be a lot of snow above 3000ft. Then looks like more on on way with even blizzards on the summits by early next week. Certainly no sign of winter conditions easing off on the hills within the next 7 days. At a guess unless there is some remarkable warm up in the weather which none of the long range forecasts are showing yet, even by 20th I'd expect there to still be a fair bit of snow above 3000ft. The accumulations have been quite substantial for this time of year.....very unexpected.

As you can see, quite remarkably cold upper air right over us still on 18th.
 

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jpoyner

Well-known member
Scotland
And for anyone thinking of doing the Hebs or West Coast next week !!!
 

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Gavo

Well-known member
My wife and I have booked to go to Mull on the 10th June for 3 days, have just been reading about the Glen Seilisdeir white tailed sea eagle trip, has anybody been on this, and does it guarantee views?

Also what's the chances of connecting with short eared owl and golden eagle on the island?

Cheers :t:
 

hampers

Hampers
My wife and I have booked to go to Mull on the 10th June for 3 days, have just been reading about the Glen Seilisdeir white tailed sea eagle trip, has anybody been on this, and does it guarantee views?

Can't comment haven't done it.

There is a boat trip you can do that takes you out into the loch and usually a wte comes to take fish thrown out for it. Its a stunning experience. http://www.mullcharters.com/index.html. It is well worth the money.

Also what's the chances of connecting with short eared owl and golden eagle on the island?

High, especially on the road between Craignure and Pennyghael.

There is a small book by David Sexton and Philip Snow about birdwatching on Mull that would be useful for you.

Cheers

Phil
 
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Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Jup, Going to Tiree on Tuesday.

Hope the weather is cleared then :(
But it could bring some american vagrants?!

Weather looks interesting, if slightly hard work. If I was on Tiree I'd definitely be trying to do some seawatching and then would be looking for waders and wildfowl once the weather has cleared a bit. Might even be worth checking the bushes.
 

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