120708 Skottland-Scotland , day 15 Sunday Going back home

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120708 Sunday, day 15  going home
Woke up at 5.00. way to early but I´m not surprised. Tried to go to sleep again but at 6.30 I got up and started the computer.

Finished packing and am now just wasting time. A bunch of finches is chasing each other outside the window. (Bofinkar leker tafatt. :) And the usual assortment of house finches and starlings.  ) It seems to be another rainy day but today I don´t mind. It is good if it is a bit chilly when one travels.

Breakfast was supposed to be served at 8.00h but the staff did not arrive until 8.05. So, there we were, waiting. And we had a deadline. A plane to catch. What are they thinking?
120708 leaving   Bonsyde House Hotel, Linlithgow http://www.bonsydehouse.co.uk/ at 9.10 for the trip to the airport in Edingburgh. Going home. No traffic jam today so we were at the airport in good time. Everything worked nice and smoothly today.

120708 Flight Edingburgh - Arlanda, Stockholm 12.40 - 15.50 ( Flight SK 2542)
NF Photo 120708
 The Forth Rail Bridge from the aircraft
I said goodby to everyone on Arlanda then picked up my car to go home. On my way to Stockholm it started to poor down really heavily. I had to slow down to be able to see anything. Closing in to Södertälje it started to ease up a bit and when I stoped at my daughters appartment the rain had stoped. It was nice to see my family, a daughter and my two grandchildren. Not kids anymore but grownups. I stayed for an hour having something to eat and then I continued south to my own town. Made a stop on the road as there was some watervapor from rain glowing in the setting sun.
Back home again, this adventure is over. Only unpacking and writing still remains.
Back in Sweden NF Photo 120708
Some thoughts from the trip. Scotland is a beautiful country. At least the part of it I visited. I had hoped for some more of the highlands but that will be for another trip. What I did not like on this trip was the unprofessional behavior of the staff on most hotels at the desk and restaurants. No complaints about cleaning or so. They obviously did not know how to treat a guest. Of course this don´t go for all of them. There was a few good ones as well.

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120707 Skottland-Scotland , day 14 Saturday to Linlithgow

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120707 Saturday, day 14 to Linlithgow
Woke up at 6.30 for a morning session to try to see the Grey Wagtail (forsärla). We started out in a nearby park without success.  Later on we did see two juvies on the bank of a strem but so far off I could not get a shot. However we did spot a curlew and a few warblers too. It was a nice morning and I got some shots of a gorgeous bridge. Another shot of it HERE

Breakfast at 9. I had the clerk to pick up my suitcase as I would not carry it down the stairs with the narrow steps and awful, thick, carpet, and over the graveled backyard. I felt a bit bad about it as, today, a woman was working. Took a last look out the window and the harbour hosting the sailing ship Arctic Penguing.

I had a short moment to visit a giftshop and to study the Inveraray Jail that was located next to the George Hotel. We left the hotel  at 10.15. and headed north alongside the Loch Lomonds left shore before turning east towards the historical interesting town Stirling. To my surprise we made a stop for coffee at Ben-more Lodge around 11h. Then we made a stop at Kilmahog and River Leny. And now it started to rain a lot. It seemed to be a place with very long history. And we did see a dipper. :) The shot to the right is probly remains from early woll production.

Dipper - Strömstare
We continued and now it was raining for the rest of the day. We made a short detour to find Lake Katrine but it was not much for us to see.
Then Ola provided us with the next surprise, lunch at Lade Inn, at a quater to two. Maybe the rain made him hungry. :) Or we were lacking birds to look for in the rain.
Arriving at Linlithgow we had some trouble finding our way as the passage below a train track was flooded and closed. It has been a lot of rain in Scotland lately and there are floods here and there. Wheather forcast is bad for the coming days. Maybe it´s good we are going home tomorrow. If the weather allows it.

Arrived at 17.20 after an extra detour because of a flooded road. The hotel has a quite sprctacular view, even in rain.
There was some trouble with the rooms and the guy with the single room had to share it with two others.

I was supposed to connect to the internet before dinner but the clerk was missing and the guy in the bar had no clue or where to find the pw for the internetconnection. He looked everywhere and phoned lots of people. Without success. Then when we gave up the clerk came. She had to go home because of a sick dog without telling anyone.  But she too didn´t know where the pw was. Finally she called another person and then they realised the pw was on the back side or the computer. Phew! Finally online. Is noone using their wifi?

Dinner at 19.30. Had a rib-eye and a glas of wine.

The last birdlist was done and everybody is still sitting in the lounge. Quite nice place to sit in.

From the hotel garden

120707 Bonsyde House Hotel, Linlithgow http://www.bonsydehouse.co.uk/
Tomorrow morning bus to be loaded 7.45.  Breakfast at 8.00.  Then off to the airport.


120706 Skottland-Scotland , day 13 Friday Isle of Seil

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120706 Friday, day 13  Isle of Seil
Woke up at 7.00 for breakfast at 7.30. In this area they say half seven when they mean half past seven, Very confusing. Could make a person come an h late. :(

The computer did not want to cooperate this morning. Could not log in it said. Then it refused to do anything. I could not even shut it off. And I had no screwdriver to be able to remove the battery. Had to leave it as it was, hoping the battery would drain and shut down the computer.

The room is lousy and at breakfast everyone got two of everything instead of what one ordered. If you order one egg you get two. Gosh, Im annoyed.

We left at 8.30 for todays drive around some lakes. Mostly a scenic day following the east side of Loch Awes. Spending most of the day in the car stopping here and there. A little sunshine but mostly dull.

First stop was at a small stream hoping to see some Grey Wagtail (fors ärla) or dipper. But we did not see any. We met some people that had seen a family of Ospreys. We turned back a bit to try to see if we could find it. Well, we didn´t but we got a good view of the lake. And we  heard a Common Grasshopper Warbler (gräshoppssångare) singing in some bushes. Impossible to see but we heard it for a long period of time.

Then we went back to follow the lake south. And, we met with a truck. On that road. Guess what we did? We had to reverse our car for a long bit before finding a place where we could let the truck pass by. We made another stop at a place that was very nice. Leacainn Muir Forest Drive according to an Information Sign. There was some bluberries too that one could taste.

An other stop at a medow because Ola saw a Grey Wagtail (fors ärla). There we also found Common Redpoll (gråsiska), Spotted flycatcher (grå flugsnappare) and Common Whitethroat (törnsångare). Think I got shots of the flycatcher and the warbler.

We had lunch at a place called Cuilfail hotel. Quite nice. Lunch was done at 14.25. Then we had a stop at a bridge, Clachan Bridge. Crossing over to Isle of Seil I think. Nice place showing the low tide and then a double decker bus came on the bridge. Some nice shots of a grey heron too.


Isle of Seil
 At 15.00h we headed for a small village called Isle of Seil. Beautiful rocks and cliffs and a fair for local art. I liked it a lot. Now the weather turned really hot. Nice for a change.  This afternoon I kind of felt like a tourist instead of a birder. :)

We also had time to visit Oban for 45 min (left Oban at 17.15), before heading back to Inveraray and dinner at the hotel. I had chicken again. And then the birds list was rather short today. We did it sitting at the dinnertable as there was no other suitable place for it.

Sitting in the Pub again. Accessing Internet as the computer was OK again when I started it up. This time I had choosen a place in a corner as there was somebody entertaining. And it is really loud. I was talking to my daughter on Skype but it was almost impossible to hear anything. Now the guy is starting to sing and play again so I will go back to the room. Auch, my ears is in pain. :(

Morning birding at 7 tomorrow. Last day before going home.

120705-06 The George Hotel, Inveraray http://www.thegeorgehotel.co.uk/


120705 Skottland-Scotland , dag 12 Torsdag Mull of Oa

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120705 Torsdag, dag 12 Mull of OA och färja
Idag vaknade jag mer än lovligt tidigt. Kl 5 redan. Låg och drällde eftersom jag var färdigpackad i stort sett.

Vädret var fint så turen söderut till Mull of Oa var riktigt fin. Vi parkerade bilen och knallade in i hagar med långhornade kor. Dom vill jag nog inte bli osams med. J  Väl framme vid vattnet var det så fint. Lite sulor flög en bit ut. Stormfåglar och andra måsfåglar fanns också. Även här var kusten vild och svart. Vassa svarta formationer överallt. Det var blött i marken. Vattendränkt torv antagligen. Så skorna blev blöta. På ett ställe långt under oss låg några sälar och vilade respektive plaskade omkring i vattnet till allas förtjusning. En pilgrimsfalk var förmiddagens bästa skådning. På högsta punkten fanns ett minnesmärke i form av ett torn. De har mycket vild historia i Skottland.
Vi åt sen lunch i en by i närheten och körde sedan till färjan i Port Ellen. Vi hade lite tid på oss att gå omkring och kika på området. Kulturmässigt var det en staty vi skulle se på. Ett krigsminne.
Sedan blev det ett kort besök på andra sidan viken där det fanns ett fyrtorn. En skön promenad med några strandskator och drillsnäppor. Även en grotta skymtades men kunde inte utforskas.
Färjan över till Kennacraig gick inte förrän kl 18 och tog lite drygt 2h. De körde in lite tid även idag.
Skådningen på färjan blev lika häftig som förra gången men den här gången var det mer dimma. Massor med alkor. Och delfiner enligt Ola, fast jag lyckades inte se dom.
Sedan körde vi ner till hotellet i Inveraray och George hotel vilket tog ytterligare ca 2h. Och där blev jag satt i tornet!
Jag duschade och sedan gick jag till puben för att koppla upp mig till internet. Första gången jag suttit nyduschad på en pub. J Pratade lite med min dotter och sedan fick jag sällskap av Ola och Sture en stund.


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120705 Skottland-Scotland , day 12 Thursday Mull of Oa

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Tuesday Travels    Our World Tuesday
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120705 Thursday, day 12  Mull of OA and Ferry
Woke up at 5 but managed to slumber again. Then woke up at the clock 7.25. Started packing for todays move. Breakfast at 8 as usual. Paid my bill and get myself ready and packed. It is a fine morning and looks promising for the first trip down to The Mull of Oa.

The trip to Oa was really a hit. It was a rather pleasant walk in a gorgeous country. The only backdraw was that it was wet so my shoes got wet too. The ground was a thick layer of moss and contained a lot of water. Soft, wet and slippery.  It was best to keep to the path.

A lot of long horns was kept in the fenced area. Curious about us. It was steep so one had to be careful. There was some fences right at the edge. I wonder how they built it. Can´t be of much use if a cow comes too close. 

Birds was far out as usual, or down, in this case. But this was a great place for a photographer. Near the edge to the ocean was a gorgeous view in all directions. We all took our time just enjoing ourselves.

 We saw a Peregrine Falcon (pilgrimsfalk) today and a lot of Fulmars (stormfågel), cows and seals. And a goat. There were also some Gannets passing by. The Fulners was really goodlooking as they swept by the black rocks and sparkling water. Or clinging on nest at the side of the cliffs.

At the highest point was a memorial again. A tower, American Monument. Great view over the ocean there too. Then it was time to return to the car. All to soon I think most of us thought.


We had lunch at 13.30 in a nearby village. I had Panini with ham and Brie cheese. It was a bit burned so the bread had a bad taste. Otherwise good. Done eating at 15.20. It was a nice restaurant and they had a very pleasing restroom.

Then we spent some time looking at a memorial statue in Port Ellen close to the ferry. We had some more time before we should embark the ferry so we went to the other side of the bay for a walk towards the lighthouse.


cave at Port Ellen

The others went ahead as I had seen something I´d like to take some shots of. It was quite nice to just stroll a bit. Shooting a wader, some oystercatcher and flowers and whatever I found. I saw a cave but did not have the time to investigate it.
Ferry departure was at 17.55 in Port Ellen. A bit early. Guess it goes when all cars are loaded. The trip was amazing. Soo many birds. So much fun. Can´t wait to see the shots. We arrived at Kennacraig at 20.20h and then headed to Inveraray and George Hotel which took about an hour.
Two Gannets passing by.

We arrived to Inveraray at 21.30 and I got a room far away from everything. I´m the maiden in the tower waiting for her prince. I just lack the long hair. They gave me a room in an other building. Had to cross a stony garden with the suitcase. Luckily they carried it as they had to show me the way. I´m on the 3:d floor. A windling staircase with an old thick carpet. Scary to walk on. I was happy I did not carry the suitcase. My bathroom is in the hallway. At least I don´t have to share it. I took a quick shower and uploaded todays shots to the computer. 

No working internet in the room so now I am sitting in a noisy pub with my hair wet and I will shot this down as soon as I´m done. I was accompanied by Sture and Ola for a while and I showed Sture what I was doing as he asked me once before. Now Ola asked me if I wanted to send him some shots for the short rapport. Sure, can do that.

I went back to the room and made me a cup of coffe. I had to sit in the bed drinking it a there was no chair and no table. :(  Made some additional notes and set the computer to charge. And went to bed.

Breakfast tomorrow will be at 7.30.
120705-06 The George Hotel, Inveraray http://www.thegeorgehotel.co.uk/

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Svensk dagbok
Mull of Oa
Port Charlotte
Evening Ferry 18.00 from Port Ellen to Kennacraig, 20.20

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120704 Skottland-Scotland , day 11 Wednesday Jura

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120704 Wednesday, day 11, Jura

Raining in Port Askaig Harbour
Woke up at 7.30. Then breakfast at 8. We had our dark coffee and dark toast. :) It was a rainy morning so it did not look good. We left for the ferry to Jura at 9. Raining all the way to Port Askaig Harbour. The ferry left at 9.02 and was on Jura at 9.08. It took only 6 min to go across The Sound of Islay to Jura. :) No need for drinking coffee on the ferry. Or try to be birding.

We went north and stoped at one place and did a little birding and "sealing" before going to the Destillery. We spotted a herrier and a short-eared owl.

 We were taking the tour around the distillery and had a very unexperienced guide. A young woman that was not at all used to talk to a group. Or handle a group. She started the lecture long before everybody had come into the room where we were. So I had to ask her to slow down and wait.

Well, this tour was slightly different from the others. We was allowed to smell the head, heart and tail liquids and in the end of the tour we were allowed to smell in some barrels. The sherry barrel had a very appealing scent.  :)  Isle of Jura Destillary After the Destillary we went to check out a small art shop they had downhill. And checking out the small harbour and view over the ocean.

After that we went birding for an hour before coming back to Juras only hotel for lunch. Today I was a bit annoyed. For the first time I wanted to have a cup of coffee and a whisky cheesecake as dessert. And for the first time the others decided desert was not needed. So I could not have it. :(

 We was supposed to do some birding  on the north part of Islay, but we stayed on Jura as the weather started to be really good. And it payed off. We spotted some female hen harrier feeding a young. And some Short-eared Owls (jordugglor). And a nice view of a Common Stonechat (svarthakad buskskvätta). The view over The Paps of Jura  was quite amazing. I really like those mountains.
Above, Craighouse I think. 

This Ringed Plower (större strandpipare) stood on one leg as long as I saw it. Maybe it only had one.  We also got good sightings on Stonechat (svarthakad buskskvätta) and short-eared owl (jorduggla).
And now we were running out of time. Of course interesting stuff  happens in the last moments so you don´t really can enjoy them. We had to hurry a bit not to miss the ferry back to the mainland or we had to stay on Jura for the night. That was not really an option.

We arrived 10 min before the ferry should depart, but they were almost in the landing and no traffic. I guess they kept track of the visitors on Jura. We were the only car returning to the mainland adn as soon as we were onboard they left to take us over. Then we had a 30 min drive back to Bowmore and the hotel.

At 19.00h we were at the nearby hotel for dinner. Same as yesterday. I ordered some chicken breast with Cheddar cheesecovering.  It was very good. Then we went to the lounge to deal with the birdlist. A short but nice list today.

I took a shower and wrote this of course. Did check out the blogs too.

120701-04 Harbour Inn, Bowmore Islay http://www.harbour-inn.com/
Tomorrow we meet at breakfast and are supposed to be packed to leave at 9.30.
 The view over The Paps of Jura was quite amazing.

Map of Jura

Himmelsk 102   Sky Watch Friday

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