120626 Skottland-Scotland , day 3 Tuesday Farne Islands

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NF Photo 120626 Farne Islands
120626 Tuesday, day 3
Woke up at 6 at first but was able to sleep another 45 min. Went up at 7.30 and the sun was up and shining nicely.  I took a quick walk down to the marina to check out the locations.  

Breakfast was served in the diningroom and was a buffé. I like that. One can get what you like when you want it and don´t have to wait to order. Many hours are spent in hotels just waiting. Waiting to order, waiting to get what you ordered. Then wait again for the next order. Starters, main meal and desert.
Today we spent all day at Farne Isles.
Can I go with you?
We gathered at 9.10 to get to the boat. But one of us were missing so there was some trouble. Ola had to stay behind to see what had happened. A friend to Ola was acompaning us and took care of us to the islands. A lot of people were going. We were shown some seals before going to the first island, Staple Island. Ola and the lost member of our group arrived with the next boat 30 min later so everything ended up well.
Puffins - Lunnefågel
Going uphill on the first island was exciting. So many birds impossible to count them.  Puffins (lunnefåglar) and  Common Guillemots (sillgrisslor) for starters. Amazing. There was also other birds. Like Black-legged Kittiwake (tretåig mås), so sweet looking, Razorbills (Tordmule) was a few too. A lovely bird. Then Northern Fulmars (stormfågel) and other gulls. Krag (toppskarv) was also in abundance. With chicks in different sizes. The area was rough and a bit hard to walk with  cracks And covered with yellow lichen everywhere. I was talking to one of the guardians and he showed me one of the Fulmars laying on egg. I got some great shots of it.
One thing I noticed. The rock was almost clean from bird droppings. Only the sides of the cliffs were lined with white droppings. It seems like the birds living on rocks like this kept the rock clean. Or they would all be full of shit.

For a short while I sat down to eat somethign from the lunch box we recieved and just enjoyed being there. All to soon the visit was over and we had to go back to the boat.

Now we took a tour around some smaller islands and headed to Inner Farne.
Going up the path was a bit hazardous. The Arctic Terns were aggressive. They attacked people when they came to close to the chicks or eggs. And they were everywhere. They came flying and banged into peoples heads. Or sat down on the head screeming their angry sound. Some klappering with the beak did the trick. But everybody was warned and new what was to expect so nobody got hurt. Birds or people. People could also rent a plastic hat to protect themselves. Looked quite funny but worked well. :)
Arctic Tern
Walking uphill I had backlight against a lot of Terns flying around. So it took me a long time just to shoot them. They are so beautiful in backlight. You really had to watch where you put your feet because there was chicks everywhere. Luckily the nests was marked to protect them. But chicks don´t always stay where they are supposed to. :)

The Puffins made their nests in holes in the ground. In one area the ground was full of holes. If you stayed a while just waiting it did not take long before a Puffin came landing with the beak full of fish. Checking the closest area and then sneak down into one of the holes. Only to appear a moment later without the fish.

Inner Farne

Nice weather the whole day. It was only the last 30 min that the sun dissappeared. And it was getting windy. The boats was supposed to pick us up at four when the tide was right. We were picked up 16.30 and now it started to get windy so the trip back turned out to be rather bumpy. The boats crowded with people. No safety wests or anything so it was a bit scary.  But we got to the harbour safe and sound and we were back at the hotel around 17.00
We were extremly lucky this day as they said they had to cancel 60% of all trips due to bad weather conditions. So the company was quite happy as well I guess.
Farne Islands NF Photo 120626

At 18,30 some of us were getting together at the Pub on the other side of the street. I wanted to test the wisky The Famos Grouse. It was actually quite good. Then it was dinner at 19.00. I took the same childrens menue as yesterday but had some beer to it.
After that I asked if there was some plug adapter I could borrow for the computer. The first one did not work, but then they had one for shavers so I borrowed that one. And it worked so I could charge the computer. Upload my photos and write a bit. Had to be in the restaurant to access internet. Took a shower and packed as we are leaving tomorrow.
Not many species today maybe, bot certainly lots and lots of birds.
Hotel Bamburgh Castle Inn, Seahouses http://www.bamburghcastlehotel.co.uk/
Svensk dagbok
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120625 Skottland-Scotland , day 2 Monday

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120625 Monday, day 2 
Woke up at 5.30  a bit too early. But I went up nevertheless.  As I had some trouble getting connected last night I tried a different thing. The plugs I brought with me did not fit for the computer. But I realised I could connect the computer in the shaving plug in the bathroom.  Great, then I can upload my shots. Never mind sitting on bathroom floor. :)
Birding the coast before breakfast at Aberlady bay. We left at 6.05. It was a nice morning with sun but a bit shilly. It was the same location as last night but now we headed over the bridge and walked for a bit. It is a place with many environments. Bushes, medows and waters. We spotted some small birds and then we saw a Little Grebe (smådopping) with 2 chicks in a pond. So nice to see as I never really seen them before. Not this close.

Aberlady Bay at low tide
This was a great birding site with a variety of birds. I liked it.

Back to the hotel for breakfast we got a bad surprise. Last night when we were supposed to pay for the dinner the staff  told us it was included. But now they said they made a mistake and we had to pay for it anyway. Never mind. The breakfast was ok. Lots of food, actually too much. tee, coffee, juice, egg in various forms, and other fried stuff. I only had one egg and bread. Can´t eat that much.

Birds so far, sorry swedish names: storspov,gravand,tofsvipa,rödbena, skrattmås, sävsparv, bofink, gråhäger, svartmes u bild, sävsångare, smådopping, kentsk tärna, svartkråka, knölsvan,  Räv

A part of the model at Glenkinchie Distillery
Leaving Open Arms at 9.30 and headed south to Glenkinchie Distillery. It was cloudy when we arrived. We were allowed to see the museum and their great model of teh process of making whisky. It was very interesting. I asked the man in the shop about the model. He said it was actually working. It would be possible to make whisky in it. Fascinating! Some of us did a little shopping and then we left. But outside the guide heard a sound. A Firecrest (brandkronad kungsfågel) was heard in the trees. Sadly enough we could not see it. :(

I did catch a Dipper in mid-flight. Do you see it?
Now we headed east to the coast of Northern part of England. We took a road up in the Lammermuir Hills. There we saw some Curlew (storspov) and a few other species. But not  the Red legged partridge as we hoped for. It was a beautiful country. From the wild barren hills we came to a lowland with lots of small lakes. Geeze liked them as it seemed. Then we made a stop at a creek. Itwas nice and we saw svallows and a dipper.
We had a late lunch in a pub in a small town and then we proceeded to Lindisfarne at the coast. It was still low tide so we could drive all the way out. We walked in the village and the ruins of the monastary. It was actually a great biding site too. Walking out of the village we came to a hill at the waters edge. It was a beautiful view from that location over the beach now free from water. But the tide was changing and the water was about to rise. So we had to find our way back to the parking lot again. Now I was behind the others. They had left without me noticing it. But I guessed where they went. The place was not that big. We left and passed the low tide area and stoped at the other end to see the tide rise again. For people from areas without the tide this is quite a nice thing to see.
I was there too. Still low tide and possible to drive over.

Hotel Bamburgh Castle Inn, Seahouses. My room is located at the third floor with a really steep stairway. It is not fun. But the room is OK and have a beautiful view over the small harbour. Dinner again soo much food. But I found a smaller dish, childrens menue,  and ordered that one. :)

I had more trouble with the computer. In this hotel I had to sit in the restaurant to be able to connect. I wanted to do that so I could write some and also make a post in my blog. But then I could not charge the battery as they had no plug for shavers. Well, well. I make notes. Hoping for a solution tomorrow.  :)
The little harbour outside my window

Took a shower and went to bed. Tomorrow will be a great day.
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120624 Skottland - Scotland, day1 Sunday

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Scotland 120624-120708
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Our World Tuesday

120624 Sunday, day 1

Woke up at 3.30. Too early I felt.
I fixed everything and was ready to leave at 4.50. I was driving Katrineholm-Södertälje-Arlanda. I had never been driving that road so early in the morning before so I was not prepared for the low sun that caused me a lot trouble when driving. Sometimes I had to slow down as I had a hard time seeing anything but the sun.
I reached Arlanda Car park at 7.40 and had some trouble finding it. But a Taxidriver helped out. Then I had trouble finding the way to Terminal 4. Bad or none direction signs anywhere. It was good to have plenty of time. :(

Well after finding where to check in I was done at 8.25. Nowadays you have to do it all yourself. Today I even had to put the baggage tag on the suitcase myself. Getting free of the luggage I sat down to eat what I brought.

I met the rest of the group at the Gate. We are 8 persons on the tour, tourguide included. Time for the flight was 1h55min a bit shorter then sceduled. We flew over the south part of Norway where it was some snow still lingering in the valleys. We landed in Edingburgh at 10.55 local time.  There were a traffic jam due to some celebrations so it took quite a while to get out of the airport area with the coach that picked us up for the drive to the rental shop. I felt sorry for a lot of people on their way to the airport. They left their cars and started running toward the airport. I hope they made it. Luckily the worst part of the traffic jam was over when we headed east along the coast.

Arriving at Open Arms in Darlington at 14.00 we checked in and had something to eat. Then left to visit the Tantallion Castle and Bass Rock. There was some hard showers and sunshine too. Bass Rock was really beautiful in that weather condition. Lots and lots of birds looking  like snowfall against the thunderdark skies with a sun shining through. Gorgeous! I was lucky to catch one Gannet rather close.
I met a Duch couple and helped them a little with the birds.

Bass Rock images on NF Photo

We also visited Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick from where you could see Bass Rock from an other angle.

Birding at Moray Firths coast and Aberlady Bay before heading back for dinner and birdlist. It was getting dark so it was not so much to see. Except for a nice set of sun rays.

I´m tired. It´s been a long day. Checking the shots for today. Took a shower and going to bed.

Night at Hotel Open Arms, Dirleton http://www.openarmshotel.com/  It was the hotel with fake book shelves. :)             
Birds today:
Knölsvan, gravand, hussvala, storskarv, havssula,storspov, bläsand, strandskata,svartkråka, kråka, ringduva.

Tomorrow at 6.00h.
Birding the coast before breakfast

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