120701 Skottland-Scotland , day 8 Sunday, Ferry

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120701 Sunday, day 8
 Half way through.

Woke up 5.30. Met the birders at 6.30 and we were heading back to Kintyre and the Bird Observatory. Lots of rain and wind at first but then it calmed down a bit. Still fun to shoot the Gannets. Now I start to learn their behaviour. They have a cool habit of swooping down to the watersurface. Make a turn and dip the tip of the wing in the water. Sometimes with a result of making them wobble a bit. Seemed like fun. I think the gang, Ola really, saw at least one seasvallow (?). Not sure if there was more. I looked for Twite (vinterhämpling) but did not see any. But I learned how to shoot the gannets at Machrihanish Seabird Obervatory . :)  Map
Check out the "stockings" :)
Back to breakfast Craigard House Hotel at 9.15 and departure to the ferry at 10.30.

Now we left Campbeltown to go to  Kennacraig and the Ferry Berth. It was a large and fairly new ferry with some treats in the design. Well, for me that is.  The  Ferry departured as sceduled and we had 1h45min to do some birding onboard and whatever we wanted to do. . I had prepared a lunchpack, coffee and cookies, on the hotell so I had a thermos with me. I thought it was enough for me. Quite nice to not have so much in the stomach for once. I went out on the front balcony to look around while people eat a lot of lunch. And I took a tour around the ferry.

Mindre Lira - Manx Shearwater
It was windy. Of course I almost said. And for a moment hard to stand upright. To start with not much action on the water. Spent the time watching the sea and taking some shots. Finally there were some gannets comming into sight. And then mindre lira. And lots of them. And they came close. So fun to see them in the front of the ferry. The sun came out too and made the lirorna glimmer when they moved and circled the wateres. Finally they sat down on the water on the left side. Only to be on the wings again a moment later. Running the water before being airborne. So fun to watch. Some people did se some dolphins too but not me. :(
Decoration on the Ferry to the left.

Then we headed in between the two islands and soon the tour to Islay was over. We landed at Port Askaig. We headed for the other side of the island and our new hotel, the Harbour Inn in Bowmore. We got our rooms and 16.15 we left again for some easy birding along the shore and the low tide area.

Isle of Jura

At 18 we met Malcolm and had dinner at a smaller restaurant. After that Malcolm had an intersting lecture about what they do at the Islay Wildlife Centre in Port Charlotte, and about the birds in the area.
On the way back to the hotel we made a stop at the wetland hopeing for  Great Grey Owl (lappuggla)to hunt the wetland. But there was only the regular birds.

We were back at the hotel at 22.45. A bit too late for my taste. It ment No Shower.  At midnight I realised that I could not get the TV to work. I found a late woman in the staff that was on her way home. She helped me with that. To bed at 00.30.

120701-04 Harbour Inn, Bowmore Islay http://www.harbour-inn.com/
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Birding at Hävringe

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 Hävringe 120825,  NF Photo 120825, click to enlarge all photos
Last saturday I attended a trip to Hävringe. Hävringe is a small island, about 40 min by small boat, outside Oxelösund in the middle part of Sweden. It is located at the coast of The Baltic Sea. I aded a link to a map so you can see where it is. Haevringe Lighthouse We did not visit the island of the lighthouse but the island close to that is an old pilotage site.
Well, to start from the beginning. Alarmclock was set to 04.05. When I woke up after a lousy sleep I was wondering what the h-k I was doing. I got up, fixed my lunch pack and at 4.50 I was ready to leave. I thought I had lots of time. But... as always. :)
It started out with early morning mist. Did not slow me down too much though but I wished I had more time so I could have stoped to take some pics. But i didn´t. I had to save that for another morning.

Next problem was a lot of work on the road. For a long time I had to drive slow because the road was only loose gravel. Not fun to drive on. Arriving at Nyköping the main road I shoult have been driving was closed so I had to make a detour. Now I was bothered, would I make it in time? Our guides had warned us they would not wait for late people. Well, I made it with 10 min to spare. It was a nice morning, a bit chilly but so calm the water was glassy. At 6.20 we left the harbour for a 40 min trip to the island of Hävringe.

It was really nice to see all islets in the low morning sun. Glowing with a warm yellow color. It is a sight I am not used to. And the birds starting to wake. A few roaming the skies already.

We were 17 woman on the trip. Most of us came from Nyköping and Tärnans Birders.   They took the opportunity to start a new group of female birders belonging to a group we call Rapphönan (Grey Partridge). That will be nice for the future.

House Martins - Hussvalor
The island was not big. There was a few summer houses and the larger building earlier used by the pilotage workers. We put our gear close to it and started to look around on ground, water and sky. Some emediately set up their tubes. Myself I started to walk around to check the surroundings. Then joined the group. It was not that easy to see anything as there was buildings below and trees and bushes. But we did see some interesting waterfowl like a family of Velvet Scoter (Svärta). And swallows of course.

After having something to eat we moved away from the buildings closer to the shore. Looking for birds on the water as well as the islets outside. We did see a Cuckoo on a nearby islet. A bird I did not expect to see there. But that is one of the fun thing about birds. You never know what to find. After an hour or two it started to warm up and we could take some clothes of. Getting a nice feeling of summer again. It was great walking around on the cliffs, then birding again. I did not get many bird shots as they were to far out. But I got a lot of other things in my camera.

At 13.30 we left the island and headed back to Oxelösund. On one island I spotted a Velvet Scoter and actually got a shot of it.

It was a great day and I say thanks to everybody who organized it and to all who attended.

 I was back home at 17.00h. If I was tired? You can guess. :)
I got a mail with a short report. As a group we saw/heard 53 different spieces. Myself I had one new lifer and two new species for the blog. Not bad for one day, right? :)


120630 Skottland-Scotland , day 7 Saturday, Kintyre

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120630 Saturday, day 7
Aisla Craig
Woke up at 6.30 and ready for birding at 7. We started out and rounded the bay heading for Cambeltown Loch with Stinking Hole, Davarr Island. We saw mostly tits and swallows, cormorants and Gannets from the colony of Aisla Craig. The island had a cloudcap. Or is it birds?? No, kidding.  :) Weather was perfect for the moment.  At half past 8 we headed back to the hotel for breakfast.

We met again 10.00.  Those served breakfasts are very timeconsuming.  And the fried egg is very shiny. Think they are bathed in oil. Next time I´ll have a boiled egg instead.

This time we went across the penisula to the Machrihanish Seabird Obervatory. A lot of gannets were fishing in the wild water there, I had a lot of fun catching them with my camera. It started to rain and the wind increased. That was not fun. There were also some seals laying around. And some cool sheeps with "black striped socks".

big sign

When we left that place people started to look for terns from the car. For some reason I was not aware that they were looking for a Roseate Tern (rosentärna) at Machrihanish as I was busy with the Gannets. I thought they were only looking at Kentsk tern. When they stoped at a small beach I started to look around to see if there was something great in visible range. When I turned back to the car everybody was gone. They just disappeared. And the car was wide open, not locked, so I did not dare leave it to try to find them. And later I realised they were all hidden behind a big sign. :(   So, I missed that one bird. Nothing to do about that now.

Gannet diving


We had lunch at Kintyres southern point where the gannets passes by heading for their own lunch. Thousends of them in plough formation. No wonder why they sometimes  are called seagoose. Before turning uphill we made another stop to enjoy the birds and the shore. There were some Oystercatchers here as well.

Next place was Mull of Kintyre that normaly has a gorgeous view. But not today with rain and mist. We did not stay long as there was nothing to see that day. We turned back the way we came. A narrow one lane road crossing the hills. The weather cleared up a bit as we got closer to the shore again so we made a short photo stop and enjoyed the view over Southend, Sanda Island and Aisla Craig. Below us flew one flock after another with gannets and some Manx Shearwaters and a few shags.


The whole day was cold. And mostly rainy. Getting back to the hotel was a relief. Heating up the room to get warm. Checked the email and taking a shower. Dinner served at  19.15. I took Vermilon.(hjort).

Coffee and liqour and then to bed. Well  after checking todays shots of course.

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Stinking hole
Davarr Island
Aisla Craig m havssulor
Machrihanish Seabird Obervatory
Sothend and Sanda Island
Mull of Kintyre
120629-30 Craigard House Hotel, Campbeltown http://www.craigard-house.co.uk/
middag ingår i priset  
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120629 Skottland-Scotland , day 6 Friday, Kintyre

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S O O C (all images except the first one)
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120629 Friday, day 6 
Woke up 4 because my wristwatch wa accidently set on alarm. It was raining on my "roof window" so there was no need for birding this morning. I went to sleep again. Then woke up at the proper time to pack my things for loading in the car at 8.10. Breakfast at 8.20 and leaving to the ferry at 9.10. This hotel had a very late breakfast so we had to arrange with them to make it a bit early and fast this morning. They had prepared so everything went smothly.

At Arran ferry berth
As it was still raining there were no need to try to look for birds on the ferry. So everyone stayed in the car. We arrived at Claonaig on Kintyre at 10.00 and drove south on a single lane road. Lots of them around here. Once and again we stoped at meeting spots to let cars pass us. Still raining. The forest looks a bit like rainforest so a bit strange. We drove along the coast down to Carradales harbor where we birded for a while. At this location we had a nice view over Arran we just left. And now the sun peeked through the clouds and mist so we had a rather nice time birding.

The birds has a kind of "highway" where most of them flew.  It was in between the two land masses. It made it possible to study the flight of  the Manx Shearwater (mindre lira). Quite interesting, they fly with stiff wings close to the watersurface.  Then they flap the wings fast and then glides for a few seconds again. There was also a lot of gannets flying the same route but higher up in the sky.

Fishingboat in Carradale
 Leaving the harbour we went to a Coffee shop for a light meal. Suited me perfectly. A cup of coffee and a cupcake and a Meringue, just what I wanted, no more no less. :) No need to throw anything away. I liked the building opposite the Coffee shop. It is beautiful and...it was a small museum in it. Showing the life of fishermen. And it seems like you can play chess on the ground. :)

Heading south again. We arrived at Craigard House Hotel in  Campbeltown at 13,05 and got our rooms. I was on the second floor on the back of the hotel.  Today I have 3 beds and both a shower cabin and a bathtub. Gosh, I´ll be very clean. :)  A backdraw here is the plugs, again! But I manage.

The hotel has a birdfeeder outside, quite fun to watch,  and a fat dog that anyone is allowed to take for a walk.

At 13.40h we were picked up by a taxi to go to the destilleries Springbank and Glengyle.  It was raining heavilly again so taxi was great. At first we was given a tour around both factories. It was midseason so there was no workers present. Therefore easy to see it all.

We could also taste the early version of the whisky. Long before it was finished  (mäsk). After seeing both destilleries we went to "The Tasting Room" at Cadenheads.  We could taste 6 diffrent whiskys of their own making. And a little snack to it. It was interesting to notice what a diffence the barrels and the storage time made to the final product.

When we were finished it had stoped raining so we walked back to the hotel. A few birds appeared on the way and it was a nice walk along the shore.
Campbeltown bay, our hotel on the left side.

Dinner was served at 19.15. I chosed a dish with Brie stuffed chicken. It was really good but I thought the tomato sauce was a bit too strongly flavored thus spoiling the taste of the cheese.

After dinner we ended the day by checking our birdlist for today. Not so many, bit nice, birds today.

Talked with my daughter on SKYPE tonight. Not long because the connection was lousy. Wrote on my diary and checked the mail. And todays shots.

A cool hotel, isn´t it?

Morning birding at 7 tomorrow.
120629-30 Craigard House Hotel, Campbeltown http://www.craigard-house.co.uk/

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Här med utsikt över Arran som vi kom ifrån. Vi hade tur och hade uppehållsväder mest hela tiden vi var där. Det var dimma först men den lättade.

Här fick jag möjlighet att se hur Mindre Liran uppförde sig. Den sveper nära vattnet med stela vingar. Några snabba slag och sen glider den någon sekund. Intressant! Vi fick också lite närmare kontakt med havssulan. Bla annat kom det några ungfåglar.

På väg därifrån gick vi in på ett Cofee room  och åt lite lätt lunch. Jag tog kaffe, scones  och en maräng

Vi anlände till hotel Craigard House Hotel vid 13.05. Jag fick ett tre sängsrum med både duschkabin och badkar. Ingen vidare utsikt, men det går ju att gå ut. De har en fågelmatning, det var lite kul. Och en fet jycke som vill bli omklappad.

Kl 13-40 blev vi hämtade av en taxi för att komma till destillerierna Springbank and Glengyle och wisky provning. Det hällregnade igen så det var skönt att vara inne på visningen av fabriken. Det såg ut precis som modellen vi såg häromdagen. ....oops, swedish :(      
Middag ingår i priset
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120628 Skottland-Scotland , day 5 Thursday, Arran

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120628 Thursday, day 5
Woke up 5.00. Checked my mail around 6.3o. It´s been heavy rain during the night. We were supposed to meet at 7.00 As it was till raining Ola did not want to go out and it was only me and Annevi and her husband at the door. The three of us took a stroll along the bay in Locrantza. We headed out to a ruin where we saw some Eurasian Oystercatchers (strandskata) with chicks. There seem to be a lot of them here in Scotland. We also saw two Black Guillemots (Tobisgrissla). That is a beautiful one. :)

After strolling at the shore for a while we turned and went north and out to the ferry berth.  It is just a small one here taking maybe 10 cars.
(tobisgrissla, strandskateungar,mås, hussvala, rödhake)

8.30, breakfast. And that took a long time as it was served by one and only one chef.
After breakfast we left at 9.15. Driving "The string road"

 First we went uphill to see if there was any eagles and deers. During the asent it started to rain. And momentarily very heavy. We did see some deers but just barely. It was to much rain to get to se them properly. Ola decided it to be a safety hazard so we turned a´round and went back to the main road by the sea. Ola does not drive today, his roommate does.

Back at the shore we was stoped by some bikers. They were looking at three otters swimming close to shore and then entering it. People were quite excited about it. Especially when it turned out to be a young among them. But that one was hard to spot.

We birded for a while a bit more south at Kilbrannan Sound on Arrans westcoast but the weather was still troublesome. But I did get some great shots. :)

Around 12.30 we came into a community and stoped to bird for a while as the rain had stoped. I think I heard a black cap but I AM NOT SURE. Then we headed into Killoch hotel  for lunch. I took sandwiches and it was not good.

We followed the coast to the southern part of Arran and there it stoped. More rain,  not fun at all. People started to doze off in the car. On the way back at the north coast of the island somebody spotted a whale, everyone was excited. Even the sun came out for a while.

At 17.10 we arrived at the local destillary, the smallest one in Scotland. Arran Destillery. But we were too late for a tour so we could only buy something. I bought two almanacks for next year and a whisky licour. The sun was now shining and we saw some trush on the lawn. I think it is a Song Trush.

Coming back to the hotel I took a new walk to the south. Passing the ruins looking for birds but did not find anything. I was back at the hotel in time for dinner at seven. Chicken as usual,  and now I write, checking the shots and getting dry.

120627-28 Lochranza Hotel, Lochranza Arran http://www.lochranzahotel.co.uk/
Tomorrow morning we leave early with the ferry. Luggage ready to load at 8.00. Then breakfast.

Middag ingår i resans pris.
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120627 Skottland-Scotland , day 4 Wednesday crossing GB

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120627 Wednesday, day 4
Woke up at 6 first time and set the computer battery to charge. At 7 I went up. Wrote a bit on my diary, swedish version, and then started to pack. Now I am waiting for breakfast.

It is a rainy morning so spending most part of the day in the car is not bad. We are crossing the GB to the other coast today. It was not that easy to find the right way across country. There were several times when they missed turns and had to go back or take a different road. It was also raining most of the day so the three of us in the backseat was dozing off every now and then. And when you were alert... what you did see was sheep. The land was dotted with white sheep.

We made one stop for coffee, one photostop and then lunch in a restaurant. So much food my stomach protests.

We came to the site of the ferry in Ardrossan  at appointed time despite driving problems. Ola got all the tickets for comming ferry trips as well. So from now on we only had to be at the ferry in time for embarking them. At 17.55 the ferry was out on the water heading for Brodick on Arran. The trip took about an hour and we were birding most of the time.

The weather changed again when we were on our way out to the islands. Lots of mists and clouds hiding the island. We spotted several spieces of birds. Many of them the same as yesterday and a few new ones. Like Manx Shearwater, hm strange name,  (Mindre Lira) and Black Guillemot (Tobisgrissla).
Fishingboats with lots of birds surrounding it. Hardly seen because of the msit.

Not much is seen but that was the destination. Brodick on Arran. A gannet luckily passed by.

120627-28 Lochranza Hotel, Lochranza Arran 
We arrived at the hotel, located on the northern part of the island, at 19.30 so we were assigned our rooms and then headed for the dining room. I got a great room today. First floor and I have 4 beds. All by myself. :)

For dinner I had some sirloin steak. Really great food. But of course, too much for me so I had to leave some. Dinner included today. Didn´t help, still too much on the plates. But I did take an icecream dessert.

This hotel has a working shower so I freshened me up. Then uploaded todays shots of course. It sounds like rain outside so it does not seem good for tomorrow. We shall meet at 7 for a morningwalk. Breakfast is 8.30.

Crossing Scotland,GB  to Ardrossan ferry (220km)
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120626, tisdag och dag 3 på vår resa till skottland. Farne Islands

120626, tisdag och dag 3 på vår resa till skottland.  
Huvudinlägget på engelska finns H Ä R.   Main entry HERE

Alla bilder NF Photo 120626. Klicka för förstoring.
Idag var vi på Farne Islands på öar i havet. Vi befinner oss just nu i England.
Staple Island, den första ön för vårt besök, är ett riktigt fågelparadis mitt ute havet utanför Englands nordöstra kust.
Sillgrissla - Common Guillemot
Turen började med att vi åkte båt och först förevisades en del sälar som låg och solade på klippor.  Sedan började havet sakta men säkert fyllas med fågel. Både på vattenytan och i lufthavet. De flesta var nya för mig men Lunnefåglarna kände jag igen. Inte utan att man började fyllas av förväntan när vi närmade oss ön.
Att gå upp på klipporna och fågelberget kan knappt beskrivas. Det var översållat av fåglar. Fåglar som flög, fåglar som satt, fåglar som ruvade. Och så en del folk förståss. Ivrig som man var tyckte man ju att det var för mycket folk. J

Tretåig mås - Black-legged Kittywake
Så småningom lugnade man ner sig efter den värsta adrenalinkicken och började så sakteliga vandra runt på de gula klipporna.  Nu började man hinna titta också och inte bara plåta. Med hjälp av folket runt omkring började jag kunna identifiera fåglarna. Lunnefåglar i mängder med sin färgglada näbb. Tretåig mås med jättesöta ungar på minimala klippor. Sillgrisslor med sin grafiska dräkt, också med fina ungar. Några Stormfåglar låg och ruvade. Toppskarvar fanns överallt. Både ruvande och med ungar i olika åldrar. En av favoriterna blev de vackra Tordmularna som till synes kärvänligt tog hand om varann.
Tordmule - Razorbill
Jag hade kunnat stanna hela dagen bara där. Men vi for vidare till Silvertärnornas land, Inner Farne. Här fick man verkligen hålla i hatten. Silvertärnorna attackerar allt för att försvara sina små. De kraschar hårt mot ens huvud så stadig huvudbonad är att rekommendera. Dock gick de aldrig på ögon och sådant.
Silvertärna - Arctic Tern

När vi kom till ön hade vi tärnorna i motljus. Ett eldorado för en sån som jag. Så jag plåtade ett bra tag innan jag gick vidare. Försiktigt för att inte trampa på några små.
Kentsk Tärna

Ön hade också ett stort bestånd av Kentsk tärna. Och en del av arterna vi sett tidigare. Det var en upplevelse och inte ville man tillbaka till hotellet. Men på vägen tillbaka började det blåsa kraftigt så det var nog dags. Vi fick sedan veta att det varit så dåligt väder tidigare att många turer varit inställda. Det var nog därför det var såå mycket folk med den här dagen.

Lunnefågel - Puffin
Inner Farne
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