Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Black Duck Strontian

After three years trying I finally found the legendary Black Duck of Strontian.
Driving down to Ardnamurchan this morning I thought it would be worth the very short diversion around Strontian and I scanned the bay without any joy so headed on up into the village passing the infamous pond where the bird showed so well a couple of years ago. Further on and I checked the river area hearing my first Cuckoo of the year as I did. Thinking the mission was destined to fail I drove back down the road only to find the target sitting on the lawn of "the house with the pond".

Black Duck at Strontian
Moving on and after watching the Red Deer and an Otter I made my way down to Kilchoan.
Twite, Wheatear and Meadow Pipits were everywhere and a smart Great-northern Diver in the harbour feasting on flat fish made the trip rewarding before I moved on down the road to Ardnamurchan point (The most westerly point of the mainland UK) where a quick scan found hundreds of Manx Shearwater moving north scattered with the odd Auk and Gannet.

Red Deer Strontian
Great-northern Diver at Kilchoan 
So I'm thinking I'd had a good day so far and parked up for a spot of lunch whilst watching the mountains in front for any possible Eagle activity. Half way through my sandwich and a pair of Golden Eagles rise up over the mountain and I get great scope views of the adult pair before they drift higher into the clouds and are lost to view. A dark cloud drifted over from Mull bringing hail and strong winds but also bringing a young Sea Eagle with it which sat up on the rocky top and tried to see out the storm despite the attention of Buzzard, Hooded Crow and Raven.
As the storm cleared the bird circled over me before it drifted off high back in the direction of Mull but not before giving me my best Eagle experience to date and another year tick.

Sea Eagle and Hooded Crow (Heavily cropped)
Sea Eagle
Sea Eagle (The flying barn door)

A cracking day on the Ardnamurchan peninsular and the year list now sits at 213
Life list now 368

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