Saturday, 23 May 2015

Uist's Trip 17th May

Started the day with a visit to Benbecula hoping for Red-necked Phalarope. No luck with the Phalaropes but 3 Snipe drumming overhead made the trip worthwhile. Over to Stinky Bay next, only went there because I like the name! A couple of Great-northern Diver and a Whimbrel here. Back on to North Uist and a visit to a Golden Eagle site. An organised watch-point has now been set up here. At first a distant view of a chick in the nest and then some decent views of the female, in flight, preening on the hillside and then flew to the nest. A search for Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl next. I stopped in a layby to chat to a guy who's hobby is filming raptors. A pair of Hen Harrier and a Short-eared Owl were seen while chatting but too distant for filming or photo's. A stop further up the road and another Short-eared Owl and then while looking down the hillside something flying directly over my head caught my attention. A male Hen Harrier! I stayed on the Harrier as it flew away from where I was standing. It dropped down into the heather and emerged with a small rodent. Then as luck would have it flew back in my direction. As the Harrier got closer a female flew up out of the heather and the male dropped the rodent. A food pass, Wow! This happened at least three times over the next 40 minutes. Late in the day now but still time for some more birding. Back to Balranald for another look for Corncrake. On route 2 Whooper Swan. As I got near to Balranald a Corncrake ran across the road. I viewed the same area as before and again was straight on to a Corncrake. Funny shape this one I thought? It soon became clear that there were in fact two Corncrake really close together.

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