SCOTLAND






Map os Scotland


Our route

A few facts

Scotland lies in the north of Great-Britain and is therefore part of the United-Kingdom.  It is a mountainous country whose coasts are dotted with many islands among which the Orkneys in the north.  The Inner Hebrides lie at the west and the most famous of them are the isles of Skye and Mull.  The ragged coastline is adorned with a few beautiful sand beaches but tourists are above all impressed by the high-towering cliffs.  Scotland covers  78,772 km² and its population is just above 5 million.  Its capital is Edinburgh, of course, but the largest city is Glasgow.

Never tell a Scot he is English because he is very proud of his difference and if he does speak English, he may also address his friends in Gaelic, the second official language, and even Scots, a regional idiom. 

The weather is usually wet but above all very changing and we were lucky not to have too much rain.  The Scots are charming people, very polite and even if they think there is nothing like Scotland,  they will make you feel at home.

Higland Games

Everybody has their own style (Photo Michèle Gallet)

Driving

You drive on the left in the UK so you have to be extra careful, especially when you come to a round-about, which must be taken counter-clockwise, but also at crossroads or when you move again after pulling over by the road-side.  Habits will take you to the wrong side of the road but fortunately, there are very often warning signs near touristic places.  The speed limits are 70 mph on motorways or dual-carriage ways, 60 mph on most roads and 30 or 40 mph in town.  There are frequent controls and your GPS will let you know more than once that you are over the speed limits whenever there are a few houses along the roads. 

We are a party of friends and we have founded an association called the Oiseaux Migrateurs.  We prepared this journey with the help of a travel agency to book hotel rooms along a route we had carefully planned months before.  As we wanted to go to very remote places, we also had to make our own reservations for a few B&Bs.  As for transport, we had booked passage on the ferries through the Internet and reserved a  Mercedes Vito to accommodate the six of us and all our luggage.  

If you want to go directly to the list of birds, please click  here.

20 July 2011

As usual we took the train to go to Paris.  We were accommodated a the hotel Ibis de Roissy Pôle, which is still way too expensive but conveniently located in the airport itself.  

21 July 2011

It was raining so we thought this was just to get us in the mood.  An hour and a half after the Air France Avro RJ85 had taken off, we landed in Edinburgh where the sky was clear! We collected our car at  Arnold Clark's after we had called them to take us to their offices and drove away, a bit tense because we had to get used to driving on the left.   We took one of the bridges of the Firth of Forth and reached Perth early in the afternoon.  We visited this small peaceful town protected from the drizzle under our umbrellas.  We had a quick glance at  St Leonard in the Fields' church, St John's Kirk and the cathedral, then walked about in the town and took a stroll along the river Tay where I came across my first Lesser Black-Backed Gulls. We had booked rooms at the New County Hotel which has a first-class restaurant, the Opus One,  where we had our first meal.  It was a bit too expensive for us but really nice.  

 22 July 2011

Breakfast was just as good and we tasted our first black pudding which was actually served under the form of round slices of sausage. We then headed northwards and went as far as Pitlochry where we stopped at the fish ladder enabling salmon to swim up the river to lay their eggs. In Killicrankrie, we visited the place where the English fought the Scots and thought the scenery around us must have been much less peaceful then.  The road beautifully unwound itself at the foot of those green bare mountains called the Grampians.   At Loch Boat of Garten, we went to a bird reserve where the Osprey nests.  There was a juvenile bird on an eyrie but it didn't stay long and we soon saw it fly above the forest with its parents. We also saw Eurasian Siskins and other forest birds together with a Common Squirrel attracted by the bird feeders and this was probably also the case for the Bank Vole I spotted under the trees. We walked along the banks of the lake hoping to find Scottish Crossbill but to no avail. We only saw a Common Goldeneye and a Eurasian Wigeon


Eurasian Wigeon

Eurasian Wigeon   

Mallard
  Mallard

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

We arrived in Inverness in the evening and were accommodated at the Aberfeldy Lodge, an establishment which I do recommend.  The city was very lively and we were a bit surprised to see that mini-skirts and punk fashion was still in.

23 July
2011

We had decided to stay in Inverness for two days because of the Highland Games.   After we had bought our tickets we made a quick visit of the city and spent some time in St Andrew's Cathedral.  The show started with a military parade in the streets.  Everybody was trying to find a good spot from where they could see the soldiers dressed in  colourful uniforms play the bagpipe.  We followed them to the Northern Meeting Park where the games were to be held and we were very pleased to see we could find seats in the stands, contrary to what we had been told.

A minister made his speech, there were more parades and the competitions finally began.  In the meantime, some people were eating on blankets they had stretched on the grass, others, sometimes wearing kilts were just walking around the stadium watching girls perform country dances or boys run on the tracks.  Still, the loudest applause was reserved to those competitors who had to make a show of their strength. Some were trying to throw the Scottish Hammer or various sorts of weights as far or even as high behind themselves as possible but most people had come to see a sports event called Tossing the Caber.  You have to lift a heavy pole holding it at one tip, run with it and flip it over to make it fall flat straight in front of you. It didn't look easy and demanded a great combination of speed and strength.  Although they were competing, these heavy guys had a lot of fun doing this, just like the public.  Anybody can enrol provided they wear a kilt.  At the end of the games people sang  God Save the Queen and Auld Lang Syne and everybody parted.

 Highlanders

  Two Highlanders (Photo Danielle Joannès)


Highland Games

At the  Highland Games

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Tossing the Caber

                                                                                                                               Tossing the Caber                                                                                                                                  

24 July 2011

Anybody going to Scotland for the first time goes to the famous Loch Ness and this is what we did.  We drove around it, first on the west side then we took the road winding up the mountains on the east.  We did make a stop at the Exhibition Centre  in Drumnadrochit and learnt everything about the origins of the legend of the famous monster called Nessie.  We stopped over at Urquart Castle without visiting it because the price of the entrance was way too high but I must admit it is beautifully located  along the lake. We had a picnic lunch at Fort Augustus, near the sluices where a Pied Wagtail strutted about close to us.   We came across our first Red Deer near Loch Tarff, then saw about 50 Greylag Geese feeding near a mountain road with a Canada Goose.  Not far from Croachy, a Eurasian Curlew kept watch over its four young and we also saw a Stoat, and Carrion and Hooded  Crows.


Pied Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

 

After we had gone round the lake we drove as far as Fort George, but did not visit the artillery fortification.  I spotted about 30 Common Gulls along the beach.  We had a very pleasant meal in the evening at the Castle Tavern in Inverness and enjoyed the nice view to the castle.  We had haggis.  It is supposed to be sheep's stomach filled with lamb trimmings and if this doesn't sound appetizing it is actually very good.


Loch Ness

Loch Ness (Photo Danielle Joannès)

 25 July 2011  

When you visit Scotland, you've got to taste the famous Scotch whisky I had been told before leaving France so that's why we visited a distillery in  Glenmorangie.  Thus, I learnt many things about this beverage and its American counterpart, Bourbon.  As soon as we got into the distillery, we were overcome by the smell of malt.  There were copper pipes and stills everywhere and I was almost  asphyxiated when I was stupid enough to put my head inside a huge copper vessel.  I did taste a few drops of this precious beverage just for the sake of it but I'm no specialist and didn't like it very much.

We then made a short stopover in Dornoch, a charming small town where we admired the old houses made of stone and a beautiful church before going to the castle of Dunrobin, which we chose not to visit.  We went to the beach instead to have a better view of it but I was more interested in the Black-legged Kittiwakes, Sandwich Terns and Ruffs I had spotted there. 

Dunrobin Castle

Dunrobin Castle (Photo Danielle Joannès)

A little later we quickly visited the Timespan Museum in Helmsdale and arrived at the Norseman Hotel in Wick.  Nothing special but it was fine enough for us and we got a good meal for a price we could afford.  In the evening, I took a stroll along the mud banks of the river and found a few Redshanks, Ruffs and a Dunlin.  There were Eurasian Jackdaws everywhere and the Carrion Crow had been replaced little by little by the Hooded Crow

Errogie

Near Errogie (Photo Danielle Joannès)       



Errogie

The Artist's Palette ((Photo Danielle Joannès)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

26 July 2011

John O’Groats is a very windy place located right in front of the Orkney Islands where we arrived in the afternoon.  A very surprising colourful fairy tale kind of a castle can be seen there.  We decided to have a walk on the beach and found the usual Eurasian Oystercatchers, 3 Bean Geese, Eurasian Curlews, numerous Meadow Pipits and just one Northern Wheatear.  We then took a very pleasant, although winding narrow road to Duncansby Head, a cliff covered with lush green grass which the black-faced sheep seemed to find to their taste.  They run around, heedless of the cars, so you have to drive carefully there. 


Duncansby Head


Duncansby Head (Photo Danielle Joannès)


Duncansby Head

Duncansby Head (Photo Danielle Joannès)




Northern Fulmars nest on the cliffs, not far from there and there were still chicks waiting to be fed.  We also came across many Rock Pigeons and on the water below, I saw a few Black Guillemots which were very easy to identify thanks to the white patch on their wings.  From time to time, a Great Skua (the local Bonxie) swooped past the cliffs, looking for a prey or other sea birds to pester and rob them of their catch.   Six Grey Seals were pointing their snouts upwards and looking at us.    

Northern Fulmar (chick)

Northern Fulmar (chick)


Northern Fulmar

Northern Fulmar (adult)


Grey Seal

Grey Seal

For once we had some time ahead so we made a short visit of Mey Castle and then drove back to Gills to board the ship.  In the harbour, we observed 5 Harbour and about 60 Grey Seals resting on the rocks.  We had a smooth crossing and from the bridge I saw many Atlantic Puffins, Black Guillemots and Northern Gannets.  There were also 3 Guillemots, a Razorbill and several Great Skuas pestering other birds, 4 Greylag Geese and a Harbour Porpoise swimming close against the boat in the middle of Scapa Flow where so many battleships fought during both World Wars.  When we arrived at St Margaret’s Hope, I spotted 5 White-winged Scoters, a Red-breasted Merganser and about 30 Common Eiders.  Once we had left the boat we made a quick visit of the Orkney Museum of Kirkwall, the capital city, and settled at the St Ola Hotel,  very nicely located right in front of the harbour.  

Kirkwall

Kirkwall Harbour (Photo Danielle Joannès)

We immediately went to the Hobbister bird reserve but arrived at the same time as a woman who had come to exercise several of her dogs on the beach and the neighbouring moor.  Bad luck, but we nevertheless saw a Bar-tailed Godwit and other very common birds.  While driving we saw a Short-eared Owl perched on a fence post, about 130 Greylag Geese and 10 Eurasian Curlews in a field.  Some time later, we saw yet another Short-eared Owl  flying above the fields, obviously looking for a prey.

In the evening we had Yorkshire Pudding for a change and found it very tasty.  As the sun sets very late at such latitudes, we had a pleasant walk along the quays before going to bed. 

 27 July 2011

Just after leaving our hotel we started to look for the Cottascarth Bird Reserve and it took us quite a long time to find it.  It is at the back of beyond and there are very few sign-posts.  We had to park in a farmyard, climb over a barrier and walk in the moor before we found the hide from which we saw two Hen Harriers flying above the meadows, a Merlin and a Common Cuckoo.

We then drove to Maes Howe,  a chambered cairn designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site where a broad-accented guide gave us a lot of explanations about the history of this area and we also saw the stone rings of Stenness and Brodgar.  We took plenty of photos before going to the oldest stone age village of Europe located at Skara Brae.  It is very surprising to see how well it has been preserved and it showed us that not all stone age people lived in caves, surrounded with saber-toothed tigers.  Skaill House, just a few hundred metres from there, is a 17th century manor which was owned by the man who had discovered the site and it is also worth a visit.

Brodgar

Ring of Brodgar (Photo Danielle Joannès)

In the neighbourhood of Loons, we found around 500 Greylag Geese but stayed in the car so as not to frighten them away.  Such precautions were not necessary at Maerwick Head where Northern Fulmars nest.  There were also Rock Pigeons and Great Skuas trying as usual to rob other sea birds from the fish they had caught.  We were pleased to see that there were still many Atlantic Puffins in the impressive cliffs and we lay down in the grass to take pictures.  Walking down towards the parking place, we saw yet another Short-eared Owl and a Rock Pipit.  Near Birsay, where we made a short pause on the beach, we found one Arctic and five Great Skuas keeping an eye on the Northern Gannets


Maerwick Head

Maerwick Head (Photo Danielle Joannès)

 28 July 2011

The weather was overcast and we visited the Kirkwall Cathedral just before leaving the Orkneys.  This religious building displays a lot of historical memorials like the tomb of explorer John Rae, the bell of the Royal Oak (the ship sunk by the Germans in the bay of Scapa Flow) and a reminder of the links with Norway and its Vikings. The stained glass windows and the woodwork are splendid but the sandstone pillars are unfortunately much eroded.  Just before crossing the channel back to the mainland we made a short stop to have a look at the Italian Chapel near Holm.

We saw the same birds we had seen on our way to the Orkneys but they seemed to be less numerous.  At the Dunnet Head bird reserve, once more we found Great Skua, Atlantic Puffin, Northern Fulmar, Black-legged Kittiwake and 2 Twites.  The weather being very nice again, we walked round a small lake in a peat bog where we found cotton grass, this beautiful white plant which seems to be forever moving in the wind and droseras, carnivorous plants, which are more difficult to see but still very beautiful.  In the sky, a Common Raven was mobbed by two Arctic Skuas.


Drosera

Drosera (Photo Danielle Joannès)

In the evening, we arrived at the Royal Hotel in Thurso.  It looked a bit old but was OK.  After we had made a walk around in the streets, we felt the whole town gave the same i mpression.

29 July 2011

We were now driving along the northern coast of Scotland and heading for Strathy Point where there were only a few of the usual sea birds: Great Skua, Northern Fulmar, a few Northern Gannets, one Great-ringed Plover, Black-legged Kittiwake, Atlantic Puffin and Black Guillemot.  We had a nice picnic at the sea-side and drove as far as Tongue where we were accommodated at the Tongue Hotel.  Who could have thought of a more appropriate name?  Still, the hotel is very pleasant and they have a top class restaurant. 

As we had some time ahead, we visited the area around the Kyle of Tongue and once more took a very small road. There are "passing places" every few hundred metres and if people always thank you when you let them pass, they sometimes drive too quickly so you have to be careful.  Of course, we stopped here and there to take pictures and saw many birds: about forty Greylag Geese, Eurasian Oystercatchers, numerous Meadow Pipits and 2 Rock Pipits.  We also stopped at a marvelous little sand beach but the water was far too cold to have a swim.  Climbing up the dunes to return to our cars was a bit difficult but the landscape was really pleasant.


Skerray

Near Skerray (Photo Danielle Joannès)

30 July 2011

 As expected, breakfast was as good as the dinner we had the night before and we were soon ready to drive along Loch Erribol, passing through Durney, Balnakeil and Scourie.  There were numerous Pied Wagtails and we also spotted a Great Ringed Plover with a chick, an Arctic Tern and a Guillemot.  Near Loch Assynt, I was lucky enough to see a Red-throated Loon fly over us but somewhat disappointed to see as few waders.  Fortunately, the landscape was gorgeous and it was just unbelievable to see all the green hues of the hills and so many lakes even if that was proof that this was a very rainy country. From time to time, the ruins of some castle added a historic touch to the scenery.  We then went as far as Achiltibuie cruising on very narrow and winding roads before making a U-turn to Ullapool where we were accommodated at the Caledonian Hotel.  The building looked a bit shabby but was actually clean and after dinner, there was an accordion-player who tried to put some life in it, with some success.


Unapool

Near Unapool (Photo Danielle Joannès)


Achiltibuie 

Near Achiltibuie (Photo Danielle Joannès)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  


31 July 2011

The day was rainy and windy in the beginning but the sky soon cleared up.  We stopped at the Corrieshaloch Gorges and from a suspended bridge, we looked down at the Measach Falls and then drove on to Inverewe to visit its famous gardens.  All sorts of flowers and trees grow around a huge manor and it was a real pleasure to look at them but there were very few birds. On the car-park, I found a Common Hawker and took close pictures.  This insect does not live in my usual surroundings.  There were also other insects but we did not welcome them.  As we arrived near Loch Maree and Loch Torridon, we were pestered by Midges but as it was the first time, we soon got over that.



Inverewe Gardens


In the Gardens of Inverewe (Photo Danielle Joannès) 


Aeschne des joncs

Common Hawker (male)



We reached the isle of Skye in the evening and settled in  the Kings Arms Hotel in Kyleakin.

01 August 2011

We spent the day touring the island and drove northwards as far as the "Old Man of Stor",  along the Bay of Staffin and stopped at the Kilt Rock for the view.  We had a nice picnic under the ruins of Duntulm Castle, watching the Grey Seals and the sea-birds before going on to Dunvegan Castle and its gardens.  Just before returning to the hotel, we saw about 20 Greylag Geese near Harrapool.

 
02 August 2011

We were still very lucky with the weather and this enhanced the beauty of the landscape.  We made a short stop at the very picturesque Eilean Donan Castle which was built on a small island in one of the numerous lakes around there. A nice stone bridge connects it to the mainland.  Driving was smooth on the good roads and the mountains around were splendid.  We had planned a short hike in the mountains and took a cable-car which brought us up to a point called Aonach Mor from which we could see the summit of Ben Nevis and other mountains still surrounded with clouds.  After this pleasant walk, we stopped at the sluices of Neptune’s Staircase on the Caledonian Canal and chose to take small winding roads to reach Lochaline where we took the ferry to the isle of Mull. It was drizzling when we reached the Isle of Mull and Spa hotel in Craignure.  This hotel was pretty expensive for the service it offered, especially since they employ young students instead of professionals.  After we had asked for the sheets to be changed, everything was fine. 


Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle (Photo Danielle Joannès)

 03 August 2011    

 We had reserved a Wildlife Tour with David Woodhouse through the Internet.  Well, let's face it, we were disappointed and paid way too much for what it was.  We left at 10.30 a.m., which is far too late and our trip ended far too early in the afternoon.  

We saw a few Grey Seals, which are very common in Scotland together with other birds we had found very easily elsewhere.  Still, we were glad to have some time to watch two White-tailed Eagles, an adult and a juvenile.   Nature is not a zoological garden so we knew we could not get too close to them but photographers were a bit disappointed.  We also spotted Red Deer in several places in the mountains, a Hen Harrier and a Golden Eagle flying above a mountain ridge about 3 miles away.  It took us a lot of time to find 3 European Otters and I was greatly surprised to learn that they do not live in fresh water the way they do in France but in brackish or salt water, although they are not Sea Otters.  As for insects, David showed us a small brown butterfly telling us it was endemic.  As a matter of fact, the Scotch Argus  is only a subspecies of an argus also present in England.  

As we were late, our driver tried to overtake another car by all means, driving very recklessly on the small winding roads.  Unfortunately, his incessant hooting irritated the other driver and this brought about a violent quarrel.  As for us, we were happy to have reached Craignure without a scratch. 

As we still had a lot of time left we took advantage of this to visit the rest of this very nice island.  We were now used to driving on those small roads and we finally reached the picturesque small town of Tobermory.  The view from the hills above the harbour was really something unforgettable.  We spent a nice evening in a pub called The Mishnish where we had a good meal in a very lively atmosphere.  We drove back to Craignure following the coast road, which was much narrower than what was indicated on our road map.  As night had fallen, we were very careful and seeing a female Red Deer by the roadside, ready to cross, proved we were right to do so.  We also saw a Barn Owl a few miles before arriving at the hotel. 


Tobermory

Tobermory (Photo Danielle Joannès)

 04 August 2011

It was raining when we boarded the ferry then drove on along Loch Lomond heading for Glasgow where we were accommodated at the Holiday Inn ExpressWe made a quick visit of this large city, spending some time in the cathedral and the adjacent necropolis.  We were struck by the lack of unity of architectural style in Glasgow and were somewhat shocked that factories had been built close to very beautiful old buildings.  We thought we were going to have a restful night but we were woken up by the fire alarm and had to evacuate the hotel at midnight.  The fire brigades had been called and were there in no time only to discover that the alarm had been set off by someone smoking in a room.  It was good to know we were under careful supervision.  

 

Glasgow

Glasgow (Photo Danielle Joannès)

05 August 2011

We left Glasgow and stopped in Stirling for a visit of its magnificent castle perched at the top of a hill and we also took a stroll in the streets of the old town.  We should have spent more time there but we had to go to Edinburgh.  


Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle (Photo Danielle Joannès)

We were very happy to have a GPS device because we had to cross the whole city to reach the Pollock Halls where we had booked our rooms.  As this building is above all made to accommodate students, it is not exactly a hotel in the usual sense of the term but we were very happy with it.  We took the bus to go down-town because we had been allowed to park our car on the campus. As the bus driver did not give the change, we had to calculate everything in advance to pay the exact fare and that was not always easy.

Edinburgh was very busy because we were there at the time of its Fringe Festival which took place at the same time as the famous military Tattoo.  The old historic buildings of the city were particularly adapted to the various shows taking place in the streets and we watched and listened to all those artists with great interest.  You could see Highwaymen wearing kilts walking about along with artists wearing all sorts of eccentric garments and entertaining people, dancing and chanting.  There were street shows everywhere.

Visiting St Giles' Cathedral was much more restful and we took our time to have a look at the magnificent sculptures and stained glass windows.


St Giles' Cathedral

St-Giles' Cathedral (Photo Danielle Joannès)

Late in the afternoon, we had haggis once more before attending the military Tattoo.  Contrary to what we had thought the best seats, except for those reserved to the officials, were close to the castle entrance, where the musicians come in and they were less expensive than the ones we had booked.  We nevertheless had a good view of the parades and we made the most of this.  The Tattoo was very well organized and the musicians playing their bagpipes did not look anything at all like blood-thirsty soldiers.  The costumes were splendid and the crowd participated, chanting and clapping their hands in a very peaceful and friendly atmosphere.  Scotland is a civilized country and at the end of the show everybody left their seats and went out without pushing or shoving their neighbours. 


Military Tattoo

Military Tattoo (Photo Danielle Joannès)

06 August 2011

We had yet another full day to visit Edinburgh so we went to the castle, one the most famous touristic venues in the city.  In the afternoon, we met our Scottish friends, Jackie and Gordon, who spoke of their country with much pride yet avoiding any kind of jingoism.  It rained a lot but Scotland without any rain would have been very surprising so we didn't care and went on visiting various touristic places and arrived at Holyrood Palace just before closing time.  We should have spent more time there but there are so many things to see in Edinburgh that this just proved impossible. 

07 August 2011

It was still raining when we left the Pollock Halls heading for the two famous bridges on the Firth of Forth.  We had crossed the firth on the white one when we started our journey so we concentrated on the red one, which is used by trains.  We then went to Leith to see yet another famous means of transport.  The Britannia was actually less glamorous than what we had expected, especially the bunks of the ordinary crew, but is is nevertheless a royal yacht.  After that, we drove to Rosslyn, south of Edinburgh.  This is where you can find a jewel of a chapel where the secret of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code is revealed.  Whatever you may think of Dan Brown's novel, if you happen to be in Edinburgh you have to go and see the magnificent stonework of this religious building.


Firth of Forth Bridge

One of the bridges on the Firth of Forth (Photo Danielle Joannès)


We ended our visit of Scotland at our friends' home and benefited from their Scottish hospitality.  Thanks again for the flapjacks, Jackie. After tea, they took us to the bird reserve of Aberlady Bay, east of Edinburgh where we saw Eurasian Oystercatchers and Canada Geese.

 08 August 2011


 We returned our car and were again very happy to have brought our GPS.  Back in Paris, the weather was even worse than in Scotland and we were stuck in the traffic jams.  That was the end of our holidays indeed. 


Highland Cattle

Highland Cattle (Photo Danielle Joannès)


Liste des espèces observées :

01 Mute Swan Cygnus olor Common.
02 Bean Goose Anser fabalis 3 individuals.
03 Greylag Goose Anser anser Common.
04 Canada Goose Branta canadensis Several, especially on Mull.
05 Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Very common.
06 Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope Some.
07 Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula One only.
08 Common Eider Somateria mollissima Common.
09 White-winged Scoter Melanitta fusca 5 birds.
10 Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula One bird at Loch Garten.
11 Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator A few.
12 Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus A few birds, among which one had a chick.
13 Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata One bird only.
14 Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis About 15 on a small lake.
15 Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis Still nesting, especially in the north.
16 Northern Gannet Morus bassanus Observed several times.  One of them being pestered by a Great Skua had to land on the water.
17 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo Common.
18 European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis Common.
19 Grey Heron Ardea cinerea Common.
20 Osprey Pandion halieatus One nesting couple with a juvenile at Loch Garten.
21 White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla 2 adults at least and an immature on Mull.
22 Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos On Mull.  Seen from afar.
23 Red Kite Milvus milvus One just before arriving at the Glenmorangie distillery.  No comments please.
24 Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus Not many.
25 Common Buzzard Buteo buteo Some.
26 Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus 2 or 3 birds.
27 Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus Some.
28 Merlin Falco columbarius
2 males.
29 Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus Common.
30 Great Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula Some, one of which with a chick.
31 Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus Not many.
32 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres Fairly common.
33 Dunlin Calidris alpina A few birds.
34 Common Sandpiper Tringa hypoleucos Several.
35 Common Redshank Tringa totanus Several.
36
Bar-tailed Godwit
Limosa lapponica
One bird only.
37
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata Common.  2 adults with 4 chicks.
38
Ruff
Philomachus pugnax
A few birds.
39 Great Skua Stercorarius skua Fairly common in the north. Local name: Bonxie.
40
Arctic Skua
Stercorarius parasiticus
Far less common than Great Skua.
41 Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus Very common.
42
Common Gull
Larus canus
Common.
43
Herring Gull
Larus argentatus argenteus. 
Very common.
44
Great Black-backed Gull
Larus marinus
Common.
45
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Larus fuscus graellsii.
Fairly common.  
46 Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla Some in the north.
47 Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis Some.
48
Common Tern
Sterna hirundo
Some.
49
Arctic Tern
Sterna paradisea
Not many.
50 Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica Nests in various colonies in the Orkneys.
51 Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle Fairly common and closer to the coasts than the Guillemot.
52 Guillemot Uria alge Some.
53
Razorbill
Alca torda
Not many.
54
Rock Pigeon
Columba livia
Very common and not feral in many cliffs in the north, especially in the Orkneys.
55
Common Wood Pigeon
Columba palumbus
Common.
56 Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto Common.
57
Common Cuckoo
Cuculus canorus
One bird.
58
Short-eared Owl
Asio flammeus
3 birds in the Orkneys.
59 Barn Owl Tyto alba One bird seen in flight near Tobermory.
60
Common Swift
Apus apus
At the beginning of our stay.
61 Sky Lark Alauda arvensis Some.
62
Sand Martin
Riparia riparia
Seen several times.
63
Barn Swallow
Hirundo rustica
Common.
64
Northern House Martin
Delichon urbicum
Common.
65
Rock Pipit
Anthus petrosus littoralis
Some.
66
Meadow Pipit
Anthus pratensis
Very common in the moors.
67
Pied Wagtail
Motacilla alba
Common.  The young look a lot like young White Wagtails. 
68 Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea Not many.
69 Dunnock Prunella modularis One heard only.
70 European Robin Erithacus rubecula Common.
71 Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe Common in the mountains.
72 Common Stonechat Saxicola torquatus Some.
73 Song Thrush Turdus philomelos A few.
74 Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula Common.
75 Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla Some.
76 Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus One migrating bird sitting on a on fence post.
77 Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita Observed a few times.
78 Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes Heard singing here and there. 
79 Great Tit Parus major Common.
80 Coal Tit Parus ater A few times but we did not visit many forests.
81 Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus Common.
82 Marsh Tit Poecile palustris Seen once.
83
Common Magpie
Pica pica
Common.
84
Eurasian Jackdaw
Corvus monedula
Very common.
85 Rook Corvus frugilegus Some.
86 Hooded Crow Corvus cornix Fairly common, especially in the north.  There are places where they hybridize with Carrion Crows.
87 Carrion Crow Corvus corone Very common.
88
Common Raven
Corvus corax
Some, among which one attacked by Arctic Skuas.
89
Common Starling
Sturnus vulgaris
Some.
90
House Sparrow
Passer domesticus
Very common.
91
Chaffinch
Fringilla coelebs
Common.
92 Eurasian Linnet Carduelis cannabina A few.
93 Twite Carduelis flavirostris Not very common.
94
European Greenfinch
Carduelis chloris
Common.
95 Eurasian Siskin Carduelis spinus A few birds here and there.
96 Eurasian Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhyla One couple only.


Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull


Lesser Black-backed Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull



Herring Gull

Herring Gull

                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Mammals:


Insects :




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