Sunday, 10 August 2014

Gairloch (Scotland), 2-9 August

Days 1 & 2
On the journey we didn't see much more than a few Hooded Crows and Ravens. On day two I took some time to explore the meadow beside our house, where we discovered 10+ Black Darters, 2+ Scotch Argus, 3+ Dark Green Fritillary, 3+ Common Hawker, 1 Common 'Highland' Darter and a Common Lizard.

Black Darter

Common 'Highland' Darter

Common Hawker

Common Lizard

Day 3
On day three we first went to Gruinard Island, where we couldn't find any Eagles, but there was the first Black Guillemot of the trip and a Common Seal. At Altbea there was a Black-throated Diver. When we reached Inverpoly there was a singing Black-throated Diver, 3 Ravens, 2+ Hooded Crow and 7 Red Deer on the way back.

Sundews, any suggestions as to which species?

Day 4
The next day we spent looking for dragonflies at Slattadale on the shores of Loch Maree. A Golden-ringed Dragonfly was the highlight, and 10+ Common Hawker and 30+ Common 'Highland' Darter were also on the wing. On the way back to the house I saw my first Spotted Flycatchers of the year, as well as a Common Seal and a Raven.

After a unsuccessful night spent waiting to see what had been eating the jam sandwiches we put out, it was a brilliant surprise when my first Pine Marten visited our garden at 18:45.

Pine Marten (thanks to the family member that let me use this photo. I wasn't quick enough!)

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

Common Hawker

Day 5
Today we decided to go on a boat trip with Hebridean Whale Cruises. It was a great success with the highlights being my first 2 Minke Whales and lots of European Storm-petrels (at least 50, including a group of 29 at one point). Lots of other birds were seen on the trip including Great and Arctic Skuas, Manx Shearwaters, Black Guillemot and plenty of Harbour Porpoises.

Around home we also saw a Cuckoo and a very confiding Red Deer.

Minke Whales (and 2 European Storm-petrels)

European Storm-petrels

Great Skua

Red Deer

Day 6
3 Ravens were flying around Altbea today, and 2 Twite, Wheatears and Rock Doves were at Mellon Udrigle. We went to watch the sunset at Redpoint and I managed to see 6 Black Guillemots flying past.

Sunset at Redpoint

Day 7
Another look at Slattadale in the morning produced a  blue morph female Azure Hawker. 5+ Common Hawkers, 15+ Common 'Highland' Darter, 15+ Common Crossbill and 2 Hooded Crows were also about.

Later on the way to get fish and chips we stopped in Gairloch and saw 6 Black-throated Diver and 7 Red-throated Divers close to the shore as well as 3 showy Hooded Crows.

Common Hawker

Common 'Highland' Darter

Any suggestions?

Hooded Crows

Black-throated Divers


  1. Looks as though you had a good holiday. Love the whale shots.

  2. Great write up and photo's Jonny , what an awesome trip .

  3. Thanks guys, it was quite a good trip!