Thursday, 28 May 2015

16th-23rd May Kenmore, Applecross peninsula

After leaving the Uists via a 4.30am alarm and an early ferry from Lochmaddy to Uig on Skye we were able to enjoy a pleasant journey towards the mainland and onwards to our next location.

Some re-stocking of supplies was necessary and some fabulous views were marvelled at as our sedate progress continued, the pace was dictated by the allowed entry time for the cottage!

We have had some splendid sightings from Shieldaig harbour before so we parked up there for a while and wandered along the promenade.

A smart redpoll was looking for food in the grass...
We watched as a white tailed eagle took to the sky, together with the usual harassment from a gull!

I did manage a slightly closer shot of the magnificent sea eagle...

...and so to the cottage, unpacking was completed just in time as a really heavy shower blew in, after the rain the view across Upper Loch Torridon complete with rainbow.

We have stayed in this cottage before, the owners who live nearby inform guests that they have resident pine martens. Largely nocturnal these beautiful animals are making a good comeback after much persecution and habitat destruction, they have been resident here for many years partly due to the protection the owners provide. They advise guests on how to see them and lay down a few sensible flash photography, no opening windows or doors to obtain a better view or photograph...and a tiny amount of jam smeared in a couple of places. The photographs gained are of no commercial value, mega high iso and very slow shutter speeds mean the shots are for interest only.
The amount of jam is important, obviously the amount of sugar from large amounts may be detrimental to the pine martens health and also high volumes would give a danger of altering their normal food habits and lessen their ability to hunt.

I strongly believe in the disclosure of how photographs are obtained, there are many examples on the internet of some hard to see creatures where the photographer has been in a commercial hide and failed to disclose that. Certain perches for birds feature heavily....quite simply whether for financial gain or simply the approbation of the public, tell the full story!

There is nothing wrong with either using these hides or posting them on the internet, my problem is when this background information is not disclosed it leads to viewers getting an improper perception of the photographers fieldcraft and also leads to the viewer thinking it is fine to approach these creatures so closely, thereby creating a risk of disturbance and disruption, mightily important at all times and especially so in Spring.

So...through the double glazed patio doors and not great shots, pine marten

Our first good sighting the next day was a magnificent young golden eagle, the closest we have been so far and the beautiful markings can be clearly seen..

The heavy showers we were experiencing made the waterfalls quite photogenic!

This lovely green veined butterfly chose to settle on a bluebell, how could I not photograph that..

A willow warbler...

A greenfinch visited the garden one evening...

The moodiness and changeable weather demonstrated by a view over the Torridian mountains...

A burn near the cottage..

A little vole in the garden...

Another sea eagle...

A common carder bee

Deer sightings had been plentiful but distant until we found a couple of young stags near a road one day...

A song thrush in fine fettle...

A curly fern

Great skua

A colony of common seals

Juvenile herring gull

Common seal pup playing...

We watched a buzzard hunting close to the ground in a gusty wind...

And so another splendid stay up here came to an end...almost!

Armed with some information about ospreys we stopped off at Loch of the Lowes before our overnight near Crianlarich.

Within half an hour of being in the well placed hide we were treated to the sight of the male osprey bringing in a meal for the female and chicks...magic!

Another superb holiday in Scotland for us and some memorable sightings.

Many thanks to all who view and as usual my reminder that if you do wish to comment...they come to me first for moderation otherwise I get spammed by all sorts of ridiculous things....and the occasional naughty word!


  1. We were so close to you this time, indeed at Sheildaig harbour on the Saturday that you were there. We stayed at Plockton on our way down from Durness and took a walk the next day looking towards the Applecross peninsula.What a lovely selection of wildlife, your pine marten photos were gorgeous, what a treat for you both. The stag was magnificent, as were the eagles of course. How amazing to see the seal in play and capture his antics. Well done !


  2. Ospreys at the Lock of Lowes ? Lets hope for a Cumbrian version ... ospreys at Loweswater !
    Great photos, especially the unusual ones of those seals. The rest are just brilliant. Roger.

  3. Just fabulous ,,, loved the pine marten and the seals ,,, love Scotland