The journey north is usually not too bad, and after a steady drive we boarded our ferry and enjoyed a good sail onto the Isle. Cottage located fairly easily after a short drive and sightings of red deer stags from our front garden!
I had made contact with excellent Arran Birding website and arranged to send all my sightings into them, these local groups do a great job recording all the species that are resident or seasonal or just occasional passage birds.
We had a good start to our first morning....
And a jewel encrusted shrub from overnight rain and the incredible hard work that spiders do!
Given my love of birds of prey and a good location that was advised it was inevitable we would check it out.
Female hen harrier, very distant so very heavily cropped...
And the red squirrels were always a delight to see!
We kept calling at our favoured point for raptors and were rewarded with a buzzard coming in very close...
Still in the cottage and a lazy morning in the offing, sightings of huge birds on the hill behind us made for a swift passage of feet into shoes, camera settings basic check and a dash...when golden eagles are about there is no time to waste!!!
But our last day was not done, the plan after consulting tide tables was to head to a little bay where otters could be around...our second visit and as experienced otter watchers we know all the things to look for...like otters!
We walked quietly down on the beach, only moving when the otter was diving...the little beauty was just yards away, popping up like a cork after a dive and totally comfortable with our presence and the clicking of my camera!
So after that anything else would be an anti-climax? Well not really, we stopped at our raptor watch and Josie went off for a wander...something, instinct maybe told me to watch this bird, very high and too vertically above me to get my scope on it. I dashed to the car and grabbed the camera, fired off a few shots into the grey cloud. Initial checks were inconclusive, but enhancement later disclosed an osprey, one of only a couple or so that pass over Arran in autumn and their first seasonal sighting.
Our love of wildlife in wild situations continues to grow, and the badgers turned up every night, superb.
Many many thanks to all who read the blog, don't forget if you do comment they come to me first for moderation.
Catching up and a local blog soon!