Thursday, 2 May 2013

Leaving the Highlands

Thursday May 2
We left in brilliant sunshine - and -4C - , becoming ever more cloudy as we drove west until it started to rain soon after the Corran Ferry to Ardnamurchan. What good luck. As we drove down the ramp, we were beckoned onto the ferry, the ramp was raised and we were off. The ferry only took about 10 minutes of blind travel. One stays on the vehicle and the sides of the boat are too high to see the sea. Just as well in retrospect. We were on Ardnamurchan at 9.00 a.m..............When we got off, we viewed the bay, it held Tysties, auks and divers last October. Three Eider to-day.
We birded our way to Lochaline in steady rain. The mountains were shrouded in cloud, the bleak scenery a soggy yellow of tussock grass and deep brown vegetation. Miles of peat bog. So different from our last visit in the Autumn on a lovely day.
More fortune at Lochaline, the ferry was in and  discharging its cargo. We queued for about 3 minutes behind half a dozen Dutch bikers and we were waved  on. Again a blind crossing. It's great to stay in the car but I like watching the sea. We could have joined the excited bikers on the small raised side decking but it was pouring down.
After stopping at the small Craignure Spar to buy the prunes we'd forgotten at Fort William Morrison's this morning, we drove to Grass Point. Viewing a field full of Highland cows and their delightful teddy bear young occupied us nicely until Pam spotted our first Cuckoo sitting in a tree. One tracked bird came to southern England , turned round and went back to France!
Despite the steady rain we called in at our favourite places, Bunessan Bay for another really grouchy looking Grey Heron. Can any other bird looks so miserable? Uisken (pronounced Ooshken) for Handsome summer Turnstones and Ringed Plover, a roadside lochan immediately before Phionnphort had two Whooper Swans and two Canada Geese and Fidgen for Shelduck and little else. Good to see all our places again.
We are now settled into our room 'Erraid' on the ground floor of Seaview. John as welcoming as ever, I haven't seen Jane yet although Pam has. 
What a relief to have internet access in our room, the office and router are next door so the reception is good.

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