Adventures on Skye:Part two.
The day after my experience with the Eagle, we decided to go to Dunvegan Castle at the western side of the island. The castle is the ancient seat of the Clan Macleod, and is full of history, set in beautiful gardens and is well worth a visit by anyone holidaying on the island. Also at this time of year it is worth going out on the Seal trips that run from here. This is what we did indeed do, and I got some nice pictures of Common Seals and their pups. There was also a Grey Seal there with them. The boat operators are able to get really close to the Seals without disturbing them, as the Seals are so used to them. However, if a strange boat tries to approach them, they all dissappear!
The following day,Friday, we went out on another boat trip. This time it was on one of the trips that run out from Portree harbuor. We went in the hope of seeing the White-Tailed Sea Eagles that nest on the cliffs around there. Just as we got to where the pair of Sea Eagles usually sit, a Golden Eagle came right over the top of the cliff! So we could actually see the pair of Sea Eagles and the Golden Eagle at the same time. Unfortunately they were too far off even with my big lense to get a shot. And even if they had been close enough, it would have been near on impossible to get a shot due to the swell on the sea. The boat was up and down better than a rollercoaster ride!
That same evening and the next evening, I again went out on the search for Otters, but again with no luck. The second evening was due to a tip off from a local who said that a friend of hers had seen three Otters the evening before playing in the surf on the Shoreline. Though I didn't see any Otters I did see a Dipper on a river that run into the bay along with two Buzzards that must have recently left the nest as they could take off ok but they needed some practice on thier landing! The next afternoon found us in this very same bay, as my son wanted to do some crabbing off of the slipway that is used for the boats.
The slipway is made up of huge boulders and is also manmade. I was laying back on the rocks looking at various sea birds through the binoculars while my wife and son were at the end of the slipway crabbing with a crabbing line. All of a sudden there was a shrill whistle in amongst the boulders right by me. I knew straight away what it was. Otter!! It turned out there was at least two, possibly three. And for the next hour or so we kept getting tantalising glimpes of them as they hunted in and around the boulders. Every so often you would hear their whistles, and once when I was looking for them on the other side of the slipway, one came out right under my wife and son and stared at them for about half a minute! But would they come and stare at me! Not on your nelly!! Twice I saw them out in open water, only for them to dive and come back into the boulders.
Eventually all went quiet. That evening I was back. It was a perfect evening as the sea was very calm and it was nice and bright. Alas, no Otters appeared though. I was ever hopefull, but nothing showed and I heard nothing. Though it wasn't a waste of time, because I did see my first ever Basking Shark just off the shore. It was cruising around on the surface filtering Plankton for a good hour or more. Quite an awe inspiring sight. As for the Otters, I was getting closer but was that the best it was going to get.....?