Monday, 12 December 2016

Otter at the Eagles' Rock

Yesterday dawned dull but fine, so we walked westwards from the CalMac terminal at Mingary Pier with the intention of taking advantage of the low spring tide to cross to Glas Eilean, the island at the far end of the bay in this picture, to see if the eagles which the Raptor spotted there the other day and which we've seen flying along Ormsaigbeg almost every day recently were 'at home'.

They weren't. One of their favourite spots is the large rock at left in this shot, just off the southern end of Glas Eilean. On a previous visit a pair of sea eagles was sitting on it and gave me an unusually  close view of these huge birds.

A little disappointed, we sat overlooking the rock to enjoy our coffee when.... otter swam by. He seemed in a bit of a hurry, heading for the eagle's rock where....

 ....despite the swell and the breaking waves, he landed and scampered up the rock face....

....pausing only momentarily to look around before climbing to the top of the rock where....

....the reason for his urgency became clear.  Relieved, he headed back into the water and continued his journey.

Shortly afterwards the sun came out and a scene which had been dull and grey was transformed. This is the eastern end of Ormsaigbeg, seen across Kilchoan Bay from Glas Eilean.  The shop buildings are slightly to the right of centre, and the hill in the centre distance is Beinn na h-Imeilte.

It's a great area for wildlife. As well as the otter, we saw seals, cormorants/shags, ducks, curlew, oystercatchers, various gulls, and several small flocks of greylag geese which are overwintering both on Glas Eilean itself and on the land near it. They didn't enjoy our disturbing them.

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