I recently watched Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival and it is really good! When Gordon Buchanan went to try and find the Scottish Wildcat I found out that he went to a place called Ardnamurchan. I was amazed because it was only a week ago that I went there! He also set up a Camera Trap to film the Wildcat but all he got was a Pine Marten. But guess what I got on my Camera Trap there… A Pine Marten! After watching the bit where Ellie Harrison woke up early to hear the Dawn Chorus I decided to wake up early tomorrow and hear it myself. I woke up at 5:40 the next morning and got up and sat by the window. There wasn’t much of a Dawn Chorus but I did see 8 Cormorants fly over (probably heading to our local nature reserve just down the road, Hedgecourt nature reserve) and a Robin and a Blackbird doing their early morning errands!
So much happened at Glenmore cottage, Ardnamurchan that I couldn’t write the whole thing, so I just did highlights. Here they are:
I left peanuts out one evening to attract the Pine Marten then I put the Trailcam (another word for Camera trap) by it. Luckily I put it in the perfect position so every time the two Pine Martens came to the peanuts I would get a photo or video of them. They seem to love peanuts and came back 8-9 times and they don’t seem to mind the trailcam, one jumped right at it! Any hopes of seeing it with my own eyes would have been fruitless as it came from 3am-5am.
As we were driving along a road in a mountainous grassland area I saw a flash of red and found some Linnets perched on a fence post and Skylarks chirping their melodious song as they flew upwards.
As we walked back to the cottage after a rather depressing walk on a really boggy island dodging dried up jellyfish a sight of a tiny Goldcrest made our spirits high again. There are a few Conifers bordering the cottage so I think it might of made a nest/hatched in them.
We went along the same road as we did when we saw the Skylarks and Linnets but we didn’t see any this time, we saw something just as good, our first Red Deer! It started off with a group of 3 hinds and then another group of 3 hinds. We then came across a group of 15 plus hinds which was good. No stags yet though.
We were waiting at a pier for a ferry to arrive to take us to the Isle of Mull when I looked over the edge. There was a group of 40 or more jellyfish (alive) and at least 3 different species, one of which was a moon jelly!
When we got back from the Isle of Mull we decided to go to Sanna. Sanna is a town with a lovely beach and luckily the weather was perfect for us so we could really enjoy it. On the way down to the beach I saw a Eurasian Wheatear, my fist ever, just hopping about in the short grass!
When we went to Ardnamurchan natural history centre we went into the exhibition first. All the exhibits were engrossing but one stood out from the rest. There was a glass pane backing onto a real wild pond but the glass also went under the water! We saw a really long Eel that was at least 40cm long swim past! It was the highlight of my day!
At dinner we saw another special animal in the bay. My mum first saw a head poking out so she called me and I called my dad and we all were really excited about it… An otter!
Today we went whale watching and we saw lots and lots of wildlife. The first interesting creature we saw was a pair of Harbour Porpoises, very shy and calm. You can usually tell the difference between Dolphins and Porpoises because when they need to breathe the Dolphins do a full on breach while the Porpoises fin and back are the only thing in view. We usually saw Guillemots drifting past us in pairs. Razorbills did the same. I only saw one Puffin and it was running in the water, about to take off. We also saw a few large flocks of Gannets focused on stealing the fish from fishing boats. A nice treat were some tiny Manx shearwaters, I never realised how small the actually were! We drove into a channel by Coll to have some lunch. We saw lots of Common Seals on the rocks and only 1 Grey Seal. One Common Seal came really close! We also saw some Comic Terns diving for small fish in the shallow water. ‘Comic Terns’ is the name most ornithologists give to Common and Arctic Terns as even the best birders can’t tell them apart. As we left Coll a really exciting thing happened. One of the other passengers spotted a fin in the water! It was chaos as people started yelling ‘Basking Shark!’ and it was! There wasn’t just one Basking Shark, there were eight! The biggest one that was approximately 10m long came so close that we could make out it’s giant mouth and it’s nose popping out of the water! We saw some Fulmars in the open ocean as we left Coll. They were gliding so quickly yet so effortlessly! Later on the driver said he saw a Minke Whale. My dad said he saw it first but he was on his way to the driver to say ‘I might have seen a whale’ but he was interrupted by someone yelling ‘WHALE!!!’ rudely. It was quite big but not as big as the Basking Shark!