Thought I`d continue my sortie to the Uists with a selection of birds that I encountered.The starlings had began to flock up for the winter,no doubt many from the Arctic had come in recently.Although often overlooked by the photographer they are in fact quite an attractive bird in their spotty winter plummage!
Large flocks of waders were beginning to appear on the coastlines so I grabbed the chance of some close ups with the effervescent SanderlingMany of these were juveniles but its always a pleasure to sit patiently and capture the moment.
They really do allow you to get close and I often think as I watch them scurry about, of whence they came and where they will end up on their journey South!
The Wheatear is one of our first migrants to arrive in the Spring,so it saddens me to see them departing our shores on their long journey to Africa as it means Summer is just a memory and a long cold Winter lies ahead!!
They certainly use a lot of energy in their quest for food!
Huge flocks of Golden Plover inhabit the Machair but trying to get near them with the camera proved difficult!
This Buzzard alighted quite close luckily I`d stopped for a drink of coffee and had the camera to hand,again these can be difficult to approach.
I was watching the Short Eared Owls when this female Hen Harrier appeared and began hunting over the Machair,she suddenly spotted something and pounced on the unsuspecting prey!!!
On a recent trip to the Uists I had some lovely encounters with some Otters.This particular one was hunting the edge of a rocky outcrop, which I used to my advantage to get within 3 metres,when it heard the sound of the shutter button it just give me a quick glance and carried on unperturbed!!
I was that close to it, I watched it chasing this fish underwater before finally surfacing with it in its jaws!
This was another Otter I stumbled upon whilst driving around a freshwater loch in Bernerey.In fact there were 2 together, 20 metres from the bank.I could see one had caught this eel and after a couple of minutes toying with it, it headed towards the bank to devour it.There wasn`t any cover to advance closer but I was happy to watch from a safe distance of about 40 yds and obtained this image!!
Whilst driving back to South Uist, I stopped to investigate what I thought was a dead pine martin by the roadside,however it turned out to be a polecat.I didn`t think there were any of these on the islands,so maybe it was an escapee from one of the local gamekeepers,interesting never the less!