Friday, 21 May 2010

21 May 2010 - John O'Groats & Orkney

With the news on 15 May that the Bearded Seal was still on Orkney - it seemed possible that it would summer. Should I go? Yes - of course.

Out of the car at first light, John O'Groats provided excellent views of some species such as Rock Dove - these looking fairly 'pure' if you ignored any slightly more feral-looking birds (they were cropped out!!).

Bonxies passed by very close to the cliff edge.

On arrival on Orkney (South Ronaldsay) I took the road to Kirkwall and then out to Finstown to look for the seal - would it still be there...?

Bearded Seal - phew!

This beastie showed superbly at low tide - giving me and some local residents excellent views.

From all angles the 'Beard' was very obvious.

After leaving the seal, I went in search of other potential mammal ticks - without success today...

Whilst driving down the road near Elvie I found a couple of Common Cranes flying over - a nice self-find!

I tracked the birds for a while, whilst they dropped, before putting the news out.

Other bits today included; Red-throated Diver


And many Red-breasted Mergansers (right - with Eider).

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