Saturday, 5 November 2011

Heading south

After the dull grey of yesterday, today I woke up to glorious subshine and hardly a breath of wind, ideal conditions for photography and a proper bash of Orkney.  Well, that would have been nice had I not been booked on the 9am ferry back to the mainland!  An early start found me sat at Stromness ferry terminal cursing the fantastic conditions as I waited to board the ferry.  A few Black Guillemots showed well alongside the ferry, but only having the 300mm lens to hand, I couldn't get much more than record shots.  The crossing back across the Pentland Firth to the mainland was relaxing with hundreds of Fulmars and Gannets and Kittiwakes too seen, but not much more.

Arrived in Scrabster Harbour an hour and a half later and again, Black Guillemots found the harbour to their liking and this time I was able to get the big lens out and walk around the port to photograph them just below the harbour wall.

With the rest of the day to amble down to Speyside, I headed for the most northerly point on the British mainland - Dunnet Head.  Stopping for a few minutes to photograph some typically stupid looking Highland Cows with their long fringes, which are in themselves the most northerly mainland herd.

Dunnet Head was very quiet, a far cry from the summer when the huge cliffs are alive with noisy seabirds, with only a flyover Snow Bunting and a Merlin for my efforts.

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