Christmas in the Western Highlands
We are just back from Christmas in the Western Highlands, at our lovely house in the village of Glenelg overlooking the Isle of Skye.
Along with the family fun, the present-fest on Christmas Day and, being spoilt rotten with Kay’s amazing cooking I still had time for some good birdwatching.
The bird of the holiday was not the splendid cruising golden eagle, nor was it the stunning sea eagle that Kay saw with her pal Tina when out walking the dogs by the Kylerhea narrows (and I missed!). Nor was it the twite, which were flocking with goldfinches.
As with every Christmas the bird of the season is the woodcock. Literally every time I took the spaniels out for a walk they seemed to flush a woodcock out from the undergrowth – much to their delight – the dog’s delight that is.
We also enjoyed at the river estuary many wigeon, goosander, red-breasted Mergansers, Curlew and our dependable local dipper. Six whooper swans were on a local lochan and a group of around 25 greylag geese with one smaller and darker bean goose came and went with the tides.
We had a lovely walk down to Sandaig, the island chain where Gavin Maxwell once had his ‘Ring of bright water’ although sadly there were no otters to be seen this time. There were plenty deer on the hills and in the glens, and the only other mammal of note was a flash of a pine martin in our garden.
Stephen and I have had many discussions over the logistics of operating a tour to my special patch in the Western Highlands – it is magical place at any time of the year, the scenery is stunning and the birds are spectacular good too.
If you are interested in this as a concept (perhaps in the autumn?) do get in touch and we’ll start a waiting list.
Happy New Year to everyone who made our first year of Somerset Birdwatching Holidays so much fun…. and if anyone is interested in renting our lovely house in Glenelg have a look at the link above.
All the best