Saturday 28 May 2011

More liquid sunshine and wind!

So we arrived on Lunga early afternoon, and man what a cool place.  There was still a 20-25 knot wind running and pretty choppy sea, but we headed in to scout the place.  We landed and it looked pretty good considering the conditions, so I headed up to the main puffin and guillemot colony.  Spectacular, even in the rain!  Loads of puffins flying around doing their thing.  They were obviously still nest building with lots of birds collecting grass and thrift from the tops of the cliffs.  There were a lot of razorbills around the place also, as well as shags which seemed to be nesting under boulders and around the place.  They were actually very confiding, which is interesting as when in zodiacs offshore they really don’t like you getting close.  The guillemots seemed to be in full swing of things with eggs, and the colonies were being patrolled by herring and great black-backed gulls.  The latter had a nest nearby as well.  There were also several ravens around, hooded crows, and at least a few meadow pipits.

Despite the rain, which at times was pretty heavy, the birds and photographic chances were stunning.  Got some stuff I am really happy with, so came away pleased.  Make your mind up below.

We then headed on to Staffa, with even crappier rainy conditions, and due to the big swell and wind a zodiac cruise into Fingle’s Cave was out of the question.  Just as well you can walk around the spectacular columnar basaltic cliffs to the cave.  I went up to the summit, with nice views of a fulmar colony and the coastline, but absolutely howling winds that almost bowled you over.  We also did a walk down along the coast to another small puffin colony.  So despite the weather it was a long but stunning day...some nice photos to boot!

Shag looking wet...does that mean wet as a shag?

Cute little puffin!

Lunga bird cliffs

Coastline of Staffa

The common guillemot swarm 

Hey! You lookin' at me!

Oh, ok then!

Razorbill shenanigans

Razorbill stretch

In the rain


Puffin adding to the nest

And again

Having a little stretch

Puffin eatin' machine - a great black-backed gull

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