Our Idyllic Islands Hebridean Photography Cruise departing on July 2nd and led by Chris Gomersall provided many wildlife highlights. There were several close sightings of at least 6 different individual white-tailed eagles, two golden eagles and four hen harriers. There were lots of flocks of Manx shearwaters at sea and several corncrakes were heard on land. As always, landing on Lunga in the Treshnish Isles in close proximity to the nesting puffins was brilliant for the photographers. Mammals were in shorter supply, although lots of red deer were seen on land while at sea there were plenty of common and grey seals. Other marine mammals included several sightings of harbour porpoise, and a wonderful encounter with a pod of around 30 bottlenose dolphins in the Sound of Mull. Some of our group were lucky enough to have a brief glimpse of an ocean sunfish passing astern. There were 77 bird species spotted as follows
Red-throated diver, Fulmar, Manx shearwater, Gannet, Cormorant, Shag, Grey heron, Greylag Goose, Canada goose, Mallard, Eider, Red-breasted merganser,r Goosander
White-tailed eagle, Hen harrier, Buzzard, Golden eagle, Kestrel
Corncrake, Oystercatcher, Ringed plover, Golden plover, Dunlin, Curlew,
Arctic skua, Great skua, Black-headed gull, Common gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Herring gull, Great black-backed gull, Kittiwake, Sandwich tern, Common tern, Arctic tern, Guillemot, Razorbill, Black guillemot, Puffin
Rock dove, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Cuckoo, Skylark, Swallow, House martin, Meadow pipit, Rock pipit, Grey wagtail, Pied wagtail,l Dipper, Wren, Robin, Stonechat, Wheatear, Blackbird, Song thrush, Sedge warbler, Blackcap, Wood warbler, Chiffchaff, Willow warbler Goldcrest, Spotted flycatcher, Coal tit, Blue tit, Treecreeper, Hooded crow, Raven, Starling, House sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Linnet, Redpoll.