Thursday, May 20th: After our trip to Mull yesterday a little lay in this morning and a late breakfast at Lochgilphead. The weather had indeed deteriorated overnight with heavy rain for most of the morning and with a break in the weather in the afternoon, we decided on a walk around the nearby Beaver Project at Knapdale.
|Red Squirrel ~ One of Scotlands iconic sights
Little chance of seeing Beavers during the daytime but it was a pleasant enough walk. The birding was particularly slow in the dreich conditions but the Red Squirrels entertained. On route back to the cottage an early evening drive around Loch Gilp in the strengthening wind and more rain produced of note a few Swifts, Common Terns and a single Manx Shearwater.
|Spotted flycatcher from the living room window.
One of the highlights of our stay in the cottage has been watching a pair of nesting Spotted Flycatchers from the comfort of our living room. Each morning and most evening we were visited by at least one of the parents perching on the wires directly in front of the window. By the way, the wires were for keeping the cows and sheep from eating the garden!
|Chequered Skipper ~ Finally connect, a lifer for Dazza and I
Friday, May 21st: Our final day before heading home tomorrow was spent around Loch Creran just north of Oban across from the Connel Bridge, an extensive outwash fan of gravel, sand and boulders. At the head of the loch is Glasdrum Wood NNR which is renowned for its diverse flora and fauna, including sessile oak and ash trees, mosses, liverworts and rare invertebrates, like the Chequered Skipper Butterfly. Unfortunately and although there had been sightings earlier in the week we failed to find any in the overcast, breezy conditions.
|Pearl-bordered Fritillary at Glasdrum NNR
Saturday, May 22nd: However, waking to sunshine on Saturday morning we made a last-ditch attempt to connect with this nationally rare butterfly before heading back home. After a good hour, we finally found two specimens, along with a few Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, a brilliant end to a fantastic week and a 'lifer' butterfly for us both!
A Few Final Images..
|One of our resident Spotted Flycatcher
|One of the many Wheaterars seen throughout our stay.