Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Seabirds of Canna

Prior to seeing the White-tailed Eagle on Rum, our boat visited the island of Canna and its seabirds. The boat manouvered slowly passed the rocky cliff face allowing us remarkably close views of an array of seabirds which included Black Guillemot, Guillemot, Puffin, Razorbill, Shag, Fulmar and Kittiwake. Most of the birds were oblivious to our attentions, but a few of the auks did put on a bit of a show by diving into the sea passing beneath the boat, before surfacing just metres away from us.

Tystie, Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

Canna, Isle of Skye
  
Canna, Isle of Skye

Canna, Isle of skye

Canna, Isle of Skye

Canna, Isle of Skye

If watching seabirds at such close range wasn't good enough, what made this an even more memorable experience was the appearance of a Golden Eagle at the top of the cliff, this created a bit of a panic amongst the colony, with many more auks diving into the sea to avoid its attentions. This was the second Golden Eagle on our trip, with the first being a distant bird being mobed by a Raven over the cliffs near the Old Man of Storr, north of Portree.

Canna, Isle of Skye

We also added a raft of Manx Shearwaters (although distant) several Great Skuas and a pod of Common Dolphins on our four hour round trip of the small isles - and I wasn't sick once! Although it did help that the boat we travelled on was an open top RIB (riged-inflatable boat) with twin V8 engines enabling us to cut through the waves - I promise you it's the only way to travel if you need to get across any stretch of water quickly and you're a London landlubber like myself!



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