Iona - shall we SEE one?

We caught the 8.45 ferry to Iona - most of the passengers are workers going across to the hotels plus a few birders. We saw a bird in flight behind the fire station last year so we went there first. One was calling loudly but the cold wind and overcast skies drove us up the hill after 20 minutes. More calling from the Abbey gardens, still no sign. My knee and ankle did not encourage further walking, we returned to the field opposite theNunnerywhere we sat a while.on the kerb. One called loudly again... no movement at all...typical. This field is clumps of tall tussocky grass not the favoured iris beds. I leaned on the gate, binning the area and eureka !! The head and neck of a Corncrake appeared from the grass and stayed there for 5 minutes, peering about.

Elated, we went to buy post cards and to tell the other birders.

We also had a singing Chiffchaff, Rook and Guillemot to add to our list. After a cuppa, we caught the mid-day ferry, seeing a Great Skua, Gannets and Common Terns from the shelter of the cabin.
The afternoon was spent touring Fidden, Uisken - where we ate lunch - and then the climb to Loch Assopol. Not good visibility to-day, thick mist and heavy overcast.During the next 2 hours, we saw little, apart from the beautiful and ubiquitous Wheatears.

I did the Telegraph crossword and Pam read the Mull Bird Report. Just as we were stirring to leave, a Kestrel flew by, followed by a male Hen Harrier and a White-tailed Eagle showed briefly along the ridge. Bumping our way down the very rough track, a Peregrine swooped through chasing a Meadow Pipit. Exciting 15 minutes.

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