Sunday, 21 September 2008


As autumn approaches, the seas start to pick up and the flat, Caribbean-like bay we've had all summer is now something a little bit wilder. We're predicted a 14ft swell tomorrow and one of my neighbours told me that he's seen the end of the point disappear under spray before now. Here's a couple of snaps from yesterday of a pair of oystercatchers flying low over the waves:

Oystercatchers (1)

Oystercatchers (2)

Saturday, 20 September 2008


Please insert your own swear word into the title.

I saw an otter yesterday.

Did I have my camera with me? Guess!

To be fair, the Somerfield car park in Wick is not the place one would expect to see an otter, but as we got out of the car we saw something swimming very fast against the current in the adjacent river that definitely wasn't a duck. We followed it upstream for a few minutes, got close enough to ascertain that it was an otter, not a rat or a water vole, and then it dived and was gone.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

I'm in love

Sorry for being so quiet recently, things have been busy. I've finally got round to joining Thurso camera club and went to my first meeting on Monday night - a lovely bunch of very talented people :o)

I've been thinking about a new camera for a while now and had more or less promised myself a new one once my flat sale completes. Yesterday Canon announced the successor to the 5D and now I know what I'm going to be buying:

This is such a huge leap in spec. from my 300D - I'm getting excited already!

The results for the Scottish Natural Heritage Biodiversity Week competition have been announced and I didn't make the top 30 - a shame, but there are some really fantastic photos there. Do go and have a look:

Monday, 8 September 2008

Whirlwind week

Mum flew into Inverness last Monday and was greeted by the best weather Scotland could offer - bright blue skies with little fluffy white clouds. But as we travelled north, the storms from the south started to catch up with us and overtook us at Golspie:

Storm approaching

Storm front

On Tuesday we went to Lybster for lunch and then on up the coast to John O'Groats to book our ferry tickets. There's a big clump of pampas grass near the pottery there and it was covered in sparrows, all munching on the seeds:

Sparrow on pampus grass (2)

Wednesday was Orkney, a whistle-stop coach tour of the sightseeing highlights. I was hoping we'd see some sealife on the ferry, but apart from a brief glimpse of a common seal's head, nothing breached the surface.

Orkney was fabulous - I think I'll have to go back when I'm not tied to a coach tour schedule and don't have 40 other people traipsing round the same place at the same time. We went to the Ring of Brodgar:

Ring of Brodgar (1)

and St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall:

St Magnus nave

We spent Thursday recovering and didn't go too far, but we did go to Strathy:

Strathy grey

and to Castlehill:

Ruined cottage (1)

(infrared filter used on that, I like the way it makes the grass go soft).

On Friday we went west, past Torrisdale Bay:

Torrisdale bay

and on to Talmine:

Talmine wreck

Today we went down Strath Halladale and saw grouse, buzzards, deer and, best of all, a golden eagle - shame that none of them stopped long enough to be photographed!