Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Catching up with old friends

One of our other trips out when we are in Speyside is to the Black Isle. Only about an hours drive north, this is not actually an island but a jut of land coming out into the Moray Forth. We first went a couple of years ago after heard about the dolphins which follow fish into the estuary and can be seen from the shore at Chanonry Point. So, after studying tide tables we timed our trip to get to the point just after low tide.
On the way we stopped at a couple of small fishing ports which were offering boat trips out see the dolphins, but it was a tad cold for that sort of malarky!

Eventually we end up in the carpark at the point along with about about or so other cars. The tide was only just turning an everything was pretty quiet apart from a few gulls mooching around on the beach and some oystercatchers noisily flying past.

On the beach, everyone just stood around looking out Fort George on the far bank, waiting for the dolphins to turn up.

After an hour we got our first, and only, sighting of the beasties. Quite long way out and not showing for more than a few seconds each time.

We waited for I suppose another hour but no more shows. The gathered photographers took to doing an impromptu photo shoot of a very obliging and friendly dog playing in the waves!

  After a warming lunch we carried on round the island, getting eventually to an area where the forth is filled up with oil rigs waiting to be repaired. It's an amazing sight.
There is one small RSPB reserve on the Black Isle, more of an area of estuary really, but it was filled with thousands of pink-footed geese. What I found fascinating was that you get giant flocks of these in Norfolk over winter, so its not possible that I was watching exactly the same geese I had seen a few months ago on the East coast further south.

The backdrop of the oil rigs with the flocks of geese, numbering onto the thousands, made for an interesting image.
Apart from that the only interest was a pied wagtail and some sheep with rather comical expressions!