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Old 26 November 2021, 19:16   #1
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Wildlife

Since I started sibbing I have seen 3 kingfishers in flight, some mandarin ducks, guillemots ( same family as puffin) and seals. On my to do list is otters, dolphins and puffins (maybe a trip to Pembrokeshire)
Feel free to post anything you see and where for us wildlife geeks!
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Old 26 November 2021, 19:38   #2
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Im a bit spoilt for wildlife since leaving the UK. We have sea eagles, goshawks and kites perch in the trees in front of our places as they watch over the lake. The lake has dozens of azure kingfishers around its banks as well as numerous other wading birds like spoonbill, egrets, herons, black swans etc. The last few days a fur seal has been sunning itself in the shallows too as the lake is open to the ocean.
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Old 26 November 2021, 19:43   #3
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I think I need a trip your way!
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Old 27 November 2021, 06:10   #4
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suggest you try SW coast of Ireland. Last trip of the year in mid Oct, from Valentia to Dingle, dolphins nosing around rib - locals tell me to stay below 12 knots and dolphins will join you on trip. Whales (minky I think) within 50 meters, occassional 8 or 9 meter basking sharks and the odd seal popped up to have a geek
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Old 28 November 2021, 02:10   #5
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I used to cruise in Pembrokeshire quite a bit , and you could certainly visit the Cleddau estuary with your sib . Some of the best cruising there would probably not be suitable for a lone sib . ( Skomer , Skokholm and Grassholm , not to mention Ramsey and the Bishops and Clerks ) .

If I were you I would be pencilling in a a cruise in company with Highland Haggis on the west coast of Scotland . Yes it's a long haul up there , but if the weather is kind to you , there's no finer cruising in the UK . You could even ask if any of the ribs visiting the Easdale Cruise are happy to carry an extra passenger ? Good Luck , Bern.
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Old 28 November 2021, 05:10   #6
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After a relatively recent move from the West Country to Scotland's West Coast we've been treated to some great Wildlife encounters already!
....We have seen Otters on the Shore of the Loch in front of the House....there is also a Heronry above the beach... which sits in the facinating Hierarchy of the local Birdlife like Gulls.. Hooded Crows ..and the Birds of prey...we have a local Sparrow a Hawk who's patch seems to encompass our Garden which he patrols with REAL attitude!! and we see most days.

Probably somthing to do with large numbers and diverse species of Birdlife locally
One evening a couple of weeks ago while exploring the new patch by Car we stumbled on Two Red Stags Rutting over a Harem of Females in fields just above the Shoreline ....while two lesser Males tried to "take thier chance"....utterly Brilliant.
Loads of Seals....Great flights of various species of migrating Geese and Waterfowl and other Birdlife...a real wildlife Haven.
A privilaged treat to actually live here...and looking forward to many more encounters...both on on land ..and at Sea!
Must say "The Locals" have been very forthcoming friendly and welcoming too....and we've made some good friends already.
With the Bonus of knowing some "quality people" in the area already...(you know who you are! ) ...it's great!
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Old 28 November 2021, 05:50   #7
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Which part of the west coast are you lurking on?
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Old 28 November 2021, 06:33   #8
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I was up the loch last week Poly and bumped into some wildlife by the name of Maximus ..so presume he is not far from me.

Plenty of everything up here ..but the puffins go out to sea in August so you need to be early for them.



The otters in the UK are not sea otters so you will always find them beside fresh water. They feed and swim in the sea but enter the burns and rivers to clean off the salt from their fur before going back to their holts. So look for broken crab shells beside a fresh water source and the otters wont be far. There are half a dozen living in a holt on my local beach beside the River Nant.



Dolphins of the bottlenose variety and also common dolphins are often seen around the bay, sometimes the follow you sometimes they donít.



IMO..all you will see in the Clyde are Floaters so better heading to the west coast around Oban area if you want to see wild life. There are almost as many of these big budgies sitting on lamp posts up here, as there are seagulls.

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Old 28 November 2021, 07:26   #9
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Quote:
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Which part of the west coast are you lurking on?
Oban area Mate.
Naturally I had to ask the local "Laird"....("The Gurnard") for his blessing before we could move onto his Manor and bought a property

We are both Really enjoying throttling back and the pace of life up here.
Just secured a mooring in front of the house (laying it in the Spring) so when you find yourself up this way and if you fancy a brew let me know
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Old 15 December 2021, 10:56   #10
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Its been too wet this past week to go up the loch in the boat ...so I was sniffing around Maximusís place to film the otters for a future video.

If you though mice were a problem for SIBS in winter ... its truly amazing watching otters climb vertical walls and squeeze into narrow gaps. I suspect they would love a SIB to nibble and nest in.

However you donít need a boat to see them ..best from the shore or river bank as they donít go far out.










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Old 15 December 2021, 12:47   #11
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The otters in the UK are not sea otters so you will always find them beside fresh water. They feed and swim in the sea but enter the burns and rivers to clean off the salt from their fur before going back to their holts. So look for broken crab shells beside a fresh water source and the otters wont be far. There are half a dozen living in a holt on my local beach beside the River Nant.

I knew that UK otters differed from their American cousins, but I never knew that they are primarily fresh water creatures and don't live in or by the sea.

This is an American sea otter taken whilst we kayaked near Monterey.
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Old 15 December 2021, 13:33   #12
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primarily fresh water creatures and don't live in or by the sea.
Hi Steve ..perhaps its just the way I worded things..but the otters in the UK do live beside the sea as well as rivers and lochs. They are Eurasian otters and not Sea Otters like in your photo. Many Eurasian otters live on the coast and get their food in the sea too. However they must have a source of fresh water close to their holts as salt water breaks down the warm insulation of their fur. They need the fresh water to flush it out..same as we flush the salt out our outboards. Hope that clarifies it.
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Old 15 December 2021, 13:53   #13
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It certainly does Donny
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Old 15 December 2021, 13:53   #14
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Thanks Gurnard for the excellent pictures, made me think of ring of bright water. Beware of ditch diggers!
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Old 15 December 2021, 14:14   #15
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You will be able to see all these things when you come on holiday to Ardmucknish Bay Steve. Sea eagles nest on the headland beside the bay and the otters are just through the Connel Bridge. I was watching a huge pregnant grey seal up the loch..the following day it gave birth but its two male escorts would not let me get near for a photo..they followed the boat only 6ft from transom until I was around 200 yards off before moving off and if I tried to get closer again..they moved me off again..got it on film for a future video too.

The pregnant one is the centre seal..the two bouncers are on her right hand side ..




You still using the SIB ? I was out 8 days ago and it was a great day on the water.. hoping for some crampon clambering on the hills at Xmas too..snow is getting lower.



Hi Oldman..I might call the forthcoming otter one "Ring of Bright 'Otter" but I guess its been done before
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Old 15 December 2021, 14:39   #16
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Really looking forward to Ardmucknish Bay next Sept Donny. Got a couple more long holidays planned before then, but the West Coast of Scotland is the one I'm looking forward to the most.
I went out on Coniston towards the end of November, a couple of weeks after Roflhat and his cousin went for a swim Beautiful sunny morning, unfortunately it only lasted a hour before the drizzle and mist came and put an end to it. Since then I don't think it's stopped raining this side of the border.
Hope to get a couple of days out on Ulleswater in January and February weather gods and covid permitting.
Crampons already packed in readiness for a week in Keswick over New Year.
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Old 31 December 2021, 21:17   #17
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A few images from Xmas day snorkel.
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Old 12 January 2022, 17:51   #18
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Fabulous pics Jonp! I do miss it down there, although I have a trip to Exmouth pencilled in for 2023 to look forward to, on a mate's boat.

Here's a couple from my closest cetacean encounter (humpbacks). Alas, not in this country but in Hervey Bay back when I lived there for a few years and had a proper boat (only joking, I love my SIB!). We didn't chase these, they "mugged" us while we were fishing a patch of reef. Got a little unsettling after a while because they wouldn't leave and kept swimming under the boat, so we made an exit after about 10 mins.. Could easily have reached out and touched them on several occasions.



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