We later took an almost literal spin all the way around Loch Gorm and down to Machir Bay to see if we could find the Corncrake there (we saw one at the exact same spot 4 years ago). Again, lots of calling but just couldn't see him. Maybe we need infrared cameras!
Day nearly cloudless and hazy with a strong wind (very hard to photograph Bluebells when they're blowing around like crazy).
|Loch Gruinart and Loch Gorm route|
|Chaffinch on gorse|
|Starling nesting in RSPB barn at the visitor centre|
|Slightly older Lapwing chick|
|Linnet in gorse|
|View from Loch Gruinart visitor centre|
On the way back down the high road we saw some smoke in the distance and had been passed by some fire engines. Eventually we saw that some of the peat fields were on fire with fire fighters and beaters trying to contain it. With all the dry sunny weather the fields were bone dry and the strong winds were pushing the flames quickly across the fields. This was heading directly towards the Machrie Hotel and the houses there. They must have contained it in the end as it was out the next day but still smouldered for many dry days afterwards and the fields were left pitch black (but with a lovely aroma of peaty smoke making the area smell like whisky!)
Speaking with one of the locals later this may not have been entirely accidental; some people use it as an excuse to get rid of heather on the fields.
|Peat fire near the Machrie Hotel|