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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Sunday, 12 May 2013

Wee beasties

Kilchurn Castle - the most photographed castle in Scotland?
I think it would be fair to say that our Scottish trip was a resounding success, however, this was because we were as well equipped/prepared as we have ever been. When travelling 600 miles in order to spend 8 nights under canvas (well nylon actually) it pays to be very attentive to detail. We took the finest baits, hook rigs and bite indicators that we could possibly use. The weather we endured was to test us; any weaknesses would be quickly highlighted. My camera gear was found wanting, it letting me down in these continually damp conditions. Not an issue with the EOS, I lack the waterproof storage facilities, so several fish were returned without the photo to do them justice. It appears that the auto-focus has problems when the lens is fogged up!


As for the rest of it, the bait boats (more of them in a later post), alarms, bivvies, rods, reels and other assorted items, they came through the test with flying colours. As can be seen from my opening image, it didn't rain all of the time, well not quite. Glimpses of the sun were rare, but it was often still and dank, with heavy leaden skies, so the threat of rain was always there. Ospreys fished the bay in the most horrendous wind and rain - I have absolutely no idea how they can see their prey. I grabbed loads of record shots, none really doing them justice. A male Redstart set up territory on "Fraggle Rock Hill" and a female Wheatear was a regular sight around Benno's swim. Our bivvies provided shelter for several species of beetle, spider and other assorted creepy crawlies. I got a decent image of a Water Carpet (Lampropteryx suffumata) when Simon disturbed one from his bivvy and it settled on his coat. Short-tailed Field Voles were common, their regular patrol routes very obvious in the surrounding vegetation.


A pair of Ravens were seen daily, they seemed to be nesting on one of the islands to the west of our swims. Siskin, Bullfinch, Coal Tit, Willow Warbler, Common Snipe, Canada Goose and Black-throated Diver made for a very strange "dawn chorus". I recorded 4 Whooper Swans flying down the loch, on 4th May, and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers were the first I'd seen on Loch Awe. So I didn't get to use the cameras as much as I'd like, but there were plenty of chances to grab a few shots when the rain abated.


It was always destined to be about more than just pike fishing. The singing Tree Pipits; parachute displaying, on the loch side slopes. Common Sandpipers and Oystercatchers involved in their noisy flight displays. Common Buzzards, Hooded Crows and Goosander providing us with further distraction while we awaited the next bite - magical memories from a very special place.

2 comments:

  1. glad i was not the only one that travel all that way wonderful place

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  2. Chiddy,
    It was an excellent adventure - OK! we didn't see any Puffins (nice photos mate)but it was a fantastic trip; despite the dire weather. Hope to see you in the Stour Valley in the next couple of weeks? - Dyl

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