Tales from the Trail: Ardnamurchan Lighthouse
Join us for our weekly blog as we share experiences from sites along the Hebridean Whale Trail - this week Tierney and Milo’s blog is a love letter to Ardnamurchan; the places, people and wildlife that have made them feel at home.
Despite a strong string of sightings over preceding weeks, the last little while has been quiet. Our last couple of weeks have been defined more by the community that we live in, rather than what we have seen on the watch. Last week was Kilchoan's Pram Race: a contest in which participants decorate prams and sprint around Kilchoan while onlookers cheer and shout encouragement. There were a mixture of Queens, superheroes and cartoon characters of all ages to support.
Both of us have been getting to know the locals much better. We are finally learning more names and have both been helping out with odd jobs in the village. We've been blown away by the sense of community and helpfulness of everyone here.
We have really fallen in love with Ardnamurchan, and especially with the wildlife. Our first blog pointed to this area being a wildlife haven and it continues to amaze us. A quiet time on the watch has given us an opportunity to focus on other wildlife, especially seabirds, and challenge ourselves to remember the Latin names to a varied degree of success so far.
We've seen a total of 61 species of birds, including: loons, eagles, a hen harrier and even a bull finch. We're also thoroughly enjoying the process of learning their songs and different plumage’s. Milo has downloaded the Collins Bird Guide app with images, videos and sound recordings, which hasn't been put down yet. However, it is a great tool to learn a species' jizz (flight pattern) and song, both of which are vital characteristics to distinguish between similar bird species.
The more eyes we have searching the sea and sky, the better chance for sightings as a greater area can be covered. Friends and family have joined us over this past month, a lovely conveyor belt of visitors to experience life at a lighthouse. It really is the perfect opportunity to grab a seat, put up your feet and savour the treat.
We can't believe the time is flying so quickly, already we are in our seventh week. Only three more weeks to go of our paradise placement but I feel the best is still to come. John Coe might return to wave us goodbye as he almost greeted us (fingers crossed we don't miss him by a day again!).
Thanks for following our shenanigans and look forward to the next instalment.
Till next time,
Tierney and Milo
Number of sightings - 53 (109 individuals!!!)
Effort (total hours watching) - 189 hours
Number of dogs petted on duty - 153