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Orkney and Scotland.

20th June 2013
Well here we are stopping at the old Meikle Ferry slipway on the Dornoch Firth. Its 'wild camping' but we have a generator. Big news today was that an Orkney Workshop image won Picture of the Week on Birdguides.
The trip up to Orkney was relaxing and rewarding with landscapes and birds and just a great time working our way North. A van problem meant a longer stay on the Dornoch Firth, but that was no hardship. We met with Rob on the way up who joined us on the Workshop, and Lawrence joined us at the cottage.
Most days saw a 6am start followed by breakfast, and the rewards of the light were well worth the effort. Peter and Celia flew up on the Sunday and the cottage had a real buzz.
The birding was exceptional, close views of Curlew and Oystercatcher, Great and arctic Skua's, and a treat of a fly past of a Short Eared Owl. More great photographic opportunities followed with Red Throated Divers, Hen Harrier Food pass, a battle between Hen Harrier and Short Eared Owl, a Corncrake calling next to the cottage, and plenty of opportunity to both take pictures and develop photographic skills. We visited Papa Westray and met with friends from previous visits. Again the excursion to North Papay was exceptional, and thanks to Jan for the use of her car.
You will have to speak with workshop participants for their endorsements if you want to join me in Orkney next year. Lawrence has already left comments on the site on the message page.
After Orkney we toured the North West coast, which included a sighting of Black Throated Diver, and a spectacular day on Handa Island across from Tarbet. Sutherland was the real icing on the cake after a successful stay on Orkney. And so back to Dornoch, and another tandem ride before we leave for Loch Rannoch tomorrow.