On another day we went to 'Grasspoint', yes, very grassy, hoping to see hen harriers and also a good spot for short-eared owl. Watched for half an hour but no luck, mind you it was a little drizzly so we pressed on in search of otters as I had seen one but my wife missed it! As we approached Glen More we noticed a stag on the hillside and to our surprise, a female hen harrier flew past. Going through the glen, a whinchat appeared on a fence then buzzards in the sky and one sparrowhawk.
At Pennyghael stores and P.O. we were able to get some rolls for lunch and headed to the shore of Loch Beg which is at the top end of Loch Scridain (a loch in a loch) and searched in vain for otters.
People told us they are common but not easy to see, many not seeing them at all. We pushed on around the shore of Loch Beg when my wife saw a head of something in the water disappear. Stopped the car and waited and watched and sure enough an otter appeared from then on we observed this individual for two hours catching fish and resting along the shore of the photo above.
We followed along the coast for a good mile, several people stopped to have a look and take photos. Two photographers stopped and were eager to get some good shots and when it seemed to have disappeared we searched and found it later dozing on the end of a small rocky spit, out of sight. We didn't scare it, on the contrary it wasn't worried too much by our presence and we finally left to itself and eating and catching more fish.
We drove back towards the hotel via the scenic route again which you takes you through some superb landscapes, the road opens out near the mouth of Loch Na Keal where several wheatears and oystercatchers etc. were along the shoreline. The road took us past another parking area which is where all the mountain climbers start their trek to the summit of Ben More (968 m) which still had some snow in places!
The last day was spent at Iona again hoping for a better view of the corncrakes which did not disappoint. It required a wait one hour wait before one came close, again only two hundred yards from the ferry and at one point c.20 people were looking and listening to the 'calls'. Luck would have that two birds came quite close giving everyone reasonable views but as usual just heads and necks in the grass, except once.
A couple of sedge warblers were seen in people's gardens plus song thrushes which were common all over the island for some reason. Maybe the fact that we, and others didn't seen one magpie all week had something to do with it. Returning via Loch Scridain again we caught up with a couple of close mergansers, half a dozen Arctic terns and our one and only redshank.
I only saw seventy five species, not seeing, black-headed gull, kestrel, coot, which I thought would be there plus just a couple of guillemots and a few black guillemots when I thought there would be lots.
Next day it was the ferry to the the mainland and an overnight stop near Carlisle then home, about a twelve hour drive if you want to do it without stopping!