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Monday 16 May 2011

Orchids, Bogbeans, Sea Campion and Red-breasted Mergansers at Stoer Head 11th May 2011

We walked from the lighthouse at Stoer Head to Stoer Point and the Old Man of Stoer, above.
The cliffs here are about 120m high and in the distance you can see the cliffs of Handa Island and its nesting sea birds.  Several Gannets flew past low on the water but I was unable to get a picture.

This pair of Red-breasted Mergansers were great to see.
The wind was quite strong this day with some light rain.

 At 160m above sea level it was cold atop of Sidhean Mor but the view was worth it.
Scan across this 180 degree panorama.

 We had walked along the valley beneath the Quinag mountain range twice the day before, so it was great to see it again from this distance.

Quinag again from across a field of Cotton grass.
We picked our way across a couple of bogs, where peat had been cut sometime in the past, to see if we could get across. 
In one bog was this lovely Heath Spotted-orchid.
I had to be quick as I was slowly sinking into the Sphagnum bog.
The Bogbean plants above were in flower.  I was sinking even faster as I took this shot!
Back on the cliffs, a Sea Campion was clinging to a rock.

Wheatears were common -- here a male.
The orchids were abundant and stunted on the exposed cliff tops as we returned to the Lighthouse.
A short, yet inspiring walk.  Click on any picture to expand it.

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