We left Fort William after breakfast, and were soon aboard the Corran Ferry bound for the unspoilt peninsula of Ardnamurchen, en route to Skye. Due to adverse weather conditions, it proved to be a very long route to the island, but that's another story! The grey-blue bird of prey above was practically my first avian sighting of the day.
We stopped off briefly at this lovely beach to watch the seals on their skerries and the rafts (or perhaps streamlined 'canoes') of Eiders.
Here are two more hasty views of the bird before it flew off. What fine banding on the tail feathers!
I would be very grateful for an identification: I thought it might have been a Buzzard (too blue?) or a Peregrine (not dark enough round the 'cheek'?). I don't think it was a Merlin ...
You might like to see my previous 2012 Scottish posts, which are here (miscellany) and here (jellyfish).
Later: Thank you to Heather Williams for her comment below. Yes, I think Sparrowhawk may well fit the bill (no pun intended), especially on account of the bird's size and the white stripe above the eye. We have had one of these in the garden in Suffolk, so I suppose I didn't really have to travel so far for a sighting, but who would have missed the chance to see the swathes of Scottish heather and golden bracken at this time of year?
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Postscript . . . off-topic (we didn't see any Badgers in Scotland), but of great concern . . . the plight of Badgers in the face of Bovine TB. I thought this press release from the RSPB (here) was well worth reading, and would commend it to you. For more on Badgers in blogs (as it happens, from my old home area in South Wales - no bias, naturally!), you might like to see 'My Life Outside' (Adam Tilt) for a very informative post, and Jeremy Inglis Photography, for more details of the petition.