Another early start saw me at Scotch Corner by 0830 hours after a fairly traffic free journey up the A1. A breakfast sandwich enjoyed in the company of a Blackcap in full song only metres away was quite uplifting, particularly as the weather was in good form too. I always think the journey over the A66 is quite inspiring as you progress westwards and then begin to descend down into Cumbria . Another stop previous to the Scottish Border held yet a further Blackcap, suggesting that, at least, they appeared to be here and widespread.
Eating up the miles my next break was on top of the Rest and Be Thankful Pass where, you might have guessed, the weather had changed and it was sleeting. Nothing serious, but enough to be a reminder that the weather has not yet totally settled down!! The rest of the journey was uneventful and, once across to Islay, was positively delightful. The last of a full sun and a clear sky accompanied me down the Rinns, where a flock of Whimbrel on the shore was a reminder this was the key time for their passage northwards. Later a male Short-eared Owl leapt from a roadside post and swept around with the waters of Loch Indaal as its backcloth. Two really enjoyable wildlife experiences after a day, necessarily, where birds had been a bit thin on the ground!!