STAR PRIDE  by markp



So after a fairly comfy night in the car, outside Oban, Thursday dawned much warmer, and dry. It was another early start, last checkin at the ferry terminal for the ferry over to Coll was 6.30am. Watching Black Guillemots at the terminal the rain returned, and it was quite a wet misty trip back out to Coll.
Passing Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, this cruise ship the Star Pride, was anchored up, ferrying passengers over to the island for a day of sightseeing. Launched in 1988, she was formally called the Seabourn Pride and carries 208 passengers.

Arriving in Coll, to more sunshine, watched again as the ship, did its fancy pirouette to get along side the quay. Getting off the ship, I drove up the hill to my bed and breakfast. Paula, the landlady, was outside, with some other guests I had met on Tuesday. She said "your room won't be ready till 12". I said "thats fine I only stopped to ask if I could plug a camera battery charger in, in the garage and which room am I in ?" If it was late when I got back, as she doesn't live in the bed and breakfast.
She said "yes, thats fine, you know where the plugs are". Then she pointed up to a window and said "you are in that room". Again she said "it won't be ready till 12 as the previous guests left it in a hell of a state. They made a real mess". At this, the couple of other guests who were leaving laughed and said "yes, it really is a tip, we also had a food fight in there this morning. It's all over the ceiling !"

Turned out it had been their room, and no it wasn't really a mess.

Laughing, I went round the back, plugged in the charger, and walking through the garden, I heard something. I stopped and listened, the noise occurred several times. It can't be I thought. Paula can't have a Corncrake in her garden, surely? Maybe I should go and get a camera and sit on one of the garden chairs to see if it would come out into the open.
I kept listening, it didn't quite sound right, the more I listened, the more puzzled I became. It sounded very like a Corncrake, but just wasn't right. I finally tracked were the call was coming from. Sat in the middle of lawn was a Starling calling. They are excellent mimics and as a Corncrake can call over 3,000 times a night, this Starling had picked it up.
I mentioned this to Paula and she said "yes, there are a few that can mimic the Corncrakes."

I left and went off around the island, stopping in several places and between some heavy rain showers went off walking and exploring the island.

More from today here.....
A beautiful ship on an overcast day!
July 9th, 2017  
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