The twin lakes, Aranmore, Co.Donegal
A male snowy owl on Aranmore Island off the west coast of Donegal for the last month finally became too much and after hearing it was still present last friday I set about trying to fill the car and make plans to get up at the first opportunity. A midweek trip didn't suit many so I set off aiming for the 730am ferry picking up two friends along the way. With no traffic, we arrived in burtonport shortly before 645 and had a bit of food and coffee ahead of the short boat trip.
We set off for the twin lakes, scanning every white rock and plastic turf bag. After a good scan, we split up and started walking. The island seemed endless, every hill climbed led to another rolling hillside. Heading north in the hope that the bird would be sheltering from the strong south westerly wind, I came across a great arm chair overlooking a large sheltered valley leading down to the lighthouse. I was just about to sit down and scan when reception on the phone picked up and I got a series of txts of missed calls, eventually a text with directions came through and I set off taking the long way round due to a little dis orientation. When I finally caught up with them I was told the owl had just flown over the brow of the hill. Had I sat on the armchair I would have been looking straight down on it as it flew!
Best view on the island, if I was sitting in it!
After another long walk around I looked back to see Ciaran and Laragh were waving and pointing back where I had come from, another long jog followed before a shadow passed over head, looking up, the immense shape of the snowy passed overhead and disappeared over a ridge. I continued up towards the others, glancing back the snowy was sitting on mound, sheltered under a ridge from the wind.