Friday, 12 November 2010

Call of the wild.

The weather has been a bit grubby over the last week so I didn't venture out until Wednesday when it looked a bit like this - perfect!
I picked up PS and headed off to see what could be found. There was no sign of the Greenland White-fronted Goose flock but a cracking Grey Plover made up for that and a couple of Lapwing that just wouldn't pose for a decent photo.
A Mountain Hare tried it's best to blend into the vegetation.
I don't get to see Jackdaws that regular so it was nice to get a  snap of one in flight...
...amongst a couple of Hooded Crow...
...and a group of Rooks.
A quick pit stop and an effort on a Curlew in flight before we moved on to better things.
We picked up a Sparrowhawk that was being mobbed by a couple of Hooded Crow and then nabbed some photos of Common Seal the were hauled out close to shore. PS wasn't happy with the photos as the seals weren't looking at us so I had to do a bit of seal singing to attract their attention!
With the clear skies it had been a bit of a cool start to the day - minus four - and there was still a bit of frost around in the shady areas.
A couple of miles further down the road and we had out first Otter of the day along with a Slavonian Grebe and a Great Northern Diver. We picked up a few waders at our next stop with about 8 Turnstone, 6 Ringed Plover, 6 Golden Plover, 1 Redshank and 1 Greenshank.
A group of three Otters were next to be subjected to the camera with a single trying to have a kip...
...and the other two out fishing before coming ashore to play hide and seek.
There was plenty of fish to be had and lots of photos of tails disappearing or nothing at all but I was impressed with this Otter doing a roll in the water.
As you know there are Grey Herons everywhere so I took a snap of this one that was keeping an eye on the Otters.
We'd not seen that much activity over the ridges except for Raven and Hooded Crow so a couple of Buzzard doing their thing had to be snapped.
It was starting to get a bit cloudy by now so we thought it best to go find some big birds to complete the day. First up was a juvenile WT Eagle that dropped from sight just as we pulled up and then a couple of Golden Eagle put in an appearance. They were too far away for photographs to start with so I asked PS to call them in 'Come on you big birdies' or words to that effect and amazingly one of them came straight at us - by, she's good!
A quick stop at the shop on the way back through got us another Sparrowhawk when all the waders took off in a panic as the hawk flew through. We'd seen a few GN Divers on our travels but none of them had been particularly close so I had to make the effort for this one but it was quite dull by this time. Nice to see one with a fish rather than a crab though.
Thursday was a real stinker of a day but I was out on a tour regardless. A bit of a tough start but we did get plenty of Red Deer, Greenshank, Redshank and a few Turnstone.
There were a few Curlew that allowed a close approach too...
...but with the showers pushing through on a regular basis we were struggling with everything else. We'd had close views of Kestrel and a couple of Buzzard perched up so we were pleased when we got two Golden Eagles in flight. A long hard search eventually turned up a couple of Otters but with constant rain there was no chance of getting any photos. After lunch we were driving along with the window open to stop things from steaming up and I could hear a lot of squeaking coming from the shore. As I hauled in an Otter appeared quickly followed by another. We got stunning views of the youngster as it clambered over the rocks in front of us - cracking stuff. A bit of a surprising find was a single Sanderling with a group of Ringed Plover.
We finished the day off with a female Hen Harrier and the Greenland White-fronted Geese - another grand day out in poor conditions.

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