Friday was a day of showers but as the day ended the skies started to clear.
Saturday, 26 February 2011
The weather has continued to be pretty dull and showery in places. I had a really poor view of a White-tailed Eagle actually in the loch with wings pointing skywards while it was being mobbed by a group of Hoodies - great to see but shame about the weather at the time.
Thursday I was out on tour. Not the best of starts to the day but a white Mountain Hare made up for the lack of other wildlife. It didn't take too long before we had an adult WT Eagle in our sights. We followed it at speed to get better views before the bird drifted off and out of sight. A few Turnstones, Pied Wagtail and Ringed Plover added to the days tally. Next port of call should have given us Golden Eagle but we ended up with two WT Eagle instead! With the conditions quite cool in the breeze the prospect of seeing Adders didn't seem too good but after rescuing a frog from a pool on the track we set off in search of reptiles. A quick scan around for large birds of prey was fruitless but two Adders soaking up whatever heat they could find was a bonus. Next on the hit list were the Common Seals and they were hauled out in good numbers but this Pheasant stole the show as he flew in and paraded around in front of us.
Next stop was for lunch at the side of the loch. Just as we pulled up we could see two Otters in the water - result. Cracking views were had and lunch was delayed while we watched them. The dull conditions prevented any clear shots but the views were tremendous - here is one of the two.
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Monday tried to show some promise with bits of sunshine pushing through the clouds but the low cloud was holding tight to the higher ground. I had a quick run out in the morning to check on the family of four Otters. The wind was blowing fairly hard, it was cold that wind, but the sun was shining down on a sheltered spot with the Otters all bundled together. They were difficult to count to start with but eventually I got a count of four - all is well! Too far away for the camera but you can see the problem of counting them.
Even the Red-breasted Mergansers wouldn't come close enough for a decent shot.
Sunday, 20 February 2011
I've been keeping my eye open for the pale Common Buzzard to get a few snaps so you can see what all the fuss is about. To be honest there was very little to look at anywhere on another cold, breezy and dull day. What I needed to do was get turned around so I could get out and use the motor for a bit of shelter. There were plenty of people out though - f-stop and PS were passed on the road, Postie and Ferry Lady were watching an Otter so we chatted for 20 minutes then had a look at the Otter they'd been watching, BB and BA were watching another Otter just round the corner. Just at my turning point a pair of Ravens were perched up leaning into the wind.
Shop Lady was trying to get me onto a Golden Eagle while I was taking those photos but I managed to miss that!
Saturday, 19 February 2011
Friday was a bit of a poor day so no outing but I did get my first Greenfinch of the year.
Saturday we had a trip off island but not much time for birding. Despite the driving duties I still had my eyes open so a few good sightings along the way - a couple of Buzzard in a field hunting by foot, a large herd of Red deer stags and a roadside Merlin were the pick of the bunch. A couple of Black Guillemots were just too far for the camera and my first Pied Wagtail of the year stayed in a shady spot on this gloomy day. The Red Deer that we saw in the morning were still there on our return - I guess they must be getting fed - a tremendous sight though.
This next bird had me reaching for the camera as it flew above us and then dropped out of sight. A bit of a search soon had the bird in reach of the camera - nice!
It was a lot whiter in flight though and an interesting leucistic bird - have some video too:-)
A small flock of Siskins were waiting their turn at some nearby feeders - superb views but the poor light prevents the same being said about the photos!
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Well, a bit of a change to the design but the content won't change much - plenty of wildlife! Here we go...
Wednesday was a bit calmer than the previous day but there was still a bit of cloud cover. I didn't have much time so I didn't go too far. Find a spot, park up and wait. Plenty of waiting went on so I tested the camera settings on this Grey Heron.
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Another run out today in a bitingly cold wind and dull conditions. It was a proper raptor day with my first stop producing this gaudy little number. I let rip with photoshop auto settings but, with such a poor photo (it must have been about half a mile away), there was no other way - a cracking male Merlin all the same!
As I pulled up to my next stop I could see a Buzzard against the sky sitting on a post so I thought a silhouette might be in order. You can see this bird has had a good feed already as the crop is bulging!
The Otter must have had a messy meal as it nosed around picking up a few scraps before a couple of Hooded Crows moved in to get the smaller pieces that were left. The Hoodies proceeded to make their way around three bird carcasses that were littering the foreshore.
'Can you find anything worth eating?'
'Me neither, let's complain to the management!'
Another view of a male Hen Harrier that could have been the bird from earlier, a distant Golden Eagle and this Buzzard doing a bit of ground hunting were the only other highlights.