Thursday, 27 December 2012


A change of scenery and some different birds on a trip to Newcastle. The weather has not been the brightest but a run up the coast was nice, visiting some of my old haunts. St Marys Island had the usual array of waders - Sanderling...
...Lapwing, Curlew, Golden Plover, Snipe, Redshank and Bar-tailed Godwit.
 Despite the dull conditions the lighthouse always looks good.
Lots of Dunlin on the rocks.
It was nice to see plenty of Carrion Crow up close.
A few Cormorants were fishing in the surf.
A run up to Newbiggin gave us good views of Black-headed Gull...
...but the Mediterranean Gull wasn't so obliging...
...and the Turnstones stayed away from the dog walkers.
Cresswell next to see plenty of Moorhen...
...Long-tailed Duck and Wigeon...
...a cracking drake Pintail with the Mallard...
...and some shy Grey Partridge.
A brief visit to East Chev before the skies darkened and the rain came produced more Grey Partridge, Goldeneye...
...and plenty of Magpie.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

I've not had too many chances to get out in the field recently for various reasons but I have had the camera to hand when I've been out. A wet day produced a good sighting of a young White-tailed Eagle... this Buzzard a hard time all for a mouse/vole. The Buzzard kept it's meal.
I also got some nice views of a Hen Harrier hunting the marsh.
Better weather always turns up something decent. A Buzzard was hunting on the ground probably looking for worms and beetles.
I had a male Merlin fly past the car about five yards away but there was no chance of a photo. The bird did land but it was severely back lit. It was nice to see six Golden Plover hanging out with a small flock of 30 Lapwing.
A small bird perched on the grass was difficult to identify until it took flight which revealed the white wing patches of a Stonechat.
There are still plenty of Kestrels about but they can be quite nervous and keep their distance so this was nice to capture.
One that most people will ignore is the humble Rook. Great birds with loads of character.
It's difficult to go anywhere on Mull without seeing a Grey Heron so I gave it a quick shot on my way home.
I'll take the opportunity to thank everyone who reads the blog and the comments are always nice to see. Have a jolly Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Big fish.

Driving along, minding my own business, and then an Otter comes into view with a large fish in it's trap.
I had to stop, if only to find out what kind of fish it had. It wasn't going to haul out in sight of the road but it would take some time to get through a fish this size.
As you can see from the above photo the fish is quite orange in colour. Too big for Cuckoo Wrasse and not looking like the right shape plus the Otter wasn't letting me see it properly.
It wasn't too long before the fish was dragged into the open and that was the end of my ID hunt - no idea!
The Otter settled down in a sunny spot, with the fish out of view again, so I headed off. The fish is a Bearded Rockling (Cheers, Bob).

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


I had a couple of days without the camera and enjoyed good views of various things but three days would have been too much. I was busy through the day so a WT Eagle in the morning...
...and a couple of Cormorants in the afternoon...
...was nothing to (Hooded) Crow about;-)
 It has been a bit chilly up here but the bits that don't get the sun really do cool down. You know it's getting cold when you see the frost on the back of the Red Deer.
This one was particularly well covered - looks like Rudolph with those antlers...
...but not much on this one...
...and no sign of a red nose anywhere.
The great outdoors looked good in the sunshine and the Ravens hanging around mean there is food nearby.
 Looking on the shady side of the street it looked totally different but the young WT Eagle was a welcome sight.
After lunch I had a look for the Waxwings but the trees looked pretty bare and no sign of any birds either. Looking up was a better option as there were four WT Eagles and a single Golden Eagle - just look at the size difference!
A Buzzard gave a nice fly past but I saw it too late...
...and it looked better against the distant hillside.

Sunday, 9 December 2012


A trip out with Doc, in icy conditions, for another squint at the Waxwings. No sign of any birds at all on arrival and walking the road was treacherous to say the least. A brief call from a Fieldfare was the best we could do. While wandering back to the car a small flock of Fieldfare appeared and the numbers kept building and a single Waxwing landed in a conifer - lots of dithering later we got about six birds in good light. It took a bit more dithering to get a closer look which paid off. They look good with the crest up...
...the crest normal...
...or just blowing in the wind.
The Fieldfare are bit more skittish but with plenty of berries to feed on, there were plenty of birds...
...and the odd close one for good measure.
They look really good head on.
Wouldn't you just sit a bit closer to your breakfast? Good pose though.
You can't have too many photos of Waxwings!
The birds were never on the trees for too long so you got a good idea of what was there - only two Redwings in the flock.
This Buzzard managed to get all the birds in the air just as we were leaving.
We managed to see four Otters, two Sparrowhawk, White-tailed Eagle, but only an obliging Buzzard was worth hanging around for.
With the light fading at the end of the day we watched a couple of Hen Harrier but the small flock of Reed Bunting were just as good.