Thursday, 28 February 2013


It's been a bit of a slack month but there have been plenty of chances to see the Otter families - a real bundle of fur!
The Hen Harriers have been an almost daily sighting but it's last years youngsters or females that make up most of the sightings.
The peanut feeders seem to be getting a bit more attention at the moment - plenty of Chaffinch, House Sparrow, Coal Tit, Blue Tit and Great Tit.
As I said before there are plenty of chances to see Otter and it's always feeding time.
A windy day provided a bit of entertainment of the White-tailed Eagle variety. Ten birds in the air would have been good but the best effort was 7 in the air and the other 3 on the ground but the local Golden Eagles were not amused by the invasion! None of the action was in range of the camera but it was good to see. A warm, blue sky day was fairly unproductive to start with - the Buzzard looked good...
...but the three young WT Eagle were the ones causing the stir (two of the trio).
The Ravens can't be far away from nesting in some areas but there is plenty of display and most birds are flying in their pairs.
Golden Eagles are busy displaying and keeping their territories clear - plenty of sightings but not many photos. The Stonechat pairs are quite numerous which is a good sign after the cold winters of the recent past.

Monday, 25 February 2013


The posts have been a bit thin on the ground this month but if there isn't much going on...anyhoo...mornings can be productive. The first birds I see every morning, at the moment, are a Buzzard that perches up at the front of the house before settling into a tree round the back...
...and the other species is Hooded Crow - two of them see the Buzzard off every morning! The landscape will be changing a bit, over time, as a floating pier arrived so the forestry can be taken out.
There are still no Pied Wagtails on the patch but I did come across one on my travels.
Greylag Geese are all over the place at the moment...
...and the Skylarks are starting to reappear. I have a few Skylark outside the house and I have had some singing birds - what a fantastic thing to hear at this time of year.
There are still 25 Greenland White-fronted Geese hanging around but they will be heading back north next month.
The pier was soon in place and this shot shows the forestry that will be first to disappear.
Another treat was almost a disaster as I'd left home with no camera so when a Merlin was flying alongside the motor I was thrilled. The bird landed on an electricity pole there were stunning views to be had. I pulled out the Lumix to get a couple of snaps but the battery was flat and the spare was in my coat pocket back at home. Stupidly, I headed for home to pick up the camera and then thought it was unlikely the bird would still be there - how wrong was I?
I was pleased I went for the camera and only managed a few shots before the bird flew off!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

A full day.

A cracking day out in perfect conditions. A good start with three Otters in the loch and a Hen Harrier hunting  the ridge...
...a fly past Sparrowhawk and a hovering Kestrel.
A bit further along the road a male Hen Harrier was seen dive bombing a young Golden Eagle and a wee bit further on there were a couple of WT Eagle. Two Red Deer were in a shady spot and not fussed at a close approach in the car.
Another family of Otters were located just as one of them caught a fish. There was a mad dash for the shore...
...and one of the youngsters was keen to get a share of this fish!
With the weather being so good it was a good time to look for the Adders. The wind was cool and blowing across the area where the snakes should be but there were two Adders basking in the sun - result!
A Golden Eagle had been seen disappearing behind the ridge and it's mate was sitting on the ridge. The second bird was soon in flight and the first bird returned carrying some heather in it's beak. Another Hen Harrier put in an appearance - looks like it should be moulting before too long.
One of the Golden Eagles finally decided to give us a closer look.
A return to the first Otter family was made and a bit of patient waiting paid off. Two of the Otters made their way past...
...while number three was finishing off a fish and eventually came past about 15 minutes later.
A female Stonechat posed nicely in the sunshine...
...and the day was finished off with another Hen Harrier - a full day!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


We went out for a walk expecting the weather to clear but the morning rain continued into the afternoon. The damp conditions ruined the idea of looking for Adders but we did managed to see a Hen Harrier and find a Common Lizard.
Everything steamed up in car because we were wet and despite the lens being misted over I still managed to get a snap of this yellow eyed Buzzard.

Monday, 18 February 2013

All singing, all dancing.

The weather is a bit warmer for now and the day length is encouraging the birds to sing. I sat listening to this Robin for about 15 minutes while keeping an eye on some Otters.
I love to see the Hooded Crows busting shells on the shore. It seems to be a bit of a song and dance but hopefully they get some food for the effort of flying up with a shell...
...then dropping it on the rocks...
...and then back up again until the shell breaks.
I wandered along the shore to get a better view of the Shag sporting a tuft...
...and the Otters came ashore too. The mum and one of the cubs were mutual grooming...
...while this youngster got stuck into some grub.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Patch ticks.

I went to scan the sea in the hope of picking up another tick or two for the patchwork challenge. Things will turn up when they are ready but there are birds starting to appear now with the odd Meadow Pipit to be seen and my first Shelduck on the patch. The Shelduck was too far away for a photo so a Mallard will have to do for now!
Male Hen Harriers don't get seen too often but just to prove they do pass by occasionally...look at that stunner!
I managed to pick up my first Greenfinch and Treecreeper for the year while getting some shots of a tame Grey Heron.

Friday, 15 February 2013


Bit of a slow start on this one and you didn't want to spend too long out in the cool breeze. A couple of distant WT Eagle got the day off to a reasonable start and followed that up with a distant Otter. A Kestrel perched on the wires was the first chance of a photo but the bird was facing the wrong way.
A family party of Otters were next on the list but they didn't stick around for too long.
Another Otter on it's own was seen a mile or so further on while a Raven was having it's lunch.
It's not very often that you just see one Raven so here is the other bird that was watching the proceedings with interest.
Quite a few Mistle Thrush around at the moment but it's always nice to get a close one.
A Buzzard on the move...
...Grey Heron in the grass...
...and a scan round the ridges eventually turned up a couple of Golden Eagle. The only thing missing was a Hen Harrier - not a single one through the day. Lucky this one turned up to complete the day.

Monday, 11 February 2013

The chance you take.

Calmer conditions gave me a chance to check the distant parts of the loch. A Black-throated Diver for the patch, Guillemot, 6 Black Guillemot, 2 Red-throated Diver, plenty of GN Diver and four Razorbill all made for a decent haul. I could see an Otter family grooming each other on the point so it would only be a matter of time before they headed back out. I waited as the Otters came towards me and just swam straight past.
They looked like they were just going to keep going but suddenly there was a big splash as the mother caught a fish and they all headed for an isolated rock.
That's the chance you take - some you win. There was a bit of activity around a food source that I couldn't see but 3 Buzzard and four Raven don't have a gathering for nothing.
There were still two BT Diver and four Black Guillemots hanging around and the RB Mergs looked good in the flat calm water.
Two GN Diver were having a bit of a dispute - it was all just a little too far away.