Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Never a dull moment.

I'm playing catch up again so it's photos from a couple of tours. The first day we didn't get Golden Eagle but it was one of those calm, humid days - not really the best weather to see big birds flying around. The rest of the day was fine with a good sighting of a Northern Wheatear and Common Sandpiper wandering around on the grass.
The Adder showed well but there was as much interest in this Common Blue butterfly!
Hooded Crows are very common and they are an interesting bird to see for people from further south. They do get mistaken for other birds but they will always catch your eye.
We paid a visit to the WT Eagle nest and found the youngster had fledged but there was an adult present. The Otter was a bit elusive through the day but we eventually got a good sighting of one.
The following day was a bit wet to start with but it soon cleared. I had spotted an Otter on the way to pick up the guests but there was no sign of it on our return. I did see a Lesser Repoll sitting on some wires.
There was no sign of the young WT Eagle but there was an adult present at the nest. A decent number of Red Deer were seen and we got a fleeting glimpse of an Otter. The weather cleared up and after viewing the Common Seals we managed to get some good sightings of an Adder. A WT Eagle appeared over a close ridge and landed on the top but this was in the middle of a Golden Eagle territory! It appears that the WT Eagle saw one of the Goldies sitting by a carcass and thought it might get a share but the Golden Eagle had other ideas - you can see the Golden Eagle has a full crop.
The WT Eagle didn't hang around and flew straight over the top of us.
We finally caught up with an Otter at the end of the day but it brought it's catch onto the back of a rock just out of sight for us - that's wildlife for you.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

A dull day.

Before we even set off for the day we had a look at Golden Plover and Dunlin. A quick diversion resulted in a couple of fly over Red-throated Diver. There was no plan of attack so we just followed the road and stopped at a few locations - Common Seal, Common Tern, Black Guillemot, female Hen Harrier, Adder, Golden Eagle and another RT Diver were all seen. We checked a couple of places for waders and scored at one site with a small flock of Dunlin...
...and there were a couple of juveniles in the group.
Northern Wheatears were in good numbers... were the Skylarks.
Other highlights were a single Twite, Greenshank, Crossbill, WT Eagle and Turnstone. We did see a few RB Merganser on the day but there photos were taken the following day. A good brood of 10 chicks...
...and you can see why they haven't been caught - little motorboats!!

Sunday, 28 July 2013


A good showing of waders on this tour with Golden plover, Dunlin and Ringed Plover all seen but that was as good as it got. We saw the WT Eagle chick but no show from the adults and no sign of any Otters so a Meadow Pipit got the treatment instead!
Things will always come good eventually so it was cracking views of Golden Eagle that made the day. They flew around for a good hour as they were hunting the hillside and it's not often that you see one of these giants hovering - well, it's holding station in the wind but it's still impressive.
Good views of an Adder were had before one of the Golden Eagles came in for a closer look.
We did get a look at an adult WT Eagle and a couple of Otters in the afternoon - one of the Otters came for a closer look at us too.

Saturday, 27 July 2013


A bit of a mad dash at the start of the day for this tour as my first sighting was an Otter! I picked up the guests and headed back to where I had seen the Otter half an hour earlier - luckily it was still visible but it did the great disappearing trick and we had a bonus Crossbill at the top of a conifer. We moved on and found another, more obliging, Otter.
The WT Eagle chick is not too far from fledging and the adults are keeping a watch over the youngsters antics.
There are quite a few Red Deer calves this year but the hinds keep their distance - it's a different story for last years calves as we found with this fine looking specimen.
As usual the Adder was seen but a better find, by one of the guests, was this male Hen Harrier.
There are some waders pushing through now so we got three Dunlin on the beach and the Skylarks are showing well along the grassy edges.
We had a wander around to find a Mountain Hare but it was too quick for the camera but this Grey Heron wasn't!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

It's getting 'otter.

It was another blistering day but the guests just wanted to get 'otter - see what I did there?! We started the day looking for the Adder but it wasn't playing - Common Crossbill was a decent replacement though.
The bad jokes continued through the day but it filled the time in while we waited for stuff to happen. The posing Common Buzzard was back on his favourite pole...
...and our reward for the wait for WT Eagle was the female bird flying directly overhead!
In the afternoon we were in the middle of a group photo when a Golden Eagle put in an appearance - you couldn't make it up! A couple of WT Eagle put in an appearance while a couple of Raven circled above. We finally came across two Otter in the afternoon while looking at the Common Seals. An Adder performed very well and everyone but me got photographs. The last stop of the day was to get Mountain Hare which I duly found but it was just a pair of ears sticking up from behind a rock - was it going to be a bad hare day? The Mountain Hare eventually came out into the open but it was soon forgotten when a Mink appeared. We watched the Mink swim across the bay before it hauled out and shook itself dry.
We got into a better position and the brazen beast came right up to us - nice to see but it shouldn't be here.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013


With no additions to the year list last month it was nice to add a couple in the middle of July - a brief sighting of a Common Redstart and a Grey Wagtail on the patch. A tour in poor weather produced no photos despite seeing all the sought after species. Nice views of Crossbill were had but too far for photos but when I arrived home there was a flock of 20 birds in the conifers near the road.
The poor weather brought down some migrating waders - a flock of 100 Dunlin had 25 Sanderling amongst them. The weather turned for the next tour but it's far too hot now! We started the day with views of the young WT Eagle before moving on to get some superb views of a couple of Otters.
The juvenile Golden Eagle has fledged now so we viewed of one of the adults. The afternoon was stifling so the Clegs were out in force but it's a good job it wasn't these inch long beasts that were having a go at the pigs.
It may have been too hot but the Adder was still on view but the start of the show was the Mountain Hare. We had one that was just visible when it stuck it's ears up so we went for a walk to get a better view and managed to get another two! We managed to get close to one that was initially hidden from view. The head came up, the tongue was flicking...
...and then it was off.
The bird that we see the most of is the Grey Heron so it's only right that it makes the blog!

Saturday, 20 July 2013


A bit of a selection from a couple of tours. The Eider ducks are hanging out on the shores but there doesn't seem to be many ducklings around so something is successfully hunting them out.
The Adders have been showing well on most days with up to 3 being seen now.
With the hot weather the dragonflies are out in abundance but they can be difficult to photograph unless they are perched up. An obliging Golden-ringed Dragonfly posed for some shots.
A small squad of Goosander were loafing on the shore...
...while the adult WT Eagle kept an eye on it's youngster.
It won't be long before both species of eagle have their young on the wing. The Golden Eagle adults are not bringing in as much food now but every time they have been on the hunt they bring back a Mountain Hare. It's obviously a good year for the hares...unless you get caught napping!
Otter sightings are sometimes good and sometimes a bit more distant. It's nice to get a close encounter but this dog Otter had been in a bit of a skirmish and was seen to have an obvious limp when he headed back into the water.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Mating season.

The mating season might be over for some but this Common Snipe may well be on sentry duty for a second brood.
The Common Terns must have chicks now as you tend to see them fishing a lot more.
I did take the opportunity to try out a different lens for the camera and got some nice shots of Sundew...
...and the flower head too.
These Dark Green Fritillaries were mating and flying was a bit of a challenge in the breeze!
A single DGF posed for long enough facing the camera.
The Harebells are looking splendid as usual...
...and a mating pair of Large Red Damselfly were seen.
Last of all - Melancholy Thistle just because it was there.