Wednesday 29 May 2013

Mull & Iona part II

The rain finally stopped, well being horizontal to being vertical for a change, and then a large yellow disc appeared in the sky but brought with it more strong winds.
But undeterred it was out and searching the lochs for a few more species to photograph.


Great-northern Diver

Plenty of food inshore

Red-breasted Merganser

Eurasian Shag



Whinchat (yippee)
As can be seen from the photographs it was a real mixed bag on the weather front, the wind keeping Harriers down and Shorties alike. But the chats in the sheltered areas performed most admirably, particularly nice to get a half decent Whinchat shot at last.

There are more to do and will follow on as soon as possible, any comments or critique are most welcome



Saturday 25 May 2013

The Western Isles of Mull and Iona

The Western isles of Scotland not only hold much beauty and large hills, it is mecca for the wildlife watcher intent on a week of early ups and late downs, interspersed with some excellent and tasty food stuffs, The plan was to spend every day all day out in the field searching for the exceptional species of these isles.

Leaving the ferry it was turn left and cruise the highway looking out for suitable spots to stop,,, single track roads with passing places, and very few places to park at all. Eventually a spot was found where Swallows and Sand martins were feeding low on the water and very close to the shore on flies as they emerged from the bladder wrack.

And at the same location a nice view of Eiders plunging for crabs and other items that they fancied to eat

So it was onward to the main town and its harbour, looking for Great Northern Divers and anything else of interest, the place was still deserted as it was only around 7:30, and what is it that really caught the eye?
Was this Dog Otter hunting along the headland of the harbour totally unphased by the presence of large glass peering at him at close distance. The majority of dives produced Lump fish which were devoured rapidly with relish, if I might be allowed a small anthropomorphism.
It was later learned that this old Dog would wander the car park and jetty at will totally oblivious to humans. Even using the odd trawler for a sleep and a rub down on the coils of rope as he dried off.

    The reported Female and cub did not put in an appearance whilst there.
There is plenty more to come from these wonderful isles


Monday 6 May 2013

and finally for this catch up a real corker for the county

I had heard the news on the grapevine at around 17:30 that the first confirmed Bee-eater for the county was over by Condover, all night I was hoping it was a stayer as it would be the following day before I had chance to see this wonderful bird. 06:30 I was under way, praying the frost had not shifted it. On arrival another watcher was on the bird and what a bird it was the early morning light was spot on and the colours really glowed as the sun hit it full on and the result follows.

As you can imagine the rest of the day really was a disappointment after that, with a trawl of the local area producing nowt of interest.

Cheers Paul

And the more! I mentioned.

Having done the high hilltops it was down in the valleys to find a few more nice species. lso get a nice warm cuppa in the process.

A quick stop off at Bridges for a look at the Pied Flycatchers before trekking home.

  A brief stop at Longnor to see how things were going..
 and finally getting home in time for supper and a well earned rest with a cuppa.


Thursday 2 May 2013

Is it really that long?

With the passage of time bordering on three months since I last Blogged, or had any material for that matter
I finally have been able to get out and around a few sites.
The snow thwarted two attempts to get Black Grouse in the snow, what with roads blocked. But perseverance finally paid of and a fantastic display of male aggression was watched and listened to.

A beautiful Male.

Strutting his stuff.

"Come on then!"

I hope my bum looks big?

Come on Black Grouse? really!

The early light really brought out the colours.
 So after a few hours of burbling calls and a few scraps they were of to feed, the females remaining well hidden just watching to see which hunk was to get their charms this year.
The other little gem was this confiding female Wheatear, posing very nicely as if we were not there at all

u like me taller?

Cutesy crouch perhaps?

or just my best side.

The rest of the day proved most productive, and the rain held off for a good while, thankfully.

 Cheers, more to come soon