Thursday, 30 December 2010

Happy New Year and January quiz picture.

Well here it is, the end of another year and the expectations for 2011...... is it just me or do others find the Year end a bit sad?

Thanks to everyone that has visited the blog over the last few months and left comments, I hope you continue to visit next year.

The quiz picture should not present many problems this month :-)  but tell me the age as well this time!


Friday, 24 December 2010

Pottering around.

Blackbird in Potter Trap

Have had some good results with a Potter trap in my front garden border, three days of ringing has produced:

Blackbirds  11 new and 2 retraps
Robins         4 new and 1 retrap
Dunnock      1 new
Great tit        1new

One of the retrap Blackbirds of interest first ringed in same location 20/02/08 as a Juv male but has not been retrapped since.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

My fingers are in shreds!

Nets up in garden at first light, lots of birds in the immediate vicinity including 30+ Fieldfare.

Brilliant days ringing as the following totals show, including retraps

Robin         2 new        1 retrap
Blackbird   3 new
Blue tit       44 new !!   2 retrap
Great tit     11 new
Dunnock    3 new
Chaffinch   1 new         1 retrap
Coal tit      2 new         1 retrap
Yellowhammer 1 new

The yellowhammer was star bird, first for garden and my first for over ten years! The 46 Blue tits were just downright painful!

All these in mostly an 18ft net.  One downside was the state of my "new" 40ft jap mist net.  Only the second outing for this net and a few flaws already becoming apparent.

Net will go up again in the morning for a few hours to see if  the Blue tits are gone or hanging around the area.

Monday, 13 December 2010

December Quiz take 2

Time to update the First December quiz. The answer was male Long tailed duck, if you look carefully you can just make out the tail feather disappearing into the depths!

Quiz bird 2 is easier and fairly topical at this time of year, once again good luck, and remember it's just for fun!

 Whats that bird?

Thursday, 9 December 2010

December Quiz (Bumped)

During the many trips in the field trying out the new digiscoping kit, I manage to capture some (a lot!) of less than perfect images.

So to that end I will publish a new image every month and see how many correct identifications I recieve.  If I get a good response I will go to weekly images (believe me I have loads I can use!) 

Good luck and enjoy.

Whats that bird?

Just for a laugh and to test your brain during the long winter nights!!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The freeze continues.

Still no let up in the sub-zero conditions and I'm having to think about a second mortgage to keep the birds in food!

Noticed a vast increase in Redwing and Fieldfare numbers today, a new wave of migrants arrived?  Also my Brambling has moved on, just as well as I have over 300 photo's of it now!

Missing getting out and about to my usual locations and my King Eider should be getting near to full plumage and just begging to be photographed.  Maybe next week....


Tuesday, 7 December 2010

A little bit of cheeeeeeeeese......


A pretty poor shot of the latest addition to the garden list, this Yellowhammer was at the feeding station first thing, just in the pre-dawn light.

Weather is still very cold and very snowy, today is minus 8.5 and snow still about a foot deep.

Rooks and Starlings have now found the feeding station, which can be a pain, so it is now a balancing act of letting them get some food but allowing the smaller stuff time to feed as well.

Finally I would like to thank the people from the UK and across the world that are visiting this site, hope you like it and call back regularily (maybe let me know what birds you're getting in your area?)

Friday, 3 December 2010

A little bit of Bully.....

Male Bullfinch

A quieter day birdwise, with very few birds visiting the feeding station first thing in the morning.  They did however return later on in the morning.

The Bullfinch pictured above is quite a scarce visitor to the garden, and yet another sign the birds are being forced nearer to habitation to find food.  The Brambling was present again as was one fieldfare.

Tempreture soared to a positively roasting  + 0.4 and I was in the process of looking out my deck chair, flip flops, suntan lotion and BBQ when the blizzards returned and the temp dropped to -1.0

Forecast is not looking good for a break in this weather, so will have to do a re-stock on birdfood!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Brambling, Fieldfare and Caper!!

Well what a brilliant birding day, and most done from my living room!

The day started well when I opened the curtains and was greeted by a Fieldfare feeding on the seeds left over from yesterday.


Next on the list was a  Brambling, really pleased to get this in the garden and a lifer for my girlfriend.


The last bird was not photographed sadly, however when we were out for a stroll a male Capercallie flew out from woodland, across the village and headed back into the far side of  the forest. Think it must have been disturbed by a local Pheasant shoot.

No let up in the weather still, minus 12.4 last night and never got above minus 4.5 all day.  Beautiful scenery though.

Wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Another day and no sign of thaw!

Really cold last night minus 11.5 but no more snow to speak of.

Experiment today concluded that thrushes like bananas as well as apples and the cold weather snap brought a G S Woodpecker onto the peanut feeder.

Male Great Spotted Woodpecker 

 Female Chaffinch


Fairly quiet on the bird front today, most of them feeding in gardens.  Curlews flying over heading towards the coast.  Still no sign of a Brambling.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Winter Wonderland

A winter Wonderland, beautiful scenery in the snow

Once again we are in the grips of winter, a mere 8 months after the last comedy snow here up near Inverness.  We have about a foot of snow at present but as I type it has started falling again.  Luckily we dont have to be anywhere until Sunday so we managed to restock in town today and it is now a case of battening down the hatches..... I love it!!!

Birds have been coming into the feeders and food in good numbers, giving plenty of photo opportunities, I'm not putting my nets up to give the birds as little disturbance as possible, but once it starts thawing I should be on for some mega catches!

Male House Sparrow

Even such a common bird as this House Sparrow warrant a second glance when the lighting is so good against the snow.

Female Chaffinch

So if a Robin swallowed a tennis ball what would it look like?..........

Hopefully if it stops snowing, I will get out tomorrow for some picture taking, nice flock of Reed Buntings just down the road so think they will be my quarry.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Just for a laugh - December Quiz Photo

During the many trips in the field trying out the new digiscoping kit, I manage to capture some (a lot!) of less than perfect images.

So to that end I will publish a new image every month and see how many correct identifications I recieve.  If I get a good response I will go to weekly images (believe me I have loads I can use!) 

Good luck and enjoy.

Whats that bird??

(This is just for fun and to test the brain cells during the long winter nights)

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

I am watching you know!!

Mallard male

Really impressed with the Lumix G1 and Swaro STS80HD scope or digiscoping, the detail you can get is amazing. Lighting wasn't as good as yesterday but still gave a nice contrast.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Common but nice



Juv Moorhen

Not rare birds but nice lighting to take some shots.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Whooper Swan B6U

Just got details back on this cracking bird.
Ringed A7941 on 14/08/06 as an adult Male in Anavatn Jokuldalsheidi - Iceland  and seen at Wester Milton Moray on 30/10/10.

Quick result from Euring and the WWT  good work!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

More Peachy beauties!

Two Waxwings turned up at Conicavel today, along with ahuge flock of Fieldfare.  Nice to get on garden list! Really windy so this was the best pic I could muster.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Ringing season 'tis upon us!


Coal Tit

Blue Tit

Excited by a large flock of Siskin and Goldfinch in the garden yesterday I decided to kick off the winter garden bird ringing season early, however the Siskins had moved on and only one of the Goldfinches were caught, still nice to have the nets up again and the first time since I had op on arm, so the nice quiet session has proved that all is okay!

Friday, 5 November 2010


Just a passing session birding today, en-route for shopping!  Lots of Goldfinches and Siskin in the area, and a surprising encounter with this Whooper in a tiny pool in a field.


Part of another weekend influx of migrants? Lots of Redwing Fieldfare and Siskin about.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

More whoopers

Total of 22 Whoopers today at same location as Saturday. 6 Juveniles.

Monday, 1 November 2010

A Dipper Dipping!

Right in the middle of Forres on the mosset burn, very confiding wee birdy.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

More little Gems.

Some good shots of a flock of 250+ Waxwings in Forres today not far from the train station.  Lighting was beautiful for a change!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

What Whoppers!!

 Ooooooo that feels good!
 Whooper Swans

Adult and Juv Whooper Swans

Colour ring B6U

A lingering party of Whooper swans, 9 Adults and 3 Juvs not far from Auldearn in Moray.  New way to digiscope used today, because of the really strong winds I ditched the tripod and worked off the roof of the car with a beanie bag, works extremely well and can see me using this method more often!  Ringed bird B6U was nice to see as well, will post details of ringing when I get them back.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

More Waxwings!!

                                                 Waxwing showing red "wax" on wings

                                                               Male Long Tailed Duck

Bad hair day Waxwing

Another superb day, 6 waxwings at Lochindorb along with two drake Long tailed ducks on the loch!  Findhorn valley 5 Raven and about 300 Fieldfares in field just across from end car park.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


Out looking for a family party of  Whooper Swans that have been in the area, no sign of Swans but thousands of Pink Footed Geese.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010



Long tailed Duck


A beautiful day weather wise, not at all the forecast which was for heavy rain and gales!  The sea had a magical quality it seemed thick and oily and gave a brilliant back drop to some digiscoping.  No sign of the King Eider however the majority of birds where far out in Burghead bay.