Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Burghead Banana Bill

Today's workshop consisted of 20 members of the Grantown U3A, and with the superb weather and the great company they provided it turned out to be a fantastic day.

Grantown U3A Group

In total 31 species where encountered with the highlights being White wagtail, the first House Martin of the season, Long Tailed Ducks and great views of a passing Osprey.

Even the commoner birds like Swallow and Rock Pipit seemed particularly accommodating in sitting still for long periods so everyone could get a good view of them, leading to the rumour that I had sneaked out the day before and planted stuffed specimens at strategic points along the way!

However a gold star goes to John, who came up with the goods in the shape of the nearly full plumaged White Billed Diver sitting off to the East of Burghead.  The bird was loafing about and gave everyone stunning views through the scope, definitely the star bird of the day.

White Billed Diver (click to enlarge)

John, the Banana Bill Finder!

Many thanks go to whole group for making the day most enjoyable, but in particular a big thank you to Frank, who co-ordinated it all and helped keep the crowd control in order!  (although more practise is required on the Crested Tit call , purrrr purrrrrr) 

Friday, 22 April 2011

From my childhood

Today was a real blast from the past. 

I was going thorugh my bookcase when I found my very first notebook, and the very first entry was this one of the Osprey at Loch of the Lowes.

I used to get dropped off by my Aunt and Uncle then they would take my parents for lunch and leave me in the hide!  Happy days!

This fieldnote was made on 20 May.......... 1977!

I can still remember the excited anticipation that built for days before the visit, my parents didnt drive so I was dependant on my Aunt and Uncle for transport, and that feeling of seeing the Ospreys would stay with me for the whole of my birding life.  I still get a buzz every time I see one and my mind always strays back to the first visits to Loch of the Lowes and hence the Logo for Birding Ecosse.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

The Urban Birder

Met David Lindo the "Urban Birder" at a talk he gave in the Grant Arms in Grantown on Spey.

A brilliant relaxed talker passing on his expertise and knowledge in a very entertaining and informative way.  On many occasions he hit the  nail on the head with the whole "feel" of birding, especially when birding a local patch.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Sublime Slavonians

I was taken to a small lochan in the Highlands, on a public footpath near houses with families and dog walkers stopping to have a chat and look at the approximately seven breeding pairs of Slavonian Grebes, jaw dropping was not the word!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

New advertising leaflets.

These are my new advertising leaflets, designed by the same company that designed the logo.

"smiledesign"  brilliant company to work with.

 Also a big thank you to Marcus at E-birder for trading the Crested Tit picture for the leaflet, Many thanks Marcus and I look forward to buying you lunch and a beer!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

They're back!

Sitting in a Scottish wood, Crossbills "thcupp tchupping" over head, Crested Tits churring in the nearby trees and an Osprey on a dead pine tree.

Can there be a more Scottish start to a morning? All I needed was a Capercallie and a herd of haggis to walk by!