Saturday, 29 October 2011

Eagles to Dolphins!

Full day guiding today Starting off at Lochindorb then Findhorn Valley- Farr Road the over to Black Isle.

It was one of those days where all the target species turned out on cue and showed off to anyone that cared to look in their direction.

At Lochindorb the Red Grouse were more numerous than I have seen in many months, the males strutting and calling to each other, all looking stunning in the early morning sunlight.

Male and female Red Grouse

Male Red Grouse

Female Red Grouse

Highlight of the day was when a White Tailed Eagle was seen soaring alongside a Golden Eagle and both being buzzed by a pergrine!

White Tailed Eagle 

White Tailed Eagle

All in all a brilliant day out, supporting cast included: Male Brambling at a feeder in Tomatin, Red Deer Rutting at Findhorn Valley and Breaching Bottle nosed Dolphins on the Moray Firth.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

A hide with the Wow factor!

Visited the new hide at RSPB Insch Marshes today and was very impressed with the layout and full length windows, it would be a close call for favourite hide between Insch, Fowlsheugh and the new Parrinder hides at Titchwell.  They certainly are producing some stunning designs.

Birdwise it was fairly quiet, with gale force winds and drizzly rain all afternoon.  A male Pintail was with the Wigoen at the far side of the reserve, Long tailed tits and Treecreepers showed extremely well in front of the hide, and star bird of the day was a male Hen Harrier feeding at North End of Reserve.

Definately a place to re-visit in the very near future.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Winter doth Approach!

Enticed out by the lack of gale force winds and for once a clear sky I headed for my patch at Findhorn.

It was a beautiful start to the day with the snow capped mountains across the Moray firth hinting of the on set of winter.

Birds were fairly scarce best news was the vast increase of Long tailed ducks and a fairly close fly-by of a male Velvet Scoter. 

However when it's quiet like this it makes you appreciate the common stuff so often overlooked.

Male House sparrow


Winter cometh.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Norfolk Part 1 Unblocking the bogey!!

A life time ambition was realised with a recent trip to RSPB Minsmere in Suffolk, and although the actual reserve was smaller than I had imagined, it was by far better birdwise than I could have hoped for plus the relatively compact size and excellent hide locations means there are no real blind spots on the scrape complex.

This blog entry is for me un-bloking my bogey bird, The Bittern, now I have been in the correct habitats at the correct times but never conected..... until now!

The bird flew down a clearing in the reed bed and that alone would have been enough, but it then circled and landed slap bang in front of the Bittern Hide!! It gave brilliant views however the lighting was very poor hence the grainy shots, but grainy or not they are the unblocking pics of my bogey bird!

At one point I actually thought we had a real life Bittern in the hide, however it turned out to be a lady called Jane giving a perfect redition of the "wiggle wiggle wiggle stab" motion of the feeding bird... Well done Jane!

Bittern at RSPB Minsmere

Probably my favourite picture, play spot the bird!!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

The old and the new.

Just back from a fantastic 5 days in Norfolk, that included unblocking  my bogey bird and a chance twitch for a lifer.. more to be told in a later blog!

However one morning over breakfast I got around to talking about binoculars and how I  almost had a trip down memory lane by purchasing  a pair of my first ever binoculars off e-bay, a set of Prinz 10x50 porro prisms.

At this point Hazell remarked to Bernard (and thank you both for looking after me and Lynda so well!) "is that not the type we have" and lo and behold a pair of Prinz 10x50 appeared.  Happy memories and a real treat to compare the "then" and "now" and much as I loved my Prinz I will stick with the Swaro's!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Long Billed Dowitcher - Lifer number 2!!

This little beauty turned up at Lossiemouth Estuary, after dipping on it yesterday I connected with it twice today once myself and the second time with Keith and Fran from Wolverhampton.

A lot smaller than I imagined and was bullied a bit by the Wigeon, at one point a single Wigeon chased the Dowitcher up stream for a few hundred yards before chasing it back downstream again!

A top start to the day.

Long Billed Dowitcher