Sunday, 30 September 2012

The return of "What am I?"

So the nights are drawing in, the Geese are arriving and anyday now Redwings and Fieldfares will being logged on my BTO Wnter Thrush survey, and it is the season where I put some of my "classic"** bird pics on my blog for you to ID
** ("classically bad!)

So here goes for the first, no prizes just the smug feeling of satisfaction that you were the first to get it right.   Good luck.


Sorry folks I forgot to put the anwer on for this "what am I?"

It was indeed a .................. Rook!  It did look remarkable like a male Blackbird, well done all that guessed correctly!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

The North Wind doth blow

Well in this instance it was a South Westerley and it was gale force, interspersed with heavy rain showers!  Unfortunately this meant most of the birds remained on the deck.
We did get distant views of two adult Golden Eagles along with Raven and Buzzard. Red Deer where in the area and gearing up for the fothcoming rutting season. Also a nice event was meeting Chris, one of the followers of this blog, it really is a small world! (I hope you got good views of the Eagles)
At Lochindorb a very confiding Red Squirrel sat beside the car intently watching us watching it and two Red legged Partridge in the same location was a nice addition to the day.
A great day out with great company and a good few laughs, with the weather adding a touch of  comedy throughout! 

Todays victims clients enjoying a cuppa at Lochindorb
(and no you don't get discount for not having milk)

Friday, 28 September 2012

Back to my roots!

Finally the wind and rain from the past week has moved on and the day was bright, sunny with just a few shower clouds hanging around.
Back  down to the foreshore at Nairn, this time togged up with all my gear and ready to give the place a thorough going over.  Nothing rare today but what I realised is how long it has been since I really worked an area, it was brilliant fun locating and identifying every bird that called or moved, I now know I had become "lazy" with my birding (as had been pointed out by Lynda as she pickes up birds I pass by with a casual glance!) So a bit of an eye opening learning experience for me today, and a real feeling of the buzz I used to get birding when I was much much younger!

As stated nothing rare or even uncommon, but the following list will show the diversity of species observed, it will be a fantastic place to do a Birding Ecosse workshop.


Part of a Skien of Pink Footed Geese in off the Moray Firth

Seawatching Heaven! Through the scope you can see Tarbat Ness light house, exactly in the middle  of the two ships.

Birds seen  (in no particular order)

1. Blackbird  2. Wren  3. Hooded/Carrion Crow hybrid  4. Pied Wagtail  5. Swallow  6. Blue Tit
7. Robin  8. Coal Tit  9. Goldcrest  10.Woodpigeon  11.Song Thrush  12. Oystercatcher
13. Herring Gull  14.Black Headed Gull  15.Shag  16. Guillemot 17.Red Breasted Merganser
18. Gannets  19.Red Throated Diver  20.  Great Black Backed Gull  21.Common Gull
22. Scaup.  23. Wigeon  24.Sandwich Tern  25. Redshank  26. Cormorant  27. Pink Footed Geese
28. Curlew. 29 House Sparrow  30. Razorbill  31. Rook  32. Goldfinch  33. Dunnock

Still no sea ducks to speak of so add another 5-10 species could bring a haul of 40-50 species in a day, not too shabby!

Having other duties to perform today I had to literally grag myself away from the place today, cannot wait to get back out.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

New migrant hotspot?

Every now again you visit a place that you have driven past many times but never given a second glance.
Nairn leisure park is one of these places, yesterday I drove past after a futile sea watching effort and noticed this park and it's many migrant attracting sycamore trees.  Today wasnt the best day for a recce visit, the rain is still falling, however Friday morning is looking good for an early morning jaunt.
Excuse the slightly fuzzy images, damp lense, but will give a flavour of the place.



Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Big Sky

Another beautiful morning up here in Moray.  Birdwise pretty quiet, good numbers of Gannets lingering around the Burghead area, two Sandwich Terns and two Wheatears near Netherton Farm.

Big Sky

Grey Heron


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A mixed season.

It is a beautiful morning up here in Moray, sunny with blue skies and a nip in the air.  Best of all it is my favourite time of year for birding, with the summer migrants such as Swallow and House Martins still hawking around giving their "chirruppp" calls against the backdrop of "honk honk ink honk honk"  of Pink Footed Geese skiens passing high over head.

I love autumn birding!

Monday, 17 September 2012

You want me to fly HOW far?!?

We still have one young House Martin unwilling to leave it's cosy nest!  And judging by todays heavy rain showers and strong chilly winds who can blame it!

Juv House Martin eyeing the outside world with a wary eye

Adult House martin trying to encourage the youngster to take the leap!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Hurricane season!

Was awoken this morning with rain lashing against the window and wind howling round the house, not good mist netting weather! Stayed in bed with a cup of coffee and read up on the new BTO winter thrush survey, looking forward to doing this survey as it will fill the void left by the conclusion of the Atlas (when does it get published anyone know?)

House Martin and Swallow still in the area and small skiens of Pink Footed Geese being reported in the area, Marcus from e-birder had 4 Long Tailed Skuas in the Moray Firth this morning, I would be happy with 4 Long tailed tits in the garden today!

Coming into my favourite season so hopefully some interesting blogs coming up!

Good birding.


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Ouzel, Eagle and Sandpiper (Curlew not Pec!)

Fantastic day tour today with Steve, highlights were Ring Ouzel x 2, Golden Eagle (distant) and bird of the day Curlew Sandpiper.

Weather was not the best with heavy rain showers and gale force winds, but 53 species was not a bad haul for the day.


Curlew Sandpiper (left) and Redshank

 Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper
Ring Ouzel (below)

Monday, 10 September 2012

Time to fly the nest.

Fantastic sight today of 20-30 House Martins swarming to the two nests on my house, each had two chicks still inside (must be second broods) Some birds would fly up and cling to outside of  nests whilst other clung to the wall or hovered very close by.  All birds calling loudly trying to entice the chicks out.

Unfortunately all evaded my nearby net!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Pesky Pec!

With a report of a Pectoral Sandpiper on my doorstep, Lynda and myself headed down to the west side of Findhorn Bay.  Now I must admit to not visiting this part of Findhorn Bay very often, this is due to the severe lack of parking spots.  But today we found a nice place not far from the path leading down to the bay so this may be put on my regular patch list.

Unfortunately the Pectoral looks to have either moved on or was out feeding on the vast expanse of exposed mud on the bay, however there was much to keep us both interested:

Osprey x4,  Black Tailed Godwit x 45, Canada Geese x 35, Whimbrel x1, Greenshank x 2, Knot 30+ and Pink Footed Geese 270!

A cracking couple of hours.

Findhorn Bay

And my favourite bird....... Lynda!