These sand martins have found a sand pile between two piles of crushed concrete, on the site of the M74 extension. Is this a statement of desperation for nesting sites? I believe this is the case, should not parks, national trust ground and other publicly held ground not erect artificial nest sites? see links http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/conservation/advice/sandmartins/index.asp http://www.users.freenetname.co.uk/~sandmartin/page2.html Needless to say the birds have been protected by those cuddly construction chaps. David Welsh, I know you are a busy man, but the artificial site on concrete legs would be an easy construction project using mostly spare materials. If you…

Jul 11th by Ian under Bird Watching

I did predict to myself that the the Osprey juvs would be flying soon, and both chicks are now on the wing. It really is great to see these birds arrive, produce fledglings and subsequently leave. I got a bit confused as a juvenile was on the branch that later was occupied by an Osprey with a Pike, still alive and I'm afraid being eaten. I thought well that's cool, hardly on the wing and it  has a fish! Of course it was the male and after he had his bit from the head I watched him…

Jul 10th by Ian under Bird Watching

This was taken in daylight as you can see, on a golf course. My pal Neil Davidson took this with a Nikon D60 with a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor Lens. The benefit of being on a golf course is the owls are perfectly used to people and being long eared do hunt in the daylight. I have been to this site with Neil and you get the most amazing views of these splendid birds, if the midges let you. They do make a noise like a squeaky hinge as advertised. Neil has a collection of good…
I have seen a few dead Greenfinches during the last couple of years, near my feeders, but tonight I disturbed this poor Greenfinch while weeding. It almost certainly has trichomoniasis as it was displaying all the symptoms. Make sure all your feeders are keep clean, for more info go to http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/helpingbirds/health/sickbirds/greenfinches.asp When younger I could have killed this bird saying it was a better and quicker end for it, thought about it tonight and could not do it. old age cometh not alone !…
4 July, and from the picture here you can see the Ospreys are now well grown. I spent some time watching them, that is the female on the right, you need to open the picture, she has more brown across her chest, and this photo could have been the last as nothing happened. This is often the case, the male must be bringing in plenty to eat as the female was at the nest and you can see from the chicks size, could be left ( in my opinion anyway). I had good views of the female…

Jun 20th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

This fuzzy pic was taken this morning, and clearly the female is watching me. I had watched from a less disturbing point earlier and I could only see one chick. no female and male preening nearby, and 30 mins later there was still only one chick, now I was worried where on earth was the other chick?  Took my eye of the scope to look around me and when I  looked again within a minute, there was the female and she had a fish, not that I could see it but she attempted to pick off a…

Jun 14th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

I had checked out the Ospreys and was heading back from an uneventful session, except the females penchant for chasing crows. The male just sits there and she has a right go at them! two chicks are wing stretching, one is noticeably larger. Anyway i took a different path back to my car and saw this, or rather heard it. Of course being a birder and seeing a plundered wasps nest, I'm thinking Honey Buzzard, but i don't think so, not enough decidious forest here. Plus a honey buzzard would not have left the plunder behind as…

Jun 7th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: ,

Big Buck?

Big Buck?

Osprey chicks, there are two, are big enough not to need brooding so it is easy to confirm there numbers. My crap picture, I blam heat haze! should show two heads. The male when I arrived, I can now separate them by plumage differences, was doing his flapping about trying to stablise his footing near the nest. I knew he had a big fish just by this behaviour, and sure enough after feeding himself he flapped onto the nest and I caught a glimpse of a long skinny, covered in blood fish. I think it was a pike.…

May 22nd by Ian under Bird Watching

p10206371p10206402 This is an English proverb, just written in Scots. I like many others interpreted May as the month, it is however thought to be the May flower which is the flower of the Hawthorn. Last week 10/5/09, there was none in bloom and this week 17/5/09 it is well established. This, at where I observe Ospreys. Last week she should have had chicks hatched but my visit did not coincide with feeding so I could not count chick heads. This weekend I had more time so got up early and was on station at the back of seven. Female (assumed)…
White deer

White deer

White deer 2

White deer 2

I startled this creature in the woods, of course the brain said sheep, then a goat, and finally got round to a deer. A pure white deer, on it's own, these woods have roe aplenty and I have once been mesmerised and rooted to the spot when a large pale fallow deer walked within 20m of me, but a white deer? whiter than a sheep too. Incredible. It was not familiar with where it was, judging by the way it behaved, it had no clear escape route and the fact it left the woods for…

Apr 11th by Ian under Bird Watching

Fresh fish

Fresh fish

How's this for breakfast? 7.35 am Saturday 11 April, male could not keep the fish steady on a branch near the nest and flapped onto the nest for a stable platform. The female considered this was a passover of food and got off the nest. No deal says he and just about falls from the nest to the post where I took this picture. I have seen him use these posts in high winds, this morning was not really windy. Had a good look at other pics I took and could see the ring on his left leg…

Apr 4th by Ian under Bird Watching

How satisfying can it be to have fieldfares chuckling in the background while you are watching newly returned Ospreys? I have a site I have regularly watched for 4/5 years and from that choice of time you should be able to tell I'm not a note taker with observations. I should be, but I'm not, I take the pleasure from being there not from the formal note taking from observation. Cognitive indolence. Last week the 28th March I thought "my" Ospreys would have returned, no sign, this week 4th April both are there and attempting to copulate, I say attempting…
Loch Leven, Pinkfeet

Loch Leven, Pinkfeet

Readers of this site may be excused for considering this site to be personal moan blog. Perhaps it is the things that irk that are highest on the agenda, does good news sell newspapers? Well it did the other day with the successful rescue of all passengers from the airline that ditched in the Hudson river, a very rare circumstance. Geese and engines don't mix too well. Wonder how they will exercise control over that incident. Bet the geese are the losers. Loch leven near me is a wildlife haven, particularly for geese in winter. I had…
Half somnolent at the ridiculous time of 10.00 am, I entered an already functioning kitchen where the bird feeding table has the kitchen window framing the scene. I needed no binoculars to declare "look a male blackcap" I froze lest to disturb, this blackcap was on the scoff like a starling he gulped beak full after beak full. I exclaimed amazing "what ten seconds of time makes", kitchen was unresponsive, Dad is mad on birds or just mad, the latter pervaded. Think about it I said, this is the first Blackcap ever in this garden, yeh that you have seen…
There is, I my opinion, a feel good factor that comes from gardening, allotmentering, (new word) and birdwatching. It is our link to the Earth and literally the soil. Is this in everyone's psyche ? mmm wii playing young things, maybe not cultivated yet, time enough. I grew up in the country and I only remember the countryside as a part of my education by one teacher in primary school, I hope things have changed given our environmental situation. Holidays never meant that much to me, well what I mean is the concept of " I am dying to go…
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