listed as a very rare breeding UK bird mainly Nth of the great glen, (in 2010 average 5 year count was 16 breeding pairs) I discovered a Redwings nest with 6 eggs in a small rhododendron bush next to the wall of the holiday house we were in, in Lochaline. I disturbed it by accident as there is a path right beside it and I happened to be wandering around with binos, I thought it was a juv starling at first as it shot out from the bush with a similar squawk that juv starlings make, however it then made…

May 20th by Ian under Bird Watching

took a walk along the Fife coastal path to the Fife boundary with Perth and Kinross, there is an obvious bridge of the boundary stream to be built but no path on going. My eye was drawn to a flower whose head was hanging, a water avens my horticultural spouse informed me. I always ask before resorting to the books as she short cuts the process. A wall nearby had obvious speedwell along its base, and it turned out to be wall speedwell, if you have ever tried to identify speedwells you will know it's not easy.…
I was out over the estuary by 7.30 AM watching a Harrier-less reedbed, they are just not around. My old pals the coos are back in the field and are very placid, I wonder if they have any memory of me? For the first time the shelducks were flying around making their ha ha noises, two males and two females.  Heard and saw sedge warblers, also willow warblers and chiffchaffs possible blackcap whose song I have to re-learn every year it just does not stick in my head! Fed up waiting for a harrier I had a…
Enjoying the unusually brilliant weather in Nth Perthshire today and by the river Ardle came across these wonderful wood anemones, there was also a jay nearby and to my delight a cuckoo, calling almost incessantly. I did see cuckoo flowers (lady's smock) by the road verge, lesser celandine are  by the rivers edges too. I didn't realise the sap of greater celandine was used to treat warts, everyday is, or should be, a school day.…

May 10th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

heard and saw three swifts over my house on the 5th of May, saw a juvenile house sparrow on the 6th, but not any young rooks flapping around like black rags yet, or a single juv blackie squeaking for food in the garden. Adult Starlings are using my car as a  faeces target practice and donate up to 5 splaterings a day!…
2/5/16 about 14.00 hrs, not the best time however the fridges needed food, excluding me from transport. In two hours caught a 10 second glimpse of a male marsh harrier, Well what's new! I wondered about how the Osprey's eyrie was given the near gale force winds we were experiencing. I believe the nest has been built up since my last picture as I can now see the sitting bird's head. Presumably the male on the perch, has a small pike (I saw it's deeply clefted tail) and it's good to see they can catch fish in…

Apr 21st by Ian under Bird Watching

21/4/16 been out a couple of times before the 21st but was unsure if the Osprey had really adopted their old eyrie site with the man made replacement. Well they have, and I assume this photo shows the male on the nest rim and the female now out of sight and sitting on eggs. The new nest site does not allow direct observation as the old one did so I think I will wait until the chicks are up and about before I return to the new observation spot which is nearer and arguably disturbing. Also I…
6th, yes 6th of April and while out at the osprey site I heard a familiar chirrup and looked up, well it was only a swallow then a couple of others and a martin also staccato calling and feeding. They do use river valleys as migrating routes and the reedbeds for roosting, but the 6th of April ? in Fife? against a strong NWst wind. Next I'll find all the geese have gone!…

Apr 5th by Ian under Bird Watching

5th April and it rained all day yesterday and before then we had southerly gales so when I got out today I was hopeful of Ospreys between showers. But first on the eye menu was a dark marsh harrier, first inclination it was the female I saw a few days before, this bird was hunting by quartering so I got a good look at her/him. Well I convinced myself it was a dark male as the contrast on the upper wing was evident, the black primaries, the paler main wing and the very definite chestnut of the forewing, it also…
29/3/16, had a few reckies for Osprey arrival from the 24th, but no sign, today was no exception still it is early. The Osprey's frustration nest in the navigation pole has been removed. No osprey, but I did see a female marsh harrier with I think no wing tags, at a distance these are difficult to see. It was hunting but not in a quartering way it was flying fast over the reeds and it was gone in no time. I did wait for a return but no luck, it is possible that I would never have seen it but…

Jan 29th by Ian under Bird Watching

Believe it or not, it stopped raining for a whole afternoon on the 27/1/16 and I took off to the estuary for a rekky. Lots of gulls around (common or black headed) too far away for my poor gull identification skills, some herons and I could hear teal. Not a swan in sight, surprised me. However as I was scanning the estuary north of my point I had some land in view and I saw a man running over a stubble field, I immediately thought someone was hurt as a running man on a stubble field is a rare sight,…
Two pairs of bullfinches have been regularly feeding on Leycesteria Formosa (pheasant berry) outside my house in a council garden, I use the word garden cautiously, the pheasant berry has been seeded from my garden in several places and it is good to see the finches feeding on it. They have been regular visitors for about a month and the female bullfinch I photographed from my garden, thanks to storm frank removing a larch lap panel. The other pics are from my upstairs window in the rain with poor light and a hand held camera not steadied…

Oct 30th by Ian under Bird Watching

Now I always thought badgers had their setts in woods, but here in the middle of a field is a new sett, admittedly it's between two woods one you can see. Being a materials engineer I can tell from the badger's digging, the sand underneath the topsoil is valuable, however I'll keep my opinions to myself. The curious white patched plumage jackdaw is local to our bird table and is always alone. Seems to be a late hatching or has a malfunction of it's plumage, hence the white patches. why is it always alone? unaccepted by the…

Sep 22nd by Ian under Bird Watching

22/9/2015 and no sign of the osprey in my hour and a half stay, I am guessing it's gone. counted more than 80 mute swans and the teals were in their hundreds. It looked as if a large flock of teal were spooked by something as several times they were all in the air, didn't see any bird of prey that could cause that, obviously hoping for sea eagle. Saw some Canada geese and a white "farmyard" goose, no swallows or martins and bird song just warning calls of buzzard and great spotted woodpecker. Pictures show a…

Sep 12th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

On the 9th of September arrived at the estuary about midday expecting to not see an Osprey, but in a replica of the 28th August there he (assumed) was on the navigation pole eating a fish. After finishing it with the company of a cawing crow he took off and dipped his feet in the water, then out of my sight must have plunged in as he came back to the pole and was clearly wet. He was also moulting as I could see a feather near where the wing joins the body, sticking up at right angle to the…
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