just a few snaps of birds as I met them from West Yorkshire through to Cornwall to Nth Devon. I particularly like the kittiwakes in Bridlington and the sun bathing robin that just laid out in the sun 2 metres from us as we looked round the Rosemoor gardens near Torrington in Nth Devon. I checked the robin photo for ants and there were none, just sun bathing, first time for me to witness that.…
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…
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.…

Tags: Nae tags again!

As our site office just off the old Newton road was in disarray with desk moving yet again, I worked from home on the 24 and 25th of January,¬† the dining area table is next to the large sliding double glazed door that I believe were once called "French windows". Anyway in that little corridor that abuts next door the 4 m space has moss growing on the concreted area and I was going to take a shovel to it to scrape the concrete clean when I noticed it was a regular feeding ground for a pair of hedge sparrows…
A recent week long stay in Shetland has allowed some fantastic views of a number of native birds. ¬†Visits to Sumburgh Head, Unst and Fetlar gave good views of many sea birds including a large colony of puffins at Sumburgh and circa 50,000+ Gannets at Hermaness National Nature Reserve in the north of Unst. ¬† Another spectacular experience was about trip around the gannet colony on Noss. ¬†The Bonxies at Hemaness ¬†and on the ferry gave great views.…
A few weeks ago I had the good fortune of spending a day on the Black Isle photographing pine forest wildlife. ¬†My thanks go to James Moore (www.jamesamoore.co.uk) for the grandstand seat in his hide. ¬†If you fancy a seat there give James a shout on his website. ¬†My main 'targets' for the day were Red Squirrels and Crested Tits and I saw these in abundance along with a few of the more common birds. ¬†I got settled in the hide around 9am and finally left at 3pm with a card load of what I hoped were great shots. ¬†I…
From the English Riviera I crossed¬†around Dartmoor on a visit to horticultural friends living near Bodmin. Turning off the car cooling as I went! I noted a new plant to me on the verges and central reserve, a conspicuous clumped white globular flowered plant in much profusion. On leaving the A30 I hoped to see a clump to take a specimen to the experts, of course, and for a reason, there was none on the narrow hedge corridored lanes. Well of course they would have seen the miles of them and would have no need to refer…
Lochwinnoch RSPB Nature Reserve is located approximately 25 miles south-west of Glasgow, just off the A737 Paisley to Dalry Road.¬† The visitor centre, with its shop, toilets and viewing areas, sits on the north side of the A760 Largs road between Castle Semple and Barr Lochs.¬† There are two main nature trails starting at the Visitor Centre ‚Äď the Dubbs Water Trail is just less than 500m and heads along the north-west shore of Castle Semple Loch and Aird Meadow Trail is 1200m long and heads along the south-east shore of the same loch.¬† There is a hide part way…
I'm afraid my 'passing interest' in Bird Photography has developed into a real passion. ¬†I'm not sure how or why it happened. ¬†I just love photographing birds of any kind, common or rare, woodland or water, at home or abroad. ¬†I can never wait to get the images home and review them, sometimes spending hours trying to identify the species. ¬†Am I a Bird Watcher? ¬†I don't think so, but what if I am, I like it and I'm proud of it, hahahaha. One of my favourite locations near home to practice the 'art' is Linlithgow Loch. ¬†Although the main…
Had a travel fiesta this week to Shetlands where our UKAS lab was having its annual appraisal, as the UKAS technical manager for the company it was a good excuse to travel. My car being 500miles away in Devon¬† I was going to travel by bus (with my pass) and stay overnight in Aberdeen (the district of) and catch the flight to Sumburgh in the morning. Too complicated. I used the train to get to Dyce by 9.00am, a taxi to the airport to check in by 9.15, fly to Sumburgh, bus to the Sella Ness camp…
Our fortnights slot in Lochaline's¬† normal holiday abode was occupied by mainly the three stalwarts (of this fortnight) myself, my wife and the cook we bring (my wife's cousin), Derek and Moira made a second short visit for the first 3/4 days as the time spent up there can just be called "chill out" and we all need that. Well the weather was brilliant, probably the best we have had in some 20 odd years of visiting, one day of complete rain another soon after half filled with drizzle and showers and the rest…
You might be surprised that on Shetland there are 10 Up Helly A's as the Lerwick one gets all the press attention, it is I suppose worthy of that attention as it has up to 1000 torch holders from a multitude of squads. We had a normal working day on Up Helly A' day, and by organised bus, arrived about 7.00pm just in time for torch ignition. I was expecting a very historical Scandinavian procession, and was surprised by squads in all sorts of costumes. There were two bands, a brass one and a pipe band, the…
PART 2 I had not intended to wait a year as per Ian‚Äôs comment for Part 2, but somehow here we are a year on!! We stayed for four days at Bird safari Camp in our en-suite tent along with a number of other travellers wanting to escape the Christmas hype and do some birding instead.¬† The camp was everything that we had hoped for with wonderful friendly staff, fantastic food all overseen by the boss lady Binta. Mornings were spent on early walks at 7am with our guide Lamin who was expertly knowledgeable…
Flying from Scatsta on the 20/12/11, nice day in some otherwise stormy ones. So got the weather, got the back right hand seat on the saab, so set for some crappy pics through the aircraft window, made worse by the sun shining into the aircraft. However I hope it gives a view of the other side of the Shetlands, this time I have taken time to name some features, so armed with a map you can orientate yourself. Flight had a tail wind so landed early, picked up luggage, waited 1/2 an hour for the 2.30 pm…
During my recent trip to Ghana, in addition to the birds there were many other natural wonders to view. ¬†In particular were the butterflies; Ghana has over 1000 species in comparison to the 50 or so species that we have in the UK. ¬†On a single morning walk we saw more than the total number of UK species - the photos are a few species that I managed to photograph.…
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