On leave from the Shetlands, the mist at home lifted, the sun came out and I wheezed up Kinnoul hill in Perth. Heard long tailed tits with blues and greats, a pair of jays and a buzzard. Saw ravens,¬† longtailed tits, jackdaws and a peregrine that obligingly went into a stoop over Barnshill and disappeared from my view. Meanwhile I was snapping with my panasonic DMC FZ7 and my Canon EOS 550 D, you can see the comparison above, the canon shots are on top and the brighter less real shots are the panasonics below. The canon…
Being used to the role of principal contractor,then¬† being a sub-contractor needs a mindset change, that comes through the contract and the impositions necessarily put on you. The Shetlands Gas Plant (SGP) Laggan-Tormore had a bigger surprise waiting, lurking menacingly, unseen, unexpected in the Totality of¬† it's monstrous dimensions - documents for QA. The whole team have no experience of the level of documentation required, I guess we are somewhat spoiled in transportation where the client has the testing required tabulated and "bare" appendices for designers to complete, from this I in the past have complied many test and inspection…
I will post about the Shetlands project separately, I want to give you a flavour of the island from a brief respite of time off. On a Sunday I dropped the guys off and took the pool car for a drive in the reduced daylight we get up here. First I was obliged to watch a boring GP from India, kinda glad its going to Sky sports next year as I don't subscribe, therefore the link of "must watch" will be broken. Going from Sella Ness (home) I stopped at a community woodland walk by an old…
After my first work cycle to the Shetlands, I arrived at¬† Guild street bus station in Aberdeen and picked up my car that was in the good safe hands of my Daughter. It was 15.00 hrs, as I set off , my tom tom being set by my Daughter as my phone rang when I was attempting it, it was probably set to the shortest route as I got out of the city but found myself on the A944 not the A96, anyway such is life, the A96 my have been faster the A944 was much more…
First tour of 18 days on and 9 days off which includes two travel days. No time off in 18 days, except to watch some morning rugby, where we played well but lost to the old enemy. Surprisingly I got used to the work cycle, working weekends well what else was I to do? well could have taken some more pictures, these sunsets were from the same place on different nights, luckily I had transport so could chase the sun to the west when it looked promising. I have to say I have about 20 really good…
I am retyping this from the original which is a paper I helped compile for a years worth of birdwatching on Dubai's creek. I was not alone and the observations are from a small but determined party of enthusiasts who got up early on a Friday (holy day) and often took to the mud to cover the whole creek. The period was 1981 to 1982 and I believe shortly after I left the area it was declared a national park, good vision from the Maktoums. I am doing this in response to a search of my site for Dubai birds,…
The normal summer hols were again spent in Lochaline, (nearest ferry to Mull), in a house overlooking the sound of Mull and Ardornish castle if a tree wasn't there! Mike and Jan, the owners, weren't there which was a pity. With more people incumbent there is more intention to explore/ have day trips. My brother Derek and his wife Moira were there from the first Saturday to the Thursday, we arrived on the Monday, so had a few days overlap. Five people went to three, my wife and her cousin Helen, we kinda stayed local. We did…

Aug 16th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

Adults Ospreys may have gone, did see two juvs on the eyrie, and later one on the eyrie branch, it was making begging calls, but eventually flew off. On scanning the reedbeds I did pick up an Osprey on the other side of the river, one from "my" nest ? who knows. It's time we had bird rings that emitted bar codes that smart phones could pick up, now that would advance bird movement study. No juv or adult harriers in evidence so could also be gone. End of another nesting season, comes round so quickly! however the weather was…
Last weekend I decided that I would pay a visit to the RSPB Fowlsheugh reserve on the east coast of Scotland near Stonehaven. ¬†My aim was to see some auks and in particular some Puffins - it was late in the season and as such possibly too late. ¬†Indeed it was too late and no auks were in evidence, however some great views of ¬†Herring Gull, Fulmar and Kittiwake were had, including juveniles of all three species. ¬†A great view of a Sedge Warbler was also had on the walk back to the carpark.…
For a bloke who gets sea sick standing on a pier the thought of a ferry trip to Shetland where the seats in the bar have a wire harness to the floor, was worrying. However the weather was high pressure and i needed to take my car to move the bulky PPE and other items I need. So with confidence having used the ferry port to turn around on after leaving Petrofacs office i set off, and duly turned into the right place to turn but the wrong quay, dope!! Found the right quay, after instructions, boarded…

Jul 17th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

All three chicks are on the wing and as rumoured they have been ringed, the osprey pic is the female on the left and a juv on the right, you can make out the ring on the juvs left leg. I think they have a ring on both legs. All three chicks were on the eyrie when i got there about 9.45, the female was there, then the male arrived and when I was watching the fox in the pics for a good 45 mins only a juv remained on the eyrie, the other four had gone…
As you can see from the pics the Ospreys have three well grown juveniles, on Sunday I was out at 7.30 am the rain had finished from yesterday and the wind and sun were not spoiling telescoping, so i was able to get some reasonable pics. As I've said before a photographer would not offer these pics on the internet, but I'm not trying to win a prize just show three well grown juvs. Like some tabloids some people might consider I'm making it up hacking into smart phone pictures or the like. My farmer friends suggested…
Not up too early, lay in bed listening to out of doors on radio Scotland, it was 9.30 when I scoped the Ospreys, but just before I did I saw a fox on the path some 50m away head down sniffing , I froze but was very exposed and the fox ran off after looking up, into the barley field. I thought that would have been that but within 15 mins a pair of foxes were on the path and I was an obvious intrusion, I thought the pair a male and female as there was no…
As I entered the wood it was absolutely silent, it was very strange, usually there are feeding parties of tits constantly contact calling, a great spotted woodpecker usually cheeps, a wren explodes his call, nothing, silent. had a sparrow hawk just shot through the wood? don't know. As I left the wood a wood pigeon slapped it's wings on take off and another started cooing. The spell was broken. It wasn't early but there was no wind, or rain, or sunshine, that meant I could take a reasonable picture of the chicks if they were not being…
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b0120dm1 This link to Newsweek Scotland woke me from the reverie of warm downy cosiness, minute 18 to 36 is the poignant part. Nothing less than the downfall of the euro zone. The reason I bring it to your attention it is that I believe it, and I am not so sure why, perhaps it is because I believe politicians (in general) do not understand economics. The non control of the banking system is testimony to even the monetary erudite Mr Brown's failure to understand the system, he understood how to fix it, just as well. But what this 18…
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