Aug 7th by Ian under Bird Watching

On the 3/8/16 about 4.30 am we had a huge thunderstorm, mostly lightning. On the morning of the 3rd we had about 30 odd swifts around the village skies, far more than is normal nowadays. On the morning of the 4th post the thunderstorm there was a single swift, I have waited a few days to monitor the skies and now on the 7th with a gale developing from the west there are none. So the swifts left on the 4th and scarily that was the date last year I recorded them being absent, I suspect they moved ahead of…

Jul 15th by Ian under Bird Watching

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After some holiday time in Englandshire I eventually did some birding on the 14th of July ostensibly checking a marsh harrier nest site, but had to look in on the Osprey who was feeding a newly hatched chick in late June. They certainly have one chick now in feathers but I never saw the chick/chicks being fed so hopeful there are more chicks. At one point there was a third Osprey circling the eyrie but both nesting Ospreys remained at the eyrie which surprised me, usually one will take to the air and "push" the interloper off.…
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.…

Jun 19th by Ian under Bird Watching

After a week and more of rain I ventured out on the 18th PM when the F1 qually finished, no show of harriers but the ospreys have a chick or chicks, I saw a parent (the female usually) feeding a chick and maybe fooled myself to see a white wobbly head. What was certain through heat haze and 60x magnification was that she was picking food and offering it up, so one chick at least. Both parents were on site and after feeding one flew off and the other stood nearby as with the heat of the day there was…

Jun 13th by Ian under Bird Watching

Well yes they do, and through a friendly local blackie that came within a metre of you whilst gardening, my wife then myself witnessed snail procurement. They are recorded as doing this in the BWP and we witnessed the wiping mechanism that the birds employ, they do it where they find the snail rather than take it to a place where wiping is more effective, like a gravel path. They clearly like snails as when we encountered a few and put them on the lawn the blackie was on to them, especially if pre-crushed. I also through the window witnessed…

Jun 11th by Ian under Bird Watching

This is the Osprey eyrie from a different viewpoint, you can see the happy couple intact. Moments earlier however there was a third Osprey hanging around and was perched where the present Osprey is perched, it was calmly escorted off the premises, I was expecting both Ospreys to do it and assertively but no, just when you think you can predict bird behaviour, you can't! The, I think male, Osprey in the second picture is on a perch quite near me in a different position from the first shot, note the length of the wings hence the…
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…
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