Apr 26th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

Sunday 25th, on site too late as the heat haze was already distorting the scopes mid and long range. Saw my first swallow yesterday, well heard it as it flew over the house, saw a handful today and there were loads of flies about. In the heat before the very fast enacting hail squall that swooped down the Tay I had a hundred or so little white flies above my head, in a tower that you often see midges doing above pine trees. Wondering what was the attraction I moved away a pace and looked up into…

Apr 19th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

On the 12th April I set forth with high hopes with mentions of Ospreys plaguing the pine forests of loch strewn Scotland. The famous lady of Loch of the Lowes failed to return, a sad demise of a very long lived Osprey. As a round up of my particular pair, last year was the first failure since the nest was established, In early March 2014 I reported the bough on which the nest was established was on the ground with of course the eyrie. Intrepid BTO members, well the famous artist Keith Brockie made a brilliant job…

Mar 22nd by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

I knew it was too early, but with birds you never know, so come 9.00 am on Sunday 22 march I madly was looking for Ospreys in Scotland. Of course none were to be seen or heard but in a months time this will be different. What I did hear and see were whooper swans, pinkfeet geese in fly overs all heading NE, teal lots roosting, and the odd laughing call of a shelduck. Other birds around were wren, chaffinch, fieldfare, plenty of wood pigeons and rooks. To my surprise the second Osprey frustration nest was still on the navigation…
The fire pictures are the sad end to the contents of our Bee hive that failed, this is the second one to fail in successive winters.¬† My wife insists on burning every frame for bacteria/pest control. This hive failed due to lack of numbers. It was a small captured swarm that either suffered a late swarm itself or the queen just didn't lay enough. Anyway when opened there were only a handful of bees left, all dead, there was plenty of food, just died from the cold and damp. The eclipse picture was from a windy wet…

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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…

Dec 19th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

Went to see the battle of the five armies (the third part of the Hobbit) in IMAX, you have to watch this in IMAX it is truly amazing. It was a big day for me as I went to a barbers, a place I have not been to for years, same as the cinema. Oh and I did have a hair cut in a very busy Polish barbers shop, ¬£9 quid well spent. If you have read the Hobbit¬† the title "the battle of the five armies" should perplex you, because in the book there is no battle after Smaug…

Aug 31st by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

31/8/14, my son's birthday, and the osprey is still hanging around, surprised to see it. I assume it's the male, no sightings of marsh harriers at all, air is filled with swallows and martins then they're¬† gone, obviously migrating. Saw a couple of hundred grey geese miles down the estuary and no chance to ID¬† them due to heat haze. Assume early migrants, 35 Canada geese around, white domestic geese I think I counted five earlier in the season, well I saw three today. lots of swans and teal, saw some of the mute swans pairing up, the pair with…
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.…

Aug 17th by Ian under Materials and Construction

Tags: Nae tags again!

Despite the confidence of my last post that the ospreys were gone, one osprey is still around, on a windy day and at near full tide it was hunting over the estuary, something I rarely see them do. It, male or female? went to the frustration nest and after some time on the top guard rail stood on the nest, I have to say I felt sorry for the bird, all that build up to a breeding season for it all to end in no brood. Sadly the pair are probably not proficient at nest building having…

Aug 11th by Ian under Bird Watching

11/8/14 been nearly a month since I visited the Ospreys, normally by now the juvs will have fledged and be around the eyrie being fed by usually the male and the female will usually be gone in a week, with the whole family migrated by the end of September. However this being the year of "nest frustration" I think both have gone as I saw and heard no Ospreys. The frustration nest in the man cage of the navigation pole has got bigger and was photographed from a boat that had obviously come down river to do just that, the…

Jul 13th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

13 July 2014, absence of bird song noticeable, even the swifts are quiet, went to the Osprey site for a couple of hours today and heard a reed bunting a robin tic tic ing and a great spotted woodpecker chip chip ing (calling, not chipping a branch), later a buzzard mewing at me and that was it. Oh and the female Osprey call begging for food, and from the frustration nest in/on a navigation pole, this man cage by the light is barely a metre by a metre in square dimensions, yet by careful entry two of them manage to…
A couple of weeks ago both Ospreys were around, the male on a river navigation pole with a fish that had been partially eaten and he seemed to have finished with it. The female was issuing begging calls but it became obvious without an eyrie how was he to transfer the fish? she tried to join him on the pole top which has a man cage for light maintenance and not enough room for two long winged Ospreys. She landed he took off and with the fish did a high circling flight over the woods on the…

May 17th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

I kinda knew where the Ospreys were, due to hearing begging calls and seeing the male bring in a fish to that area. The problem was I never looked behind me, when I was near the old, rebuilt by human hands, eyrie I looked behind me and there on a bifurcated pine was a large pile of sticks, too big for a buzzard or crow, but it was as described, a pile of sticks, and at an angle. I had walked under this tree several times and never heard a disturbed osprey annoyed at my presence. I have not yet…
Well it appears that my osprey diary could indeed come to an end, as I searched for them and failed to find them. The point is I searched where I could watch and failed, I certainly don't want to observe from a public place or the corner of a farmer's yard, kinda removes the "wildness" feeling. However good news on the marsh harrier front, I just by mere fluke put my scope on a tree where a crow was scolding a male marsh harrier, and in his own time he departed to hunt, I watched him for about 30 mins…
Farming sheep is a messy business, having asked my friend whose daughter is partner to a farmer if I could get hands on with lambing, he duly arranged it. It is his hands you see assisting in the birth of twin lambs. Sheep who were in the shed and had given birth had to be moved to pasture and those about to give birth brought into the shed or if too late given assistance in the field. Not all the sheep are obligingly lying down but have to be caught, enter the quad bike, and a shepherd's…

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