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…

Aug 30th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

Osprey still around on the 28/8/15 eating a fish on the navigation pole that does not contain the frustration nest. I see that more nest material has been added so it will be interesting to see what happens next year. I did spot another osprey further up the estuary that seemed to know it's way around by it's determined flight to a sunken tree one of whose branches provides a perch. This tree looks like it has been cut as the root ball has gone and the smooth base is indicative of a cut, it's a full sized tree and…
I have never seen this behaviour before, but then I have never had as much time to observe, now being retired. There must have been a hatch of flies or flying ants over the village as the normal slight passage of swallows and martins conflated into hundreds, even starlings were feeding on them and in cases were pursued by martins, I heard one starling "squeal" as the martin was right on it's tail. The pictures both show the numbers of swallows and martins involved and the fact they stopped feeding and "roosted" on the sunny side of…
Normally I am on holiday the first two weeks of August and the swifts are screaming round the village when I leave and on return they have gone. This year now being retired and our usual holiday destination still under major refurb, I am at home and have been watching the skies for lack of swifts. The usual 6/8 swifts that adorn the post breeding fly laden skies have been gone for four days (4/8/15) and until today I have seen a single swift, silent and sky slicing for fly food, today I mourn their loss as I now know…
The one picture of the Osprey should have been two, but the male was off, moved by the females begging calls before I set up the digiscope. The point is this was my first evidence of the pair being bonded, but not nesting, they appear to have their allegiance to the "frustration" nest built last year, that is in the navigation pole, but perhaps paired up too late to build it to their satisfaction, I couldn't spent enough field time earlier on to sort it out. Several Marsh harriers are in evidence, both females, one with a blue tag on…
At last I managed through the window in Aberdeenshire to get a photo of both a tree and a house sparrow in the same picture. In the other pictures you can see juvenile tree sparrows and female house sparrows. Also the misnamed hedge sparrow (Dunnock) and a male chaffinch. Note the slight but double white wing bars on the tree sparrows. Four tree sparrows will feed on the nut feeder but only one tree and one house sparrow, if another house or tree sparrow arrives then conflict occurs. That is one of the reasons getting the two…

Jun 2nd by Ian under Materials and Construction

Tags: Nae tags again!

Thought these were dog violets but in huge numbers, mainly blue but with some yellow and white variations.

May 30th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

30/5/15, spent a couple of hours at the 2014 osprey site, I say that as there was no sign of an Osprey, certainly not using the hand of man restored nest or the frustration nest on the navigational pole. I searched the estuary's opposite bank where last week a guessed male was perched, but this week no sign of an Osprey. Having seen a guessed male on the other side of the estuary and a protesting female on this side I presume there is a breeding (late) pair but on the other side of the estuary. On better news young…
24 May, I did visit the Osprey site last weekend and saw a lonely Osprey feeding on the other side of the estuary, and that was it, no sign of pairing or even another Osprey. this weekend, well Sunday before the Monaco GP, on the other side of the estuary was a lonely Osprey, but I could hear the nearer begging calls of the female, but could not locate her. The moos were back in the field and to check on his herd along drives the farmer, I show him and his attendant boys the Osprey way across the estuary,…

May 10th by Ian under Bird Watching, Miscellaneous

Tags: Nae tags again!

Yes swifts, heard them today when the lawnmower was off when emptying the cuttings and after a bit of sky searching saw a pair. There was a patch of sun over the village so I am guessing they are not our swifts but migrating ones, don't recall ever seeing swifts so early. Had no time this weekend to visit the Ospreys or scan for marsh harriers. My flat mate from Devon, now in Aberdeen, wanted to buy my bike I brought back from Devon. His is in storage and mine I am ashamed to say was never used in Devon,…

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…
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