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…
Easter weekend and 4 days off, had two visits to the Osprey site where the usual viewing area showed no rebuilt eyrie, I did see an Osprey bathing in the estuary but it did not visit the eyrie site. On my second visit whilst "glassing" a female marsh harrier an Osprey with a fish came into the same view, ahh, which bird to follow? the osprey won and I watched it do, for me, unusual flight patterns, it circled like a buzzard over the far side of the estuary from the eyrie then after 4 or 5 circles it flew…

Mar 22nd by Ian under Bird Watching

Some, not in the best focus, male Cirl Buntings taken at max zoom (50X) on my canon SX50, could actually have been 60x with some digital topping off the optical. However I didn't have to travel far to snap them, in fact I walked from my office. The previous day I heard them,¬† but was too far away to identify them. The next day was Saturday the 15 of March and far from bewaring the day I was out with canon and binos, I was lucky to get any confirmation photos as these birds do not like…
Two of the pictures is the bough that held the Ospreys eyrie, the gales have done for it. It was a large nest and with the weight and the windload the bough which was abnormal anyway has had its day. So it could be the end of my 10 minute drive to watch Ospreys, they have nested there for ten or more years so hopefully they will nest nearby, there are plenty of big trees but none like that Scots pine with a deformed flat top. Heard a jay, a Robin singing as was a song thrush,…

Feb 2nd by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

In the open plan office in Sth Devon I am fortunate to be on the second floor and have a window that looks out on the ¬†remainder of the field not occupied by our office and car park. This about three acre patch is a useful distraction from email dross and open plan verbiage, it is suprising the regular bird visitors it has, carrion crows, magpies, meadow pipits, buzzard and kestrel, I have just watched a male kestrel succeed in¬†the capture of a small item, shrew or mouse¬†I guess, our convenient setting out posts was chosen as a perch to …

Dec 27th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

I saw our site friendly buzzard again eating human food, this time it was on top of the security cabin the food probably placed there by the guards. I know the contact call of long tailed tits and whilst standing quietly under a tree with about¬† a dozen of them feeding and calling, their calls all changed to a shrill Chree, Chree,Chree, then a buzzard flew over. so I had learned a new call, an alarm one. Within five minutes I heard it again and looked up, a female sparrow hawk cruised over the tree. I would not have seen…
Industrial sites can be little oasis for nature, the picture of the grass snake was taken minutes before I took a tour of a concrete plant in Exeter. For some reason I thought grass snakes were about the same size as slow worms when fully grown, not so, they can grow up to 5 feet in old money and swallow a mature toad. The toad's poisonous skin not putting off a grass snake. The one pictured here ¬†was taken by the most ubiquitous camera today, a smart phone, and its about 2 feet in length, just sorry…
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…
24/9/13 and in Devon, still a few swallows about, my brother has seen skiens of wild geese¬† around Elgin, there are some here along with canada geese that frequent Decoy park. I cross the river Teign twice a day and regularly see a little Egret, and a visiting friend got a shot of it opposite the Passage house hotel, I was surprised to see three of them on the 22/9/13, if you look on bird guides photos you can see little egrets have been photographed for 11 years in Devon. I also noticed on the same site…
4/8/13, am, as I predicted (to myself) both juveniles on the wing and as it was low tide, down on the estuary sand banks. One was up to its tail washing the other standing doing the odd preen. It is obvious the independence of the pair to each other given the distance between them and just doing their own thing, in fact one flew off and the other remained. Both juvs had been ringed. I saw no adults so female could be gone with the male remaining or both adults may have gone leaving the juvs to migrate separately to…

Jun 30th by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

31/6/13, been a fortnight since I observed the osprey's nest, still two youngsters but how they have grown! chicks are nearly the size of the parents. I got there early about 6.30 am and the female was sentinel by the eyrie edge and the chicks heads were sometimes seen, the male was gone, out fish winning. I got bored watching this as I always imagine the out of sight harriers are food exchanging and revealing their nest sites. Tempted I moved and saw no harriers for an hour, when a female with two yellow wing tags appeared…

Jun 22nd by Ian under Bird Watching

Tags: Nae tags again!

I was at home on 15th and 16th of June, but garden work, real garden work, not the one armed stuff I am more familiar with, that is wandering around with a glass of whisky in my hand occasionally plucking out a weed with the other. Consequently on Sunday the 16th I had a few hours watching the Ospreys and Harriers. These spot checks either have luck or not for getting¬†useful ¬†observations, this was a non luck spot check, the ospreys do have two chicks though, the male was not around in the time I was there, and I guess…

Jun 2nd by Ian under Bird Watching

I had predicted the Ospreys would have chicks for the weekend 25/26 May and I was right, just caught at 8.00 am the last feeding of a chick or chicks. Hopefully next visit in mid June will reveal the head count. Spent more time looking for harriers than at the Osprey eyrie, and I got not a single sighting, these birds should have young chicks on my next visit home so should see some food passes if they are still there. Not a sign of the "may" flowers on hawthorn, but the gean trees were flowering the paths with floral…
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…

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