Whooper Swan Spectacular

November 18, 2018 at 6:02 pm

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There is one bonus of wild weather on Islay in Autumn, you may be treated to a spectacular sunset at dusk. That is exactly what happened on our recent visit – six days of stormy weather then two sunny days that produced incredible colours at sunset. Add to that thousands of roosting Geese then a flight through of seven Whooper Swans and you have this weeks blog photo. No Autumn is ever the same on Islay and this years  was the presence of over a thousand Whooper Swans. With more and more Barley being grown for the distilleries the passage of Whooper Swans from Iceland is more prolonged and, as has happened this year, hundreds have remained to gobble up the spilt grain. click here
Islay Geese are a spectacle in their own right and next weeks gallery is devoted to them.

Hibernation Time

November 11, 2018 at 6:54 pm

IMG_9359For the last couple of weeks the Hedgehog in this weeks photo has been visiting our garden later and later each evening. It finally got to 10.00pm before the food was left overnight and it must now be curled ups in a bed of leaves until next Spring. Lets hope that we don’t have any unseasonal mild spells over winter to cause it to awaken which would be a disaster.click here
We have just returned from a wild week on Islay and the next couple of weeks galleries will be full of Whooper Swans and Geese.

Trick Or Treat

November 4, 2018 at 9:01 pm

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The 31st October is a special day and I don’t think I have ever taken any photos on that day before. The weather was perfect but the subject matter extremely wary. In two hours under the camouflage cloth I only managed a couple of photos, one of which is this weeks blog photo.
In the late afternoon I hid awaiting the local Barn Owl to start hunting. Five minutes before sunset it appeared along a hawthorne hedge that was covered in berries. Although it never came close the gallery photos have a perfect Autumn atmosphere with plenty of red visible.click here

Seaside Geese

October 28, 2018 at 7:31 pm

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On one of those superb recent Autumn days I visited the coast at Southport to look for Waders. Not a wader in sight but Geese were everywhere including one group of 14,000 Pink Footed Geese! Grey Lags and Canadas were also feeding in the salt-marsh and the best bird seen was a distant hunting Peregrine which is included in this weeks Gallery for record purposes.  Some Waxwings are in Scotland so fingers crossed for a visit locally this year! click here

Barn Owl Appears

October 21, 2018 at 1:55 pm

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For the first time in two decades a Barn Owl has been seen hunting locally around Hopwood woods. At this time of the year it is almost certainly a young bird of the year that is now looking for a good feeding area for winter. Come Springtime its thoughts will move to breeding and who knows where it will settle. Until then it has to contend with such lethal Barn Owl killers as the motorway and the railway – good luck.
To remind us how good a hunting Barn Owl is this weeks gallery is devoted to them. click here
During the past week I have encountered such contrasting migrants as a Swallow and a Fieldfare.

The Last Commas

October 14, 2018 at 1:43 pm

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During the exceptionally warm days of last week I was out locally looking for late butterflies. Several Commas were encountered plus Large White, Speckled Wood, Small Copper with just a single Red Admiral. With a max. temperature of 24degrees it is not surprising that some butterflies are still on the wing, but for how much longer? Click here
On the 9th October I found my first Redwing and migrant Long Eared owl so as soon as the wind moves from its recent southerly direction the Autumn/Winter migrants will flood in.

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