A Steep Learning Curve

July 15, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Kingfisher
In the last three weeks I have spent thirty seven hours in my hide at the nest-site of a pair of Kingfishers. Every session has been in unbroken sunshine and in forty five years of filming Kingfishers I have never seen such settled conditions. I have been waiting for the young to fledge and this weeks photo is of one of those young, just a couple of hours after leaving the tunnel. Instinct tells it to fish to survive but unfortunately that instinct has not yet kicked in and our bird plunged into the water and came out with a leaf!!
The gallery this week includes some of the photos from the last three weeks showing the adults diving and bringing fish for their young.Click here

Catch-Again

July 8, 2018 at 12:26 pm

Hen Harrier
My recent Hen Harrier food -pass photos have always been popular so this week I have included another series from our recent visit to Islay. The weather during our three weeks was fantastic with just one storm that produced high winds and half an inch of rain. This week’s gallery also includes photos of Black Guillemots, Golden Eagle, Roe Deer and Islays special butterfly the Marsh Fritillary.Click here

Corncrakes and Whiskey

July 1, 2018 at 3:59 pm

Corncrake
This weeks blog and gallery is dominated by one of Islay special birds, the Corncrake. Twenty years ago there were only eight calling birds and the future of the summer visitor looks bleak. Scottish Natural Heritage stepped in with various grant monies and brought this bird back from the brink to more than one hundred calling birds. Sadly these grants have now been withdrawn and the Corncrake is now in freefall with perhaps their numbers being halved this summer.
Ironically Islay’s big money-earner is its Whiskey and this success may now be working against the Corncrake. Previously many of Islay’s fields lay fallow in summer and proved good for Corncrakes. Now they are ploughed and sowed with Barley which is of little value to the Corncrakes. If this iconic bird is not to disappear completely it may once again need a helping hand.
This weeks gallery includes a selection of Islays birds including its Waders. Click here

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