Judgement Day

August 4, 2019 at 8:15 am

Twenty three days after hatching the young Kingfishers finally left the tunnel. Sods law would dictate that they fledged on a day of driving drizzle and high wind. Somehow I managed to keep the camera dry and at 8.00am I had photos of two and three of the young together. My dream of five of the young together on a branch will have to waite for another year!
This weeks gallery is of the young who all have a white egg tooth on the tip of their bill (which they use to break through the eggshell) and dull coral coloured feet. Click here

Halcyon Days

July 27, 2019 at 4:25 pm

Each summer for the last 47 years I have had the privilege and pleasure of filming breeding Kingfishers. I have sat covered up in the middle of some of the Pennines most beautiful streams awaiting the arrival of that halcyon bird ,the Kingfisher. It gives me the same excitement now as it did all those years ago but this year I knew i was not going to get disturbed by a pack of Otter hounds as I was in 1973!
The challenge now is to film the young as they fledge and before they are driven away by the male Kingfisher. He does this the same day that they leave the tunnel and as you have no idea when the eggs were laid you have to go every day and waite for that magical moment. This weeks gallery shows the adults but by next week I hope to have filmed the young. click here

Little Owl Success

July 20, 2019 at 2:59 pm

This year my local Little Owls have produced two young and one of these is this week’s blog photo. Global warming is not very kind to our Owls and regular periods of heavy rain can be fatal for for breeding Owls. Both pairs of Short Eared Owls that I was watching in the hills have failed and four pairs of Long Eared Owls have only fledged six young. The rains have also been unkind to two of the Kingfisher pairs that I watch with both nests flooded once again. More photos of the Little Owls are in the gallery.Click here

Winter Bonus

July 14, 2019 at 3:06 pm

In March one of the winter storms resulted in a collapse of the bank along a local stream. It resulted in the exposure of a ten foot high vertical sandy bank which was immediately discovered by Sand Martins upon their return in April. Now, three months on, twenty pairs of Sand Martins have reared two broods of young  resulting in more than one hundred young fledging from what was initially a disaster area. Let nature take its course comes to mind. click here

Wader Disaster

July 7, 2019 at 3:52 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weeks photo is of a Common Sandpiper on Islay and this species has had a very successful year this year unlike most of Islay’s other waders. The glorious Spring weather that we all enjoyed was a disaster for such waders as Lapwing and Snipe. Whilst their eggs hatched OK the young were unable to find food in the parched conditions and such hot spots as the RSPB reserve failed to produce any young at all, which is unprecedented. The Common Sandpipers were lucky in that they are still migrating to Islay and so missed the parched conditions.
This weeks gallery includes a variety of photos from our Islay visit and despite the cold and wet conditions the sun did shine on some days but the temperature never exceeded 18C. Click here

Where Eagles Fly

June 30, 2019 at 6:15 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst most people visit Islay to see its Harriers,Chough and Geese it is becoming increasingly popular with the Eagle fraternity. Mull might be the most popular island for Eagles but Islay is rapidly catching it up with Sea Eagles now a common sight as you travel around the island. The one raptor that is difficult to find is the Kestrel and many people leave Islay, after a visit, with more than one hundred species but without a Kestrel sighting. There is an abundance of prey available for the Kestrel so competition with other raptors can only be the reason for the demise of our commonest bird of prey.Click here