The Flying Barn Door

November 16, 2019 at 6:32 pm

With an eight foot wingspan it is easy to see why the Sea Eagle is called the flying barn door. This winter on Islay adult and juvenile Sea-Eagles seem to be everywhere. It is rumoured that the two regular pairs have been joined by incomers from both Jura and Mull. All are now taking advantage of the abundance of Geese with visiting bird-watchers witnessing the striking and taking down of Geese. I wonder how long it will be before Islay becomes THE place to see Sea_Eagles instead of Mull?
October on Islay is the best time to see migrating Whooper Swans which look even better against the backdrop of Islay rainbows. The gallery also includes Fieldfares, Blackbird, Red Deer and even a Reed Bunting with multicoloured rainbow background. click here

Sprainting Together

November 9, 2019 at 5:19 pm



It is some years since I was able to follow a female Otter with her young but last week in the Sound of Islay I was treated to a good hour in their company.Female Otters regularly mark their territory by sprainting on rocks along the shore. Whilst I expected last weeks female to do this I did not expect her very large young to accompany her out of the water and spraint next to her. It provided me with some interesting photos and just added to the delights of following an Otter along a mile of coastline.  click here

Otter Magic

November 2, 2019 at 9:04 pm

We have just had the best ever Autumn week on Islay with days of sunshine and only one day of rain. It is difficult to know where to start but the encounter with four Otters in four hours is just what I wanted on digital film. Click here. To follow  next week are shots of Chough, Whooper Swans, Geese and 14 Eagle sightings in 7 days. It doesn’t get any better!

Autumn Surprise

October 26, 2019 at 4:21 pm

When you have been involved with wildlife all your life you are ready for surprises and one such event occurred this week. A neighbour phoned up on the 24th to advise me that on his garden pond were a pair of Mallards with six newly hatched ducklings! As Mallards usually breed in Springtime and the young are attended by the female alone I rushed around to his garden to witness this astonishing event and capture it on film.It will be weeks before the young can fly so let’s hope that the pond does not freeze over otherwise the young will fall easy prey for any passing fox.
More birds are now on the move with a Goosander appearing on the local canal and the first Jack Snipe showing on the 14th October with three more shortly after. click here

Autumn Arrives

October 20, 2019 at 4:56 pm

A little later than usual but yesterday I watched my first Redwings of Autumn as they devoured the abundance of berries. This year there are masses of Rowan and Hawthorne berries so there should be some good photo opportunities and we may even be treated to some Waxwings if there are few berries in Scandinavia.
Autumn Crocus is now in full flower and I have included some in the gallery along with my favourite Pennine view of the river Hodder at Whitewell in the Forest of Bowland. Click here

A Spanish Interlude

October 14, 2019 at 4:30 pm





Last week we had a photo of me within 600 miles of the North Pole and in complete contrast this week’s photo was taken yesterday, within 60 miles of the Mediterranean! I was on a short non-birding break to the Murcia region of Spain, but on this job you can never switch-off. In the gallery are photos of a Black Winged Stilt and a Swallow-tailed Butterfly taken with a small pocket sized camera as I travelled around from the mountains to the sea. There would be plenty of scope for some serious photography in Spain if only you could get your equipment through customs and then who would carry it in all that heat? Click here