Sparrows Beware

September 19, 2021 at 4:32 pm

This weeks blog photo is of the many House Sparrows that have fledged around the garden this year. In fact we had one count of more than thirty in August. However, gone are the glory days of mid-summer and from now on they cannot relax for at any moment a Sparrowhawk might strike. One such time was last week when, sadly, we had one less to feed in the future. gallery

Harvest Time

September 12, 2021 at 4:06 pm

In all our 112 visits to Islay we have never previously been on the island when Barley was harvested. All that was to change last week when every available machine was working almost day and night to harvest Islay’s precious crop – its Barley. The weather all week was exceptional with no rain or wind and some magnificent sunsets.
It was not a wildlife holiday but it is impossible to visit Islay and not be impressed by what you see. Hen Harriers, Ospreys, wading birds and hundreds of finches are all around you. This year the heather was spectacular and the Rowan berry crop exceptional. Oh to return in October for the Autumn migrants!!  more photos see

Late Breeding Sandmartins

September 6, 2021 at 2:41 pm

When our Sand Martins arrived in late April and early May they were faced with ice-cold north winds and snow. Sadly at my local colony many disappeared and presumably died. The big numbers never returned but those that did survive have now bred into early September. This weeks gallery photos were taken in deep shade a couple of weeks ago and those young will now be heading south for winter.

The Master Of Camouflage

August 29, 2021 at 8:18 pm

Until I recently spent two weeks at the nest site of Nightjars I had forgotten how camouflaged they were. This weeks female is only the third that I have spent time with and I enjoyed every minute of the experience. Such is their rarity you never know when another will come along! Enjoy the Gallery photos

Distraction Display

August 22, 2021 at 7:00 pm

There are some birds that if their young are threatened they perform an elaborate distraction display, in order to persuade the predator to follow them. The Nightjar’s display is one of the most spectacular but because of the Nightjar’s illusive nature it is seldom seen.
Last month, after more than fifty years of trying, I was lucky enough to spend time at the nest of a Nightjar. As I approached she would rise and alight on a fallen pine tree, spread her wings and tail feathers and call to entice me away from her two young. It was an amazing performance with more photos in this weeks gallery. The camouflage of Nightjars is legendary and this will be seen next week. more photos

Garden Bonanza

August 15, 2021 at 7:31 pm

In the last fifty plus years we have never had as many species of birds visiting the garden with their young. During the last two months seventeen different species have brought their young to feed on the fat balls and sunflower hearts.Of these the star species was a female Great Spotted Woodpecker and her two young.They still come regularly but are now able to feed themselves.For gallery  photos see