Fighting Black Guillemots

June 26, 2022 at 10:15 am

I always find that one of the most delightful birds to photograph on Islay are the Black Guillemots. A couple of early mornings at a breeding site had birds courting, fighting and finally copulating. They are one of Islay latest breeding species with egg laying only commencing in mid June.

Refurbishment Time

June 19, 2022 at 5:34 pm

It was good last week to be back on Islay filming Britain’s most threatened raptor ,the Hen Harrier. In June the only time you would see the female Harrier is at a food pass or when she replaces material in the nest. This week’s photos were taken at just such time. It has been suggested that she replaces the nesting material that has become soiled from the droppings of the young.The male Harrier is away looking for prey and generally takes no part in the refurbishment.

Oh Deer

June 12, 2022 at 8:12 pm

Todays blog photo is of a Roe Deer eating the fresh leaves of a sapling Oak.It was taken on my local Golf Course and is good news for the management of the Golf Course with any emergent vegetation being eaten by the Deer. Unfortunately for the deer this source of food in Scotland is causing severe problems. In the Cairngorms Deer have been blamed for the lack of regeneration of the Caledonian pines – effectively no young saplings survive the appetite of the Deer. Sadly for the deer a culling programme is underway to address the problem. The message for the deer is simple – stay on the Golf Course!!

Garden Bonanza

June 6, 2022 at 3:23 pm

Now is the time when Goldfinches bring to the garden their first broods of young. This week we have had one pair with four juveniles and another pair with one young only. In addition Robins, Dunnocks and House Sparrows have all done well and now have their first broods in the garden.

Spot The Chick

May 28, 2022 at 7:02 pm

On a perfect morning I could not resist another visit to Yorkshire to film the Black Necked Grebes. I was hoping to see some young Grebes but after two hours I had drawn a blank so I settled down to observe a pair. Eventually there was a movement on the back of the female and it was just possible to see not one but two day old young. Mission accomplished!

Industrial Gulls

May 23, 2022 at 1:48 pm

More than twenty years ago Lapwings started to nest on the roofs of Industrial units. At the time it was a bit of a novelty and was quickly followed ten years ago by Oyster Catchers doing the same.
A couple of weeks ago I followed an Oyster Catcher, carrying food for its young, back to the roof of my local industrial estate. When I got there I was amazed to find Herring and Lesser Black Backed Gulls all nesting on the same roof!! Upon further investigation I now find that Gulls breed on at least two other Industrial complexes in Greater Manchester.
Whilst in the hills last week I came across a Carrion Crows nest on top of a telegraph pole – another bird adopting to man! see gallery