Green Woodpeckers still around

November 25, 2007 at 9:12 pm

Green Woodpecker


A totally different weeks weather this week compared to last with only one good day on the 23rd with sunshine all day.

The garden has proved good with thirty one Starlings feeding one day, twenty six House Sparrows on another and eighteen Greenfinches on another. Jays come every day but the Blue Tits are in low numbers following the very poor breeding season

At Dovestones a Green Woodpecker was calling and forty plus Siskins are still feeding on the cone crop.

On Hopwood a Redpoll was present and a Green Woodpecker feeding on ants. A Kestrel was hunting the good numbers of voles.

Barn Owl Success

November 18, 2007 at 10:19 am


A good weeks autumnal weather since my last report and the big news is the fledging of three young Barn Owls locally. This is a second brood and the first breeding at this farm since 1972 and yes, I have checked this site twice a year since then and finally, thirty five years later, it has happened again. It just shows that perseverance and good faith will work, although it has to be said that I cannot wait another thirty five years for a repeat!

During the week I have flushed three Woodcock from different places so it can definitely be said that Winter has now arrived with their appearance.

In the good sunshine I videoed some Siskins and even better a male Brambling on larch cones. I have never seen Brambling on cones before so this was a pleasant surprise. All we need now is an influx of Waxwings and the prospects for the rest of the Winter will look good – time will tell.

A Wet Week

November 11, 2007 at 3:35 pm

Grey WagtailThere have been several wet days this week and only one visit to the local Golf Course. Goldcrest and two Grey Wagtails were the only decent birds seen. Grey Wagtails must be on the move as today, one was in our front garden on our bird bath – an unusual garden bird.

A visit to Dovestones reservoir produced a Green Woodpecker and a flock of thirty plus Siskins feeding on the good crop of Larch cones. Although there was some good sunlight they stayed in the tree tops but there may be opportunities to film them during the rest of the Winter once they start feeding lower down. Coal Tits were also present though they were taking their seeds and burying them in the forest nearby.

There are very few Hawthorne and Rowan berries around this Winter and all the Redwings and Fieldfare have moved through.

Home Again

November 6, 2007 at 10:05 pm


Well here I am back home again after seventeen days on Islay.

The first week provided some good weather for October but the last week has been dull and mild with one day raining all day – an unusual event for Islay.

There has been a continuous passage of Whooper Swans through Islay with some family parties not even touching down and flying straight on to Ireland. Not a bad feat after flying non stop five hundred miles from Iceland at 40mph!

Islay is always a brilliant place for raptors and on one day I saw five Hen Harriers on my travels around the Island but this time failed to see any Golden Eagles. The highlight was disturbing a Hen Harrier and a Hobby fighting one morning at dawn. The Hobby is a very rare visitor to Islay and late October is not the time of year you would expect to find one.

Ardnave is always one of Islay’s most popular places to visit and walk around and during my visits two Snow Buntings and three Slavonian Grebes were seen as well as thirty plus Chough feeding in the high tide seaweed.

In the very mild Autumn weather forty two species of flowers were found which is an incredible number for November – global warming perhaps?

I only went looking for Otters once and found two in the Sound of Islay. One of these climbed a rock to spraint and then entered a cave to sleep.