The Glorious Twelfth

August 21, 2022 at 7:00 pm

For obvious reasons I would not normally celebrate the start of the Grouse shooting season but this year was different. The moorland I visited was National Trust owned and there is now no shooting allowed. In addition the heather this year was the best I have ever seen and with perfect weather all I needed was for the Grouse to perform! It took two visits, after early morning mist cleared, before I had good views of the Grouse on both rocks, fence-posts and in the superb heather.As a bonus a Wheatear posed on a post with a backdrop of purple heather – a seasonal

Against All The Odds

August 14, 2022 at 7:08 pm

One week in May my blog was all about the impending development of my only Little Owl site.The new purchasers were awaiting the planners approval to completely re-develop the old barn so the long-term residents, the Little Owls, would have their home destroyed forever. Well, the good news is that planning permission was only granted last week and in the meantime, against all the odds,the Little Owls have fledged three young this year. So lets raise a glass to the planners!!

An Islay Summer

August 7, 2022 at 8:07 pm

Although we had less than a week on Islay recently the highlight of any July visit has got to be the show of Marsh Helleborines. Just one marsh held more than 200 Helleborines that were at their very best.Flagrant and Lesser Butterfly Orchids were also found and surprisingly two Hares were also boxing – until I got my camera out! The island was full of recently fledged Swallows and Rooks who gathered to provide a very large parliament!

Pipe Dream

August 1, 2022 at 8:40 am

A non-birding few days on Islay produced five sightings of Otters! The one in the blog photo came ashore with what looks like a Pipe fish that took some crunching with its powerful teeth. Other photos are on my Facebook page, which include their rat-tail dive – a view that you normally see as it disappears from your sight!!

Keep A Grip

July 24, 2022 at 4:28 pm

It always amazes me how an Osprey is able to fly off with a large trout after emerging from its high dive. Its talons are designed to grip its prey during lift-off from the water and it seldom fails to get airborne. The problem last week at Aviemore was the heat.The first fish was caught at 4.50am and when the temperature rose to 31 degrees all the Ospreys went for a sleep and so did we!!

Islay Miscellany

July 17, 2022 at 7:33 pm

Although I go to Islay for its Hen Harriers and other exciting birds the wildlife enthusiast will find many other subjects to photograph. For the botanist there are the many Orchids to find. If your interest is butterflies then the Marsh Fritillaries are the main attraction. This weeks Gallery photos includes both the above plus such birds as a Whitethroat singing at dawn, Shelduck brooding ten young and a Barnacle Goose left behind when the others flew back to Greenland.