Thursday, 27 February 2014
Well even though we had a great deal of rain last night, I was surprised to be woken by the Tawny Owl calling at 5.30am, have just fetched in the Scout Cam which has been outside for two days now and BINGO!! got my first fox both mornings right on the spot I had put out food for him, recorded at 3.11 am on Wednesday and 4.01 am this morning, so have re set camera to go out again now and will put out more food for him, have to time it right so it is late enough not to have local dogs getting a free meal!! Also had a male Pheasant caught on camera.
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
I don't believe my luck, I was woken by the Tawny Owl at 6-15 am and opened the dining room window to listen to the haunting melody of the call, to see it fly from the coppice across the causeway into the fir trees to my right, then I have just been sitting quietly checking my e-mails while waiting for my bath to run, when at 5.50pm there was the call again distant at first but getting closer all the time. I desperately need to get some nest boxes out there, as they obviously like the area!!! Have also put out the Bushnell camera this evening.
Sunday, 23 February 2014
I was not expecting to add to my sighting list today, had two of the Siskin return that were sighted yesterday and good numbers still of Redpoll and Goldfinch, but while sitting down to Sunday Lunch a beautiful specimen of a male Bullfinch popped up in the bushes opposite the dining room window, he was indeed a very handsome fellow in deed!!Total now 29!!
Saturday, 22 February 2014
I was up early this morning to get out and fill up my feeders, in the hopes I had not lost any of my regulars, did not take long before I had a couple of dozen birds milling about in the tops of the trees waiting to come down, glad to see I had not lost my Redpoll and Goldfinch numbers and was hopeful of adding Siskin to my list as I know they had been seen in the area last week while I was away, had great views of the little resident Wren who is a joy to watch as it pops in and out of the ivy covered tree stumps along the fence line, here the predominant bird is the Blue Tit, were as in the Cairngorms it is the Coal Tit that are abundant and hardly any Blue Tits are seen, followed by the Jackdaw which seem to be their equivalent to our Grey Squirrels being a real nuisance on the feeders. I had to wait until I came back this afternoon around 3pm before I spotted Siskin on the feeders, I had two adults and one juvenile and they only stayed a matter of minutes and did not return. With the sighting of the Tawny Owl last night that now brings the total up to 28, just to put that sighting into context, I have lived here now in this area for two years in April and all of that time within woodland and although heard many times before, so close that you would think you could touch them, that is the first sighting I have had and because the embankment is long and narrow like an airport runway the view was close and very low and in view for around 50 yards or more.
The first two pictures are of Burghead Harbour were we struck gold with so many species present, the last five are of Finhorn Valley, were I still say I climbed the equivalent of a small mountain, Pete assures me that in the grand scheme of things it was just a hill, all be it a sheer face with no paths, I was still impressed how far up I was able to get and was rewarded by the views of the White Mountain Hare. Will leave you to view the rest on my Zenfolio site.
Friday, 21 February 2014
Well back safe and sound, and again have to thank good friends Pete Walkden and Kate MacRae for making the trip so memorable and as I said to them this morning "Life Changing", they have been great and gracious hosts, it has been a real treat for my birthday, set off at 7.30am this morning and only on the road for about twenty minutes travelling along the A9, when up ahead I saw three Jackdaws and one very large juvenile Herring Gull on some road kill, travelling at 60 miles an hour and glancing behind me there was no chance that I was going to be able to slow down (too much traffic), so I was praying they would move, the Jackdaws did but the Gull was a little slow and took off going forwards and did not get any height, all I could do was wait for the impact (anyone who knows me will tell you I will do all I can to avoid hitting anything), the impact was horrendous and hit my drivers side taking out my windscreen wiper, I had to travel through a snow storm before I could pull into services and have a new one fitted, luckily that was the only incident except for hold ups from J22 to J19 on the M6 when I was lucky to travel at 20 miles an hour, I am able to come off at J19 and still get home comfortably so that's what I did, only took eight hours with three stops and as well as the snow storm the winds were very high and my little Clio does not take kindly to high winds but she battled through and got me home safe and as always surprises me how well she does on fuel consumption on long journeys. A bonus while catching up on e-mails, blog etc.. I heard two Tawny Owls calling to each other, so opened my dining room window (which looks onto the embankment) to listen to them only to have one fly the whole length of the embankment from right to left straight by me, what a treat and what a welcome home to my home patch!!!
Thursday, 20 February 2014
Well it has certainly been a productive trip and very enjoyable and another first for me for my birthday the Red Squirrels, the day started with a very cheeky mouse visiting the feeders in the Cottage Garden, stayed in and around Avimore today and although the light not as good as yesterday, have some more Crested Tit shots to bore you with, but one of the main reasons for the trip in the first place, so you will have to bear with me!!
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
After a misty start there was glorious sunshine with hardly a cloud in the sky, so off to Loch Garten Car Park for another crack at the Crested Tits, also spotted a Red Squirrel first one of the trip, after around four hours there it was onto Finhorn Valley for some scenic shots, only to find Red Deer on the top of one of the mountains and two Red Kite in the air, scanning the area we spotted Mountain Hare and had quite a trek to reach them but it was worth it, on the way back also found these Mountain Goats on the side of the road.
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Still day one and spent the afternoon at Burghead Harbour were we struck gold with 60 plus Eiders present, 2 Mergansers, a Great Northern Diver in winter plumage, around 10 Long-tailed Ducks and 3 Seals that were happy to perform especially the two who sealed their friendship with a kiss and spent the rest of the time eating and just about keeping their heads above water, the Gulls were just hanging around picking up what ever scraps they could find.
My first full day here and although very cold and drizzling rain all day, one of the main reasons for my visit was to photograph Crested Tits, went to the car park at Loch Garten and set up a feeding station and within a few minutes we had two visiting and coming down every 20 minutes or so, very poor light but a good start to the trip and good views and at least record shots of these great little birds.
Sunday, 16 February 2014
At least until next week end, as off to the Boat Of Garten in the Cairngorm National Park tomorrow until Friday, so hope to have a good few photo's to share with you on my return. Had a really cold snap last night, then everything started to warm up to a glorious sunny calm day, strategic pruning done outside on the natural perches, feeders extended, a new floor area cleared and seeded for ground feeders, good numbers of all species present especially Redpoll and Goldfinch, joined by my first Greenfinch and Woodpecker seen in the trees from the dinning room window, but not yet down on the feeders, walked along the Reservoir and added Canada Geese, Graylag Geese, Moorhen and Coot to the species count, also had Cormorant fly over towards Macclesfield Forest and Canada Geese flying towards Redesmere Lake, the species count now up to a healthy 26.