Monday, 29 September 2014

20'000 page views and a possible first for Cumbrae!

So I added the pictures from the last fortnight today (some nice migrants and a few locals), and noticed the counter reading to tick over. Coming back tonight - 20'002 views! Nice to know I'm not typing for nothing!

Even more excitingly, Jack and I were driving around the island today, when a small dark, pointy winged falcon shot across the road. A hobby, perhaps a first for Cumbrae (the record has been submitted). It flashed by the car not a foot from the bumper, showing of its red shorts, before flying south to Fintry tea rooms. Epic little bird, exciting sighting!

Anyway, cheers for reading folks!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

On the road again...

Urgh. In the past fortnight I have travelled approximately 1900 miles. From Millport to Shropshire, to Nottingham, to Yorkshire, to Orkney, and back to Millport. I saw some birds. Here are some of my favourites.

Great white egrets, little stint and ruff in Lincolnshire.

2 of 3 Great Egrets


Ruff and a pair of Little Stint

Yorkshire for migrating rb, spotted and pied flycatchers, goshawk. I was also the only person on the east coast not to see a barred warbler - although there were garden warblers, lesser whitethroat and black caps in abundance and all the greylag geese (seriously, are there any left anywhere else). And despite also being in the area last week  - I did not go to see the masked shrike.

Garden Warbler


RB Fly

Spotted Fly

And then I went to Orkney. For six hours. For an interview. At which I was NOT successful. Then I slept and drove 7 hours home. Again (three times now) passing the snowy owl, because the winds on Ben Mcdui were gusting 60mph. Not fair.

Most of the Orkney action was on the ferry

I swapped greylags for fulmars - all the fulmars

My favourite corvids :)

So now I'm all out of mileage, I'm not leaving the island for a month. Natalie out.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Getting the heck out of Dodge

On Saturday I got up early and took a drive around the island. It was the country and western festival, so I knew I had to be quick before the hordes of pink booted, spangley hatted drunks arrived. 

Not much about, a cormorant at Ballochmartin Bay, along with increasing numbers of bar-wits and curlew. On the far side of the island at Portachur there were twite mixed in with the feeding linnet and goldfinches, and the sandwich terns were resting on the rocks between feeding sessions.

Haven't they Grown!

At the sewage works

On Sunday I decided to get of the island all together and hit Glasgow, I started off with Millichen farm, successfully nabbing a few tree sparrows, but the locals were out shooting, and I didn't feel comfortable straying far from the road. I did get brilliant views of a female sparrow hawk working up and down the hedgerows lining the lane.

Poor record shot

From Millichen I went to Motherwell to Strathclyde Loch, and finally managed to link up with the long staying red breasted goose. The loch was swarming with people and dogs, so the bird was hiding at the sluices at the north end. Still, I managed a few nice shots before the crowds drove me away. From there is was food at Lochwinnoch with the locals, then home - just as the cowboys were leaving. Magic.

RB Goose 1