Thursday, 29 November 2012


I've been out a couple of times in the last few days and seen mostly raptors. I could scrape in a few more things if I stayed out longer but I'm happy with a couple of hours in the field. Red Deer are showing well near the roads as the weather gets colder.
The WT Eagles are doing their best to be elusive but they are easy to see when they get up in the air!
A trip to the garage is always nice on a good day so I wasn't surprised to come across a flock of Fieldfare posing on the wires.
Rock Pipits can be seen poking around the edges of pools as well as on the seaweed...
...with Starlings for company.
I stopped on the way back as a Buzzard was stooping down over the road - it was having a go at a WT Eagle.
As I rattled a few shots off another bird appeared...
...the Buzzard wasn't happy...
...and another WT Eagle appeared!
There was one more bird sitting on the rocks below so a good haul of four birds. There was a small flock of birds flying about too which turned out to be more Fieldfare. Another raptor that is seen regularly is the Kestrel but they don't like you getting too close. When I found this bird facing the wind I thought I would take the chance of a few bum shots...
...but I managed a few shots from the front too as it wheeled around... take up a new position.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Bad light.

Three quick trips out to try and avoid the weather were as good as could be expected. The first trip out started in good weather but soon deteriorated as a hail shower passed through and the light never improved. A Kestrel posed quite nicely...
...but a flock of 30 Fieldfare were not as obliging. A couple of Dunnock were flicking about on the Bracken but the light wasn't good enough for a photo. A change of location to see if the weather was going to improve didn't lift the spirits but a Golden Eagle put in a brief appearance. I was just about to head for home when six birds flew in and landed in a tree a couple of hundred yards up the road - WAXWINGS! The birds may have been obliging but the light was terrible.
I thought it was nice to see these six birds together (the other two are just out of shot)...
...when another 50+ birds did a fly past before disappearing!
No sign of the Waxers the following day but five WT Eagles made up for that. The first WT Eagle was fairly close and looks like a 2010 bird coming into it's third year. The bill is almost full yellow and the tail is wedge shaped.
Another of the five was the same age, sporting yellow wing tags, and is from the East Coast project.
A single Golden Eagle was trying to see the bigger birds off but it kept it's distance.
An Otter was difficult to keep track of in choppy water. The Common Seals were as curious as ever - who's watching who?
Not much left to look at but the birds on the feeders - there are more Coal Tits than anything else.
Still no change in the light conditions apart from the odd bright spell when you aren't looking. Finally managed to get a photo of a juvenile Great Northern Diver - notice the scaly back and could that be a small bump on the forehead?! 
Nice views of a Cormorant as the diver moved offshore.
Three different Otters seen on the way back home but I just grabbed a few snaps.
A bit chilly in places so it's no surprise to see snow on the Ben when the cloud clears off the tops.

Friday, 23 November 2012

A shot in the dark.

An early run out was always going to produce a few things but I never expected to get photos too. They are not pretty but it did work - a cracking male Merlin to start the day.
I stepped out of the motor to get a better look at a few Mergs and two Hen Harrier appeared...
...along with a few Raven.
Great Northern Diver, can't help but point the camera...
...quite a few Little Grebe around...
...and a squad of Lesser Redpoll.
It's surprising how different each bird looks.
Less red on the head and a yellower bill...
...and a pink flush for this one.
The Blue Tit didn't want to be photographed so this was the only capture.
An Otter put in an appearance just as the sun appeared from behind the hills. The Otter was on the move so I was lucky enough to get a couple of shots as it came out, briefly, on a point of land.
Back to the Mergs after that. The male birds are looking good now... there is plenty of displaying going on.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Busy doing nothing.

I've managed to be busy on the nice days and not really ventured out on the scruffy days. Despite the poor weather Hen Harriers are a daily sighting at the moment - the males are more elusive but I managed to get two together. I got my first sighting of the Greenland White-fronted Geese of this winter as 20 birds flew overhead...
...and landed in a field - five of these birds are this years young.
Another quick trip out produced a few photos. Red-breasted Merganser and...
...Great Northern Diver...
...were within range but the two Red-throated Diver and a single Slavonian Grebe were too far out. The Red Deer looked good in the sunshine...
...and the only bird of prey to come close to camera was a single Buzzard!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Glad it's night and the Pips.

With the gloomy weather continuing it's almost like being dark and the photos can't get any worse! A quick run out produced 3 Otters, 4 GN Diver, a Hen Harrier...
...and a flock of 60+ Waxwing. None of them close enough for photos but you have to try.
More rubbish shots included Raven...
...and some more GN Diver. An adult that is just starting to moult...
...and another that has almost completed the change to winter plumage.
A few other bits seen but nothing close enough for the camera except this Buzzard.
So, glad it's night but what about the Pips? With the cloudy conditions it's not too cold so there are plenty of Pipistrelles flying about - enough to brighten up the dullest of days.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Back on Mull.

It's took a bit of time to sort through the holiday snaps and the weather hasn't been the best but I managed a trip out for a couple of hours. Within seconds of leaving the shop I was parking up to get these shots of a female Hen Harrier. The bird was already past me but hunting into the wind meant it wasn't taking too much notice. Skimming low over the vegetation...
...she would half stall when something caught her attention...
...rapid changes of direction give an idea of how much ground the bird is taking notice of...
...with the occasional success...
...before moving on. An awesome encounter with a bird that can be quite skittish.
There are plenty of GN Divers on the lochs now and I was lucky to come across two adult Otters in the same location.
I'd already seen a WT Eagle sitting on an outcrop but the fly over bird was a lot closer. The photograph was an afterthought!
A couple of RB Mergs were fishing in the shallows as I headed for home so I watched them for ten minutes or so.
The weather had been a bit wet but as the sun started going down the clouds were breaking. This Buzzard was drying itself off.