My visit to the Western Isles proved very rewarding with a bird that's always eluded me when visiting other isles (always heard but never seen)but not on this occasion timing appears to have been spot on,all these pics where taken on the RSPB reserve at Balranald North Uist
Two days spent on the reserve and the Crakes were almost predictable.
Here's a few shots of other birds that were evident on the reserve in good numbers.
All in all a good holiday with great birding especially on the reserve.
I couldn't conclude without one final shot!!" how true this is i bet."
Storm Doris did her best this morning to put us off our planned trip toWallington Hall,braving the wind (you could feel it getting colder ) and the fallen branches we made it to the bird hide, nothing about on arrival but it was only 7am. As things started to pick up there was a distinctive absence of red squirrels could the next two shots be the reason why!.
The next shot shows the Stoat looking up towards the squirrel feeder
What happened next left us both gobsmacked as the Stoat scrambled inside the nut feeder and stayed in there for a full two mins or more,was it there in anticipation !!!the mind boggles.
The Brambling were quite active this morning.
My first Bramblings at Wallington over the years here's a few of the locals.
We were both interested to note how much time the Tree-creeper spent pecking around on the ground.
An interesting and cold stormy morning. Thanks for looking.
My first trip to Bigwaters this year, as my mate only gets one day a week off we can't pick and choose what that day that will be so as seems to be the case at the moment it ended up being another silly ISO day(dull and cloudy).The feeding station was quite busy as we had a surprise visit from this smashing bird
My first this year and what a bird a real pleasure to see.
Another colourful bird
not so colourful but by golly there quick, then the party was quickly over when this young lady dropped in .
The water on the lake looked black in the dull grey skies the usual fowl were present with some nice Goldeneye and a few White fronted geese on the far bank.
Wednesday at the park saw the super highway to the hide requiring different footwear ( ski's or mud boots perhaps )but the Bitterns and Otters were out in force, no ice this time and the sun did try on occasions here's a few pics.
They did manage to catch a sizeable Roach/Rudd from the margins but were reluctant to share.
This one managed to get a little too close.
PS Hide record still stands at (9) very cosy again.
A little late this post really as it was last Wednesday that our visit took place, on arrival the lake was frozen over and remained that way for the duration of our stay. I believe Gosforth is looking for a record of how many people you can squeeze in a small bird hide nine (9)adults as it stands at the moment (quite cosy it was) however Bitterns were the hope for the day and they didn't disappoint, some had better views than others depending on where you were sat !!
You can see what looks like ice on the bitterns back ?
As my mate and I were only having a morning out we decided to visit Far Pasture. We had quite a wait for the sun to get above the trees and give off some reasonable light. A lone Signet patrolled the open water and the Water Rails were quite active around the fringes of the pond a distant Red Kite caught our eye, then two, then three. As they got closer two of them landed in the trees opposite one of which was displaying a white and blue wing tag with the number 76 on its left wing .
No tags on these shots tho.
My research into the white wing tag with the blue stripe on the bottom indicates the bird was tagged in the midlands in 2001 or 2010 i presume the number 76 would indicate which year ,a lot of Kites in the wild can live well into there teens( given a fair wind).
A shout from the kitchen ended my morning shave incomplete,there's a Hummingbird Hawk Moth in the garden. Its a good number of years ago since I last saw one of these moths and didn't manage any photo's then, these guys don't hang around very long so it was a mad scramble for the gear.
Not the best of pics but I was half covered in shaving foam(that's my excuse anyway )_.