Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Fulmars at Skara Brae

This pair of Fulmars has taken up residence on Skara Brae, Orkney. Hopefully visitors will be informed about their oil-spitting antics before approaching too closely for photos...

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Wryneck a-Hoy!

Not sure quite how, but this Wryneck was a Scottish first for me - a nice self-find last week at Rackwick, Hoy, Orkney while on a trip with work. A Red-backed Shrike at Scatness, Shetland, the following day was also a Scottish tick. So despite years of flogging along the Lothian coast I can bump into a couple of decent migrants without even trying on the Northern Isles. Just wished I'd connected with the male Rustic Bunting at Sumburgh the following day... Ah well, just have to find one locally!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Merlins in flight

Some grab shots of a couple of different Merlins in flight. These falcons are not easy to photograph as they tend to disappear so quickly. I like the shot above, despite its lack of focus and poor exposure, as for me it captures the essence of the species as it dashes over open habitat.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Whimbrel at Spike Island, Tyninghame

Well, I am not sure that I got the exposure quite right on this one... still not really used to the new lens. On the other hand, this shot does evoke that lovely call of the Whimbrel - a real sign that it is migration time along the Lothian coast.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Not quite what I hoped

The weather has conspired to ensure the weekend has been about as migrant-free as possible in Lothian, which is slightly galling after reports all week of interesting birds along the coast. A family day out included exciting close-up views of Red Grouse and Grey Partridge right next to car in Johnscleugh as well as a stunning aerial display from the territorial Lapwing. Before heading into Borders I had hoped to tick off a Ring Ouzel at Faseny to make up for last week's miss. An extraordinarily intense hail and snow shower put paid to that idea. The rest of the day was very pleasant - exploring Duns, Coldingham and St Abb's. Plenty of seabirds around but I had hoped to combine family fun with, maybe, a Wryneck, or at least a smattering of migrant chats and warblers. Not a sausage.

Yesterday, here's something that could have got the pulse going, but it was clearly a Common Buzzard with a dodgy tail from the beginning. Sadly...

Here is what I wish it had been! Black Kite photographed in the south of France last summer.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Corn Bunting, North Uist

Just a shot of the only Corn Bunting that I saw in the Western Isles this year. A male (presumably!) singing at Balranald RSPB right next to the footpath to the beach. Sadly, given its declining numbers, I guess it might not be long until this is no longer a breeding species in Scotland. On the other hand, I heard a Nuthatch again in the Hermitage on my way to work this morning, something that has only been possible for the last couple of years.