Bird Observations Day to Day.

Friday, 10 February 2006

The Return of the Red Kite to Scotland.




Good Afternoon, Yesterday we set off to go and look for a Great Grey Shrike that we had heard was in our area.  The morning was bright cold and sunny when we left and we headed up to Crieff  once through the little town we drove to The Sma' Glen one our gems it is uphill all the way from Crieff and as we climbed up we saw a wonderful sight 3 Red Kites and 2 Common Buzzard in the sky together we managed to get stopped at the side of the road so we could watch through the binoculars. The Kites are very colourful birds and with the sun on their back they looked magnificent.  Red Kites were reintroduced to Scotland a few years ago and are really doing well they eat mainly carrion so they do not do any harm to farms but we still get one or two poisonings per year.  Back in the cosy car we carried on to the spot we heard the Shrike was.  We parked the car and walked up the hill sun on our backs and all was well.  The bird was nowhere to be seen and after about 15 minutes walking we turned to head back.  There was a wind blowing in our face that would have cut you in two we had not noticed this on the way up but boy did we know it was there on the way back. So no Great Grey Shrike today maybe another day. We continued our run in the car to Loch Tay and Aberfeldy.  Took a lot of pictures which I put in my other journal the one of the Kite is not one of mine.  Where to next?  Love


Wednesday, 8 February 2006

Scone Palace and Loch of the Lowes



Monday morning we set off to visit Scone (Skoon) Palace to look for the elusive Hawfinch. They are very secretive birds that live in the very tops of the tallest  trees, hence having to go and look for them when the trees are bare as you never find one when the trees are fully clothed. When we arrived I was a bit disappointed that the main avenue to the castle was not covered in snowdrops as it usually is but we must have got there a week or so earlier this year so I will have to go back. Would you believe just after we arrived someone started shooting so that put an  end to our hopes  of  seeing  these very shy birds.  The shooting did not seem to bother the Robins and the Blue Tits but there was no sign of the Hawfinch. We wandered  around the footpaths for a while but no luck. Just as we were heading back to the car one Hawfinch flew across the road high up in the trees but that was just the one.  There is a flock of about 30 of these birds at Scone so one is not very good and we did not get a good look at it so we will go back another day.  Back to the car and heater on off we went to The Loch of the Lowes which is near Blairgowrie if that is of any help.  This is where the Wildlife Trust have hides and a visitor centre so the public can view a pair of breeding Ospreys.  They have not arrived back from the Ghana yet, it will be the beginning of April before they come back.  When we arrived no, it was not shooting this time, but there was a great deal of hammering and noise as the visitors centre is having total refurbishment so we seemed to have picked the wrong day here as well.  There is a big feeding station behind  the visitors centre and that was very busy with the usual bird table birds but we usually get Woodpeckers and squirrels but the noise must have put them off.  We then went to one of the hides and there was a small number of Whooper Swans and they were very close and calling which is wonderful to hear. The loch itself had been frozen but had thawed.  When I was a little girl I used to walk out to the middle of this  loch with my Mum and Dad as we visited  this area a lot on the motorbike and sidecar ah those were the days. Petrol was still rationed but the motorbike was very thrifty and we could manage a run out on a Sunday. I wonder what birds I would have seen back then when there was virtually no traffic on the roads.  Back to today we had a good day but the birding was not that great but there will be other days.   Love,


Friday, 3 February 2006

In Search of Waxwings.


It is now teatime and it is dark outside. We have been for a longish walk this afternoon as the weather turned out quite nice the sun actually shone for a while.  We did not see anything unusual when we were out but we have been looking for Waxwings all winter but have not seen any yet.  While I was cooking  the tea Stu check our bird alert on the PC and low and behold a party of Waxwings were seen a 2 o5pm outside our local Summerfield's (yes I used to work there).  We always thought it would be a good place for Waxwings as they seem to favour supermarket car parks schools and gardens. So you can see that we are very annoyed to have missed this as they are such beautiful birds and guess who will be up with the larks tomorrow to see if they are still there.   Love


About Me

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Hi, I'm Joan I live in Scotland with my hubby of 48 years. We are both retired and enjoying life to the full well nearly. We are always out and about doing this and that. We love the countryside and do a bit of birdwatching and even twitch from time to time. We also visit art galleries and hubby does a bit of watercolour painting. Me I read a lot mainly thillers. I have been been keeping a journal for over five years over on AOL but we are being thrown out so this is my new home.