Bird Observations Day to Day.

Friday, 27 January 2006

Not a Good Week for our Wildlife.

   

I thought I would share the very bad news we had today about the Eagle Owls.  You will maybe remember a few week ago there was an item on the news telling about the two Eagle Owls that were living in Yorkshire. They are not native of Great Britain but somehow we had acquired a pair of these beautiful owls.  They have been living in Yorkshire for about the last four years but where was not general knowledge that was until in was on the news.  Today we have been told that one of the owls has been found dead. It had been shot. As you can imagine we are very upset at this terrible news and I just wanted to say something on the subject to let you know what goes on to defenceless birds.  We don't know if the perpetrator has been caught but we can but hope.  Love,  Joan

                  

 

Monday, 23 January 2006

A winters day

                 

Just a very short entry today, we were supposed to be going away for the day today but the weather was just too dull and what we hoped to see today lives very high in the trees so we do need good light  will try again another day.  We did go out for a walk and we greatly rewarded with a small flock of 8 lovely Bullfinches. This is very unusual for us we normally just get one or two at a time.  Last winter we had Bullfinch but only 2 about 200yds from where we saw them today, strange!  For the rest of the walk I'm afraid our heads we down against the wind so that was it for today.  Hope to get out later in the week.  Love

                                             Joan.

                  

Sunday, 15 January 2006

Fife Coast

                                   

Hello and welcome to our latest bird watching trip. We decided on Friday night when we heard the weather forecast that we would have a run round the Fife coast on Saturday if the forecast was right.  We got up a bit earlier than usual so we could be away about 9-30am.  Did not quite make that it was about quarter to ten by the time we got away.  Our first stop was Leven Power Station not very picturesque but the birds love it as the water is a few degrees warmer from the power station. There was there usual collection of Gulls and a few Eider Ducks.  Next we stopped of at Lower Largo a small village on the coast. You may think you have heard the name before, it is the birthplace of Alexander Selkirk (Robinson Crusoe) yes it is a true story.  He was born here in 1676 and there is a lovely statue of him in the village looking out to sea dressed in his rags the way you always see him depicted. There is a good car park in the village complete with loos right on the sea front where we can watch the sea and not face the cold, yesterday was very mind so we did not have that problem. After scanning the water for the ducks etc that winter there we headed off for Shell Bay. There is a big caravan sight there but it is closed for the winter so it is very quiet just now.  There is a lovely walk to a place called Rudden Point.  It overlooks Largo Bay and it is a favourite spot for wintering Scoters. There are three different kinds of Scoter Common, Velvet and Surf. All three were present but picking them out can be very difficult. The raft of Scoters were sitting about 300yds away from us but the light was very good. After a while Stuart picked out the Surf Scoter, now there is just the one so we were very lucky to pick him up (picture above) not particularly beautiful but very rare.  After we noted all there was out there we walked back to the car.

                           

Our next stop was St Andrews the home of golf and for us Snow Buntings we hoped.  There is a long beach in St Andrews and we had to drive to very end of it.  The car park attendant is not there during the winter so we got a freebee today great.  We had a coffee when we arrived as the traffic had been very slow from Largo. While we were sitting there I spotted the Snow Buntings.  Again this is a bird that winters on the coast, in spring it will head north to our high mountains where it breeds and will turn pure white. The ones in St Andrews have been there all winter and we saw them in the same place before Christmas if all birds were as dependable as them life would be easy for us bird watchers. The beech was very busy and we were amazed that they did not fly away as people with dogs and children approached they just moved along a bit, in all our years at our hobby this is the best look we have ever had of these beautiful little birds. So that was it for yesterday a great day out with really good birds and a lovely walk and great weather for January. Total species for day was 42. Have not done the yearly list yet and will update this entry later. Bye,

Updated year list 78.

             Joan.

                      

 

 

 

Monday, 9 January 2006

                                      

Today Stuart and I went out for a bit of a 'Twitch' that is knowing a certain bird is there and going to that place to get it for our list.  At this time of year if you miss a wintering bird you then have to wait till November or December to try again and if it is a mild winter they may be late in coming in then you will not have it for your list.  The bird we went out today to see was a Smew. The picture in not mine just borrowed but I just had to let you see this wonderful duck. This is the male the female is not called a Smew she is known as a Redhead and looks totally different from the drake.  It took us a while from the heated observation lounge but we did see him eventually. It has been a very cold day with a very cold wind so we were glad of the shelter.   Some of you will remember that in August I posted pictures if a field of sunflowers out the back road where we stay.  I can't remember if I said at the time that we thought it would be great for the finches in the winter. Today we called round and we were right there must have been about 300 finches there were Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Brambling to name but a few. The light was terrible so we will go back on a brighter day and see what's what. Not a bad outing for such a horrible day but it does keep you occupied for a few hours as we tend to go a bit stir crazy if we are kept in for too long.  That's it for today. The yearly total is now 54. It's hard going just now.  Love

     Joan.

 

Thursday, 5 January 2006

Our Local RSPB Reserve.

         

 

Hello welcome back, today we have been visiting our local RSPB reserve which is about 6 miles away. We are lucky to has a reserve so close.  It was not a very nice day a bit dull  damp and cold. The Loch which is part of the reserve is partially frozen today an the ducks are all very close together where there is any open water.  We did not venture out of the heated observation room where you can see most of the Loch from.  The bird I have chosen to let you see today is a Little Egret, not a bird you would associate with Scotland but we have had 'Egberg' as he is called for 2 years now. He dropped in two winters ago and stayed right through he returned last winter and again this year he is probably the only one in Scotland at the moment. The plumes on his head are not there at the moment but they will grow in for the Springtime when he is trying to impress a female.  He will disappear from here and then hopefully he will return next winter.  Total Species for today 28. Total species for the year is now 46.  Love

                  Joan

 

              

 

Monday, 2 January 2006

Sunday 1st January 2006.

                                     

Hello and welcome to my Bird watching Diary, I am really looking forward to writing about all our adventures as they can be at times and our quiet walks. This diary will not be updated daily as we are not out birding every day much to Stuart's disgust he would be out every day rain or shine.  Today being the first of on new year we like to go to one of our local places by the loch that we live on.  We take the car about 1 mile from home, we are very lucky that it is so close to home.  It has been a lovely day today mild clear blue skies and no wind. We had just stared along the footpath when we saw a Tree creeper  (pictured above) on the trunk of a nearby tree. He is a lovely little bird and can be very tame in the winter as they do not fly away as soon as you approach.  At this point of the walk we are woodland and there were the usual woodland birds about Blue &Great Tits Goldcrest our smallest bird we  heard them it the canopy but did not see them today. As we walked on the wood opens out and we arrive at the side of the loch.  The footpath takes us along the side of the loch. The water today was very still and the ducks we close in. Not a big variety today but we had Tufted Duck, Coot, Goldeneye and Cormorant.  As we walked on we saw a Grey Wagtail which is very like the black and white one you see normally but this one is yellow and grey and has a longer tail.  There were a lot of people and their dogs out walking yesterday so the bird numbers were down on what we usually see on this particular walk, but as we had all been stuck in the house for a few day with the bad weather you cannot blame people wanting to get out of the house. We had three birds of prey today Kestrel Sparrow hawk and Buzzard.  On the whole we had a good start to the year and we really enjoyed it very much.  We were given a little flask one the metal ones and two stay hot cups in a little bag from a friend at Christmas and we had that with us and it was great just big enough for a half day out and saved lugging the big picnic bag with us.  So that's the year started I hope to bring you lots of entries and amusing tales as well. So far the total number of species for 2006 is 31 will keep this total going so you can see how it grows I hope.   Love Joan.

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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.

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