Bird Observations Day to Day.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

The End of 2008

So here we are at the end of another years bird watching, it has not been the best year for us we have not been out nearly as much as we usually are due to some health problems and bad weather in the spring. However we did have two wonderful holidays one to Norfolk in May and one to Skye in September.

We had two new life birds (A species we have never seen before) one being a Sacred Ibis and the Hooded Merganser in November. Both our holidays were really enjoyable with great sightings of birds some very unusual some common all beautiful. The Sacred Ibis landed right in front of the car as we sat having our picnic lunch after a long walk in Wells Woods it stayed for about fifteen minutes then flew off again I even managed to take pictures of him. On Skye we saw wonderful views of Sea Eagle or White Tailed Eagle as they are sometimes know, we have seem them before but they are so spectacular and so big they take you breath away.

One other bird that really deserves a special mention is our Hooded Merganser that was sitting on a boating pond near to where we live and she was a super little sawbill.

We are looking forward to the new year and a new list and hopefully some new birds and some great days away. We are starting on Friday with a day away, an very old friend is taking us on a trip hopefully getting next year list off to a great start, the weather forecast is very good but very cold so will have to wrap up warm. So if you have managed down this far thank you for reading my Birdwatching journal and please call back in 2009 it could be a great year. So till later Love and best wishes for the New Year.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Hooded Merganser.

Photo by Simon Knight.
Isn't she lovely, isn't she marvelous. What can I say these words say if for me. We heard on the grapevine at the beginning of the week there was a Hooded Merganser close to where we live but being retired we did not have any spare time until today to go and see her. I say her as with any duck it is easy to tell the difference between male and female he is orange black and white and a lot brighter but I think see is so dainty and beautiful. She is half the size of a Mallard Duck. She has been sitting on a large pond in the middle of a village next to the sea wall. The pond started off life for model yacht racing and in the last few years has been planted up with reed beds and a few islands have been made. There are many Mallards, Moorhens and Swans on it so this must have been an attraction to our merganser. She should be in Florida just now enjoying the sunshine but she has been blown off course and landed on the east coast of Scotland. She is very active and feeding well. She did not disappoint any of the bird watchers that turned up to see her today. Really enjoyed our day out and look forward to our next one. Till next time Love Joan.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Swallows and Nethy.

Good Afternoon, just a note to myself really that while out walking this morning we had four swallows this being 19th October it is really worth a mention.

An update on Nethy our Osprey the last update I have is late Friday she is following a river south and west towards Senegal so she is nearly at her wintering ground. She may rest for a few days by the river as river =water=fish=food. She is doing so well.

Till next time Love Joan.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Today on the Loch.

As I said in my main journal we were out walking today by the side of the loch where we live. I was a lovely day and all was quiet on the water. There were black and white tufted ducks and the one in the centre is a Great Crested Grebe in winter plumage which is nearly all white but in the summer they are like a different species altogether.

Our geese that winter here spend their nights on the loch where they are safe from their predators like foxes. The loch will get very busy during the winter months as many duck and geese spend their winters here on our loch providing it does not completely freeze over. Time to go and feed hubby. Love Joan.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Swallows Again.

Hello, today is the 14th of October and while we were out walking this morning we saw three swallows (on the other side of the pond they are know as Barn Swallows). I know this does not seem worthy of an entry but up here swallows as late as this is very worthy indeed. As I said in my last entry the 6th of October was our previous best. This entry is really for our records as we like to look back each year.
Nethy news, she is still in some very barren country she did a little tour north again then changed her mind and started south again oh I wish she would get on with it and reach her destination in the Gambia.. till next time, Love Joan.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

In the Garden Mostly.

Good Evening, having been up early this morning I thought I would take the chance to feed the birds a bit earlier than I usually do. They seemed to be ready for it because as I stood waiting on my porridge being ready. This morning we had a lovely little Coal Tit who was making the most of there not being any starlings about. The Robin was sitting on the hanging basket which is hanging on the corner of the bird table still catching what fell in waste not want not. The collared doves take ages trying to get from the roof of the table on to the surface where the seed are they don't seem to remember from day to day. The big Wood Pigeon comes in every day for a drink in the bird bath and he also tries to get onto the bird table that is so funny as he is so big. I have tried to catch him on camera but he always escapes my efforts. The Pink Footed Geese numbers are increasing daily and we now have many thousands.
While we were out this morning we saw two Swallows it being the 11th October this is very late for where we live and is the latest we have ever had a Swallow in all the years we have bird watched which is coming up to 40 years now. Finally tonight progress report on Nethy our Osprey.
Well the satellite's been over again to give us the latest data, up to 9am this morning. Nethy has moved.....
23km (that's 14 miles) since Wednesday evening. She's still heading SSW, towards Mali. Looking tight-in on the map, she is clearly crossing some very barren, inhospitable, desert terrain, sand, sand and more sand. She paused at one point for a rest, on what looks like a rocky outcrop, but come 9am she was back on the move. We know it's frustrating that the data isn't live, but she's had all day to progress further - we'll keep you updated over the weekend (assuming the satellite passes over to capture her whereabouts).
Meanwhile back at the ranch, it's Friday, so we're off for doughnuts (brought in by the boss)....
I have pasted this info from the RSPB site to let you know the kind of thing I have been reading for the last few weeks. This is a very difficult part of the journey for her over the sand of the Sahara Desert hope she makes it. Till next time Love

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Sea Eagles on The Isle of Skye.

It is many months since I updated my Bird Watching Blog, now I have transferred it over to blog spot I thought I should remedy this. We have not been doing an awful lot of birding lately but we always have our eyes peeled when we are out and about.

The last of the summer visitors have left for warmer climes, clever them. Our wintering birds have started to arrive we have a good few thousand Grey Lag and Pink Footed Geese on the loch now, the large flocks of Starlings have arrived and the Robins are back with us from their summer in the countryside or farther afield. Hopefully we will have a influx of Waxwings later in the year.

Looking back over the summer we had our usual spring/summer holiday in May to Brancaster Staithe in Norfolk and managed to have the best two weeks of the summer weather wise, we did not have a spot of rain and it was warm and sunny all the time we were away. We did well bird wise too and managed a very rare bird for England we saw a Sacred Ibis at a place called Holkham . That was a surprise and I even managed to get a picture of it.

That's him right in the centre the big white bird not the best looking but that's the way he is.

We have just had a great week on Skye and while there we were lucky enough to Sea Eagles a very large majestic bird. There has been an introduction program on the Western Isles for the many years now and the birds are spreading from Mull and Rhum where they were released originally in the 1970's. They are absolutely enormous with a wings pane of over 8 feet. We were so lucky we saw them on three different occasions during the week.

For the next few months now is thermals on and local runs to see the geese and whatever else the wind blows in. Till next Love Joan.

Sorry I forgot a further update of Nethy our Osprey, she is now on a three way border between

Algeria, Mali and Mauritania. So she still has the Sahara Dessert to cross before we can say she is there. fingers crossed.

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.