Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Skye, Neist Point

Today we went to Neist Point and the lighthouse which is on the North West of the island.  The weather was more obliging today and enabled some good photographic stops en route.


Otter - it was swimming in the Loch some distance away and I wasn't sure it was an Otter at first, but after a long careful walk down the beach I eventually got a great sighting and found him busy grooming himself.  This has got to be my highlight of the day!!  I can't believe my luck a close up Otter sighting so early in our stay.


There's loads and loads of berries - perfecting for attracting the birds! The only problem remains getting a good shot of the birds eating them!

Eider Duck - out at sea

Views from Neist Point

And of course the lighthouse, about as far west as we could get. Then followed the long walk back up the cliffs to the car, it didn't seem that far on the way down!

Greylag Geese - spotted on the way home.

The only trouble with this time of year is the short days, so it was dark before we got back to the cottage. We are going to try an early start tomorrow and hit the beach before sunrise!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Isle of Skye

What a marathon of a journey to get to Skye!!
On the way up near Tyndrum we saw Bullfinch and Redwing both feeding on berries.
We were fortunate with fine weather for most of the journey up which resulted in us getting some stunning views.
On our first day out and about we decided to head back a few miles to the mainland to visit Eilean Donan Castle.
Whilst at the castle we had a few heavy showers, but this is Scotland! Despite the rain we had a good time and still had some wonderful views and saw some great wildlife including Curlew, Oysercatcher, Little Grebe, Hooded Crow and Robin.
View near the Castle
Robin in the grounds
By the end of the morning everything was dripping wet!
Rose Hips
 After lunch it was back to Skye and whilst exploring the island we found a Waxwing eating berries, well spotted Oliver!  This one was on the route to the otter hide at Kylerhea
Hooded Crow 
No Otters, but we did see Common Seals
Not a bad day today given the weather conditions, Monday is forecast better so we are hoping for some good sightings...

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Scalby Mills

The weekend continued in good vain, with a visit to Scalby Mills.  We started off with a walk along the seashore, the tide was out so lots of rockpools for the kids to investigate.

Curlew, Redshank, Wigeon, Oystercatcher, Cormorant, Turnstone, Heron and plenty of the usual seaside gulls!



The most unusual spot of the day was a Crow chasing a Kingfisher.

A walk north along the cliff tops towards Scalby Lodge Farm Pond, proved fruitful - we saw a Robin singing it's heart out, Goldfinch feeding on teasel and a variety of insects including: Grasshopper, Hawthorn Shield Bug and a big hairy Caterpillar.




Hawthorn Shield Bug


A mixed flock of birds including Linnets and Goldfinch were well camouflaged in a field of stubble.

The day couldn't get any better could it??  YES it could, some great shots of a Barn Owl.

Barn Owl

Sometimes you just can't get any peace!
A nice group of Lapwing feeding at the pond.
In came the fog and unfortunately that put paid to anymore photography - dramatic scenery though, and a what a great weekend.

Tophill Low Nature Reserve

A busy weekend started with a trip to Tophill Low on Saturday with my niece Rachel, who is a keen photographer and amateur birder!  We were on the hunt for a Kingfisher, but alas one failed to show.  But we did have some other good sightings, Rachel was the first to spot the Marsh Harrier flying over North Marsh - she also beat me by getting a shot of a Treecreeper and a Woodpecker. 

The wood was filled with an array of little birds such as Great Tit, Goldcrest, Robin, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Treecreeper and Chaffinch.


Great Tit


Whilst we were at North Marsh, we saw a Long Tailed Tit in the bushes and a Wren very cleverly hidden in the reeds just in front of the hide.

Long Tailed Tit


This rather scruffy looking Raptor was sat in the top of a tree, with the help of Richard Hampshire we think it is a first autumn female Sparrowhawk.

After a long wait at North Marsh, we headed off to Watton Burrows - stopping off at South Marsh and saw Teal.


Greylag Geese at Watton Burrows

The day was nicely finished off with a large flock of Geese flying overhead and an ambitious Squirrel with a rather large prize!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Tophill Low Nature Reserve

As we live close to Tophill Low nature reserve, I find it easy to drop in on the odd afternoon - you never know what might turn up. I always go with the intention of seeing a Kingfisher, but as usual I waited and waited and he didn't show! Oh well, still lots to see....

First on the sightings was a Marsh Harrier which flew just over the reedbed at North Marsh.

Next a nice shot of Mute Swans flying over North Marsh followed by a Jay and a Cormorant.

This is my favourite shot of the day - a Moorhen at North Marsh. I didn't realise their legs were so brightly coloured.

The wooded area is a haven for lots of little birds;

Blue Tit



Coal Tit

Willow Tit

After a walk around the wood I went to check out some of the other hides not much to see from most of them, but I saw this Gadwall on North Lagoon. There were also quite a lot of Teal on South Marsh, where there was also a Kestrel flying around and Tufted Ducks on O Reservoir. 

The noisiest bird of the day goes to the Euro Fighter that seemed to be using us for target practice!
All in all, a good afternoon.  I hope it's as good on Saturday as I'm bringing my niece - she wants to photograph Kingfishers (fingers crosssed!!)