Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Red-throated Divers and a host of others

Two or is it three days of photos, starting with a totally unexpected pair of divers found on a long excursion in the hills. Many of the other photos were taken nearby as I searched out flat ground to ease off my stiff legs and joints. They say, "old age disnae come its sel"

On Carnoustie Golf Links today I met a group of golfers who asked, what are you looking for? "birds" I replied. Quick as a flash one said, " are you Frank McAvennie", brilliant!

Red-throated Diver on a hill lochan which I doubt could support a nesting attempt unless the adults fly elsewhere to fish

I can't be sure, but I believe the pair were flushed from cover on an island by a Golden Eagle which flew over but quickly banked at away. The birds could see me but as I was at a distance they didn't seem bothered and I found a suitable large rock to disappear behind

Kestrel, brightened from a dark original to prove it was just a Kestrel and not a Merlin

An unusually confiding Red Deer, originally it hid behind a peat hag only 30 metres away

Female Blackcap, I suppose nowadays it might have to be renamed a Browncap in the interests of equality

The male of the pair in Craigmill Den

Not often a Carrion Crow sits still and with the sun lighting it up

Purple Sandpiper on the beach near Craigmill burn. There were two there along with around 30 Sanderlings, Turnstones and Ringed Plover

One of the Craigmill Den Rooks, their rookery is expanding to the north bank and upstream

Inconveniently this Sedge Warbler and another have set up home surrounded by gorse bushes on the small loch at Carnoustie Golf Links

The drake of a pair of Sheducks that Olive didn't see when she flushed them from the burn at Craigmill

One of many Skylarks in the fields between Easthaven and Craigmill

A new parent on the golf links with a maggot, worm and Hawthorn Fly, yummy

Starling at Barry Halt where a helpful security guard confirmed that access is still available to the links, probably up until July 2nd. To be confirmed

Swallow on the beach at Craigmill


This is one of a pair of Wheatear which look to be considering nesting in a tattie field at Easthaven. I'll check again on my Webs at the weekend

A little bird but with a big character, I like Whitethroats

Two of eight to ten Bottlenose Dolphins just north of Whiting Ness at Arbroath Cliffs

Jackdaw. It's the kind of look only a wife could produce, that's why I don't have one

Kittiwake at the Mariners Grave, Arbroath Cliffs

The "odd couple", the same Mallard drake paired with the Tufted duck at Keptie Pond as before. Two other female Mallards have four and five ducklings each, the four are getting close to being to big for the gulls to swallow

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Big fellow, little fellows

An unexpected find when driving around Angus looking for gull nesting sites recently and reward for my efforts I think, a sub adult White-tailed Eagle. I expected that many of the sites would no longer be in use since the last survey was done in 2000-2001 and that was the case. Finding where they've gone isn't easy.

Also some photos from a recce I did to get the lay of the land before I start Corn Bunting Surveys and very encouraging that I saw three singing males on the area of the farm where they were absent last year. Then a few more photos from the garden as I tested out the remote again.

This photo must have been before it gained height and drifted into the next glen

Reed Bunting female, in company with a male on one of my Corn Bunting survey areas


Another Skylark looking a bit damp


Not often that a Dunnock is seen out of cover but this one lands on the stub I left for it when I cut the leylandii

Olive's Goldfinch, it and three others are emptying the feeder some days, or could it be that we only see four at a time and more birds are involved. Very unusual for us to see them at this time of year


The undergrowth was still wet and this House Sparrow is soaked. You might be able to see the many spider legs in and around it's beak

An interesting Tulip in one of Olive's planters

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Glenesk, Lochlee and Glen Lee

In search of the until now elusive Ring Ouzel and a bonus Osprey. Also seen early in the morning (0630) three Woodcock.

All photos taken with my D7200 and Tamron 150-600 and despite the dull and windy day I think I got some good results, almost all at distance. The main difference I believe is that I could hold the camera steady, or steadier than when using the heavy 300mm prime. Must do some weight training!

Ring Ouzel, at last. I've looked twice at Lochlee and once in Glen Lethnot before finding any. Between the start of the loch and Glen Lee I counted nine Ring Ouzels. At the Lethnot site it looked like the grass they favour for foraging had been out competed by heather which might be why there weren't any there

I've seen an Osprey before at Lochlee but this time it appeared to be hunting over the moorland and had spooked and was being chased by a Lapwing

The Falls of Unich (ouch)

One of the pair of Grey Wagtails I think I photographed last year and seen again in exactly the same place on the South Esk

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

From A for Adder to W for Whinchat

Photos from various Angus Glens over a few days. More to follow in the next post.

Wood Sandpipers at Kinnordy, click here for HD video (you may need to select the HD option)

Little Ringed Plover, also HD but a very small bird!

The photo deceives, this Adder seen in Glen Lethnot was only 10 to 12 inches long and not much thicker than a pencil

One of many Black Grouse I saw in different glens this week. This one flew from a field by a roadside which had been sheep forage

Common Sandpiper upstream of Hunthill, Glen Lethnot

At least four Cuckoos calling in Glen Prosen and although this one flew high over my head as usual it was into the sun. The other one I saw always had a tree or the like in the way

I just missed the second birth by minutes. Mum and babies doing well!

I'm not seeing any apparent decrease in Lapwings but we'll find out soon enough

Very red, Red Grouse in the harsh sun

Song Thrush in Prosen

Stonechat male with the female nearby on the wires in Glen Lethnot

Tree Pipit in Prosen, the only one I saw and heard

On my way home down Lethnot I saw this Whinchat flying along the wires and took this photo from the car. It's only the second one I've seen and the original one I saw on April 24th couldn't be found again, different glen

Willow Warbler

There were two Wood Sandpipers at Kinnordy which Gus had found the previous evening

The male Marsh Harrier was showing well for birdwatchers, the photographers were still moaning

One of the visiting Ospreys at Kinnordy, complete with a Jack Pike

Still Pink-footed Geese at Kinnordy

Dunnock in my garden, it's where I spend the end of days..........

Still six Greenfinches coming in. I bought a shutter remote this week and this was one of the first photos

Sparrows deserve a mention too, also using the remote

As do the very colourful male Feral Pigeons which constantly display, court and more