Saturday, 24 June 2017

Puffin Fest at Auchmithie

There were at least 22 Puffins either on the sea just offshore or flying around further out and they stayed like that until they'd decided I wasn't a threat hiding in the rocks on the beach. After a period of time most birds flew into their nests, fed the chicks and flew back out to fish again so these photos were taken in around a five minute period of action. They fly faster than you'd think!

Flying in to a nest, I didn't see any birds with sand eels though

The old red sandstone and the shade giving everything a red hue

Male Stonechat who looked to be guarding a nest near Auchmithie

Rock Pipit on the beach

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Scurdie Ness in the sun

I took a walk down to the Scurdie Ness Lighthouse on Tuesday without anything special in mind but always hoping the Dolphins, Gannets or Common Terns would be fishing. I only saw a few terns flying out to sea but I was able to amuse or frustrate myself by trying for photos of the small birds in the undergrowth. The photos are displayed in the order taken.

At least three of these Sedge Warbler fledglings were trying to conceal themselves in the long grass and generally did a good job but gave the game away by calling to be fed

This adult Sedge was further along but could have been one of the parents of the newly fledged youngsters.

Even the Swallows were having a rest in the sun and this one had dropped in for a quick drink near the lighthouse

The House Martins kept coming to this small wet area where they were picking up mud and some of the green weed

One of the many Meadow Pipits collecting food for clutches all along the track

Eider duck, one of many without ducklings

Linnet female, lots of these along the track and they do approach if you stay still and no-one walks by, they don't like the noisy speed boats though

Male Linnet in the harsh sunlight

Song Thrush sunbathing near its nest, perhaps a second brood?

Now at the Lurgies, even the Black-headed Gulls are feeling the heat and yawning

First Meadow Brown Butterfly this year for me and a better photo than I usually manage holding that heavy lens on my DSLR

Red-breasted Mergansers heading into the basin, I counted 13 of them briefly at Miss Erskine's Bank

The first time I recall seeing this Whooper Swan this season, it's a long staying bird which has hung around the basin and usually rests on Miss Erskine's Bank where this photo shows it. I'm sure I've seen it flying in previous summers but perhaps it doesn't fly well enough to migrate with its kind

Monday, 19 June 2017

Little Ringed Plover Part 2

I've been taking it easy in the heat and relaxing without a cold beer in the garden with a short trip to see how the Little Ringed Plovers who failed at their first attempt to breed were getting on.

Little Ringed Plover, nest attempt two. Never a good plan to build a new nest two feet or less from the one that had been predated. You should be able to see an egg on the old nest to the right and up a bit, hoping for a better result this time

It's difficult to get a Swift photo and I've found that my garden isn't a good place to try due to all of the houses, trees and garages that obscure the birds even if they are higher up. Will try again somewhere more open

Olive's House Martin, she's claimed this one as it's nesting on her house. She'd earlier claimed the budgie which is still here and seen daily

Maybe the same bird or it's mate

Starling plumage evolution. One of the latest new broods invading my garden

This one must be from one of the earliest broods and is the most advanced I've seen at my feeders

One of the hard worked adults being constantly harangued for food

Inevitably all of the bird action in the garden has eventually attracted this male Sparrowhawk. It was a long way away and circling quite high up when I saw it, and I thought the commotion I'd heard in the garden before had been an unsuccessful attempt at one of the young sparrows. Tonight when filling a feeder I found the evidence of a sparrow having been plucked, all of which must have happened when I was at the other side of a very large cotoneaster