Friday, 17 December 2010


Last Wednesday I ventured out in -4c! What a frost. I had a couple of hours in these artic conditions near the house so was able to go un-noticed by this female pheasant

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Starlings but No Waxwings

I was hoping the Waxwings would return to Kirkmichael before all the berries were eaten by the startling. I guess the starlings have got to eat the same as waxwings.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Waxwings in Maybole, South Ayrshire

I was on my way to Ayr as their had been numerous sightings of Waxwings and so as I drove through Maybole I decided to take the back road and just as you leave the town, there on a tree were about 12 waxwings. They were there for about half an hour then another group of about 40 came, communicated to each other and they all flew off North toward Ayr...saving me a trip.
Next time I hope to get the ultimate shot of them eating the Rowan berries :)

Monday, 15 November 2010

Maidens, South Ayrshire

I havent been posting blogs recently, just been too busy with other things but have still been trying to get out when I can. Here are a few images from the past month taken near Maidens.
Today I was in Maybole and got a few Waxwings photos so I will get these up on the blog as soon as possible.
Good to meet Angus Hogg today at Maidens also!

Turnstones. It was a pleasure to watch as the literally turn quite large stones over as thery walk along the shore.

Red Kite. This one was feeding on some roadkill and so as it saw me approach it took to flight.

Golden Plover. There are a couple of hundred of these guys at Maidens at the moment. The sun really shows why they got their name.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


Popped down to RSPB Lochwinnock the other day. Not much about really, the day before Kingfisher, Osprey, and Buzzards were seen, but not today! Anyway, was chuffed I saw and got a shot of a Whitethroat before they start to move away from these parts!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Great Spotted Woodpeckers at Lochwinnock

Just thought I would process these shots taken couple of months ago of the GS Woodpecker and its Juvenile


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Gannets at Troop Head

Had a great time at Troop Head. This must be one of the most under-rated RSPB sites in the country! I feel it is better than Bempton Cliffs.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Ospreys & Chris Packham

Had a couple of days up North of Scotland, to try and catch some good sightings of Ospreys before they leave our shores again, back South to Africa. First visit was to the Loch of the Lowes. Here the birds had nested in a most beautiful setting, high in a Scots Pine tree over looking the Loch. The adult birds had raised two chicks who were just as big as their parents but were still unable to fish themselves and so just sat around waiting for Dad to bring them breakfast. I was told this would gradually decrease so as to force the juveniles to learn new fishing skills and fend for themselves.

Next stop was to Loch Garten. Here again, one can see the nest from the RSPB hide, but personally didnt find this place too appealing. Although walking in the woods and walking round Loch Garten did provide some good sighting, not only of ospreys flying over the loch, but a bird I had wanted to see, and apparently this area is the only place in the UK to see these little birds...the Crested Tit. I had seen them before in Spain, but never in the UK.

As I was walking back to the car, I bumped into Chris Packham who was with a small BBC film crew, making a new TV program about bird watching. Speaking with Chris, he explained that he had witnessed about 5 ospreys coming together in this special place to fish that very morning. Obviously I asked where he had been and he told me. The next morning I got out of my tent at 4:15am and headed to be in this fishing loch for 5am....and just as Chris said, the ospreys were looking for early morning breakfast.

Unfortuneatly it was a dull morning and as it was still quite dark, I couldn't take any photos initially, as it was just too dark, but I didnt mind as I just watched in wonder as these birds went about their business. I had never seen an osprey catch a fish before so I was amazed at witnessing such an incredible spectacle in nature!
Anyway, here are the photos I did manage to get. They were shot at very slow shutter speeds and with the highest ISO my camera offered, and at the widest aperture.
(f5.6; 1/200sec; ISO1600; Canon 400mm lens)and no tripod.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Eider Ducks at Girvan

Was glad I had my camera with me in the car, was able to get these two shots of Eider Ducks as they came in near to the harbour area.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Artic Terns - Farne Islands

As well as plenty of Puffins on the Farne Island, there are thousands of Artic Terns. As we disembarked from the boat we had to run the gauntlet if being attacked by the terns as they protected their nests. Some were actually nesting on the wooden walkways. Quite an experience to get so close to these birds!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Farne Islands...Puffins Galore!

Last week I went to the Farne Islands, something I had wanted to do for some time. Timing has to be just right. First of all their is only a small window of opportunity, as the Puffins are only present there a couple of months in the year. Then the boats doesn´t always sail if the wind is above moderate. Then even when the wind has calmed down it may take another day or two until the swell of the sea to calm down, to make landing on the islands possible! Then if you are taking photographs, the light has to be good to capture the birds in flight, so you need a fast shutter speed (unless you have a £5,000 low lightlens, which I dont have!). So a lot has to come together all at the right time....and so last Tuesday was one of those perfect days!
I only managed to get a place on the boat due to a cancellation, and when I boarded the boat it was jammed pack with what looked like a seminar of Canon photographers, all with their big 400mm, 500mm lens, Manfrotto Tripods, and hats. (Will tell you later why the the Tern Blog)

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The Woods at Kirkmichael

A few days ago when it felt truly Summer had arrived (not like today), I took off for a quiet meander through the woods. As I crossed over a field and entered another group of large trees a Buzzard took to flight from off the ground. It landed at a tree in the distance. I didnt pay too much attention as I entered the small group of trees and was able to take a few nice shots of typical local woodland birds. All the while, the Buzzard kept crying out and was joined by another Buzzard, I presume was its mate. Every now and then, one of them would make an inspection and fly away again to the tree. I tried to hide myself and sat for atleast an hour hoping that amongst the trees there was a Buzzards nest and I could get some nice photos. But they must of known I was there and stayed away until I had to leave as it was getting dark. I couldn´t see any nest high in the trees, so maybe I was wrong and was just wishful thinking. Anyway, while I was waiting patiently I was able to take these shots.

Thursday, 27 May 2010


The Summer is here and the plumage on the Goldfinches is quite dramatic. Flocks appear everywhere feeding on the long grasses. I used my new bean-bag to rest the lens on and feel the shots are greatly improved by eliminating camea shake. Tell me what you think?

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Lochwinnoch Lesser Redpolls

Dropped the kids off at Ardrossan Ferry as they were going to Arran with some of their friends. I headed down to lockwinnock hoping to see and photograph some Great Crested Grebes. Unfortunately, there wasnt a Grebe to be seen. Not to worry though as I was able to watch a flock of Lesser redpolls coming to and fro to feed.

What amazing colours on these birds. Also their call is quite distinct so you know when they are about.

Spent about six hours in the hide waiting for them to arrive....well worth the wait!!
During this time too I saw over 20 species...more pics will be added soon.