Friday, 29 January 2010


Headed out to the RSPB reserve at Lochwinnock, about an hour from the house. On the way there were the usual Buzzards perched along the main road near Ayr. Also a female Kestrel was sitting on a post surrounded by about five Crows...poor thing!
Arriving at the reserve I went straight to the first hide near the shop. As soon as I was in position a beautiful Fieldfare flew in and landed upon one of the rocks in the field. He was perfect as was the lighting. The sun was still low and angled to the right enabling me to fire off some decent shots.

Around the feeders were the usual Blue tits and Great tits. Chaffinches were the most popular bird today. Laying low in the bracken was a charming Dunnock, although the light was too dark to get a good photo. I increased the ISO and hoped for the best. A few Reed Buntings were feeding in the grass, a cute little bird. Just then a Great-Spotted Woodpecker flew onto the pole erected by the warden. He was only there for a few seconds before he took to flight again.

I met a nice couple from Kilmarnock, the McCalls, who from the size of his 500mm lens were also into bird photography.
I was freezing so after a cup of coffee I went into the woods to the other hides. On the water I could see a flock of Golden Eye in the distance. Whilst walking I disturbed a Grey Heron. In the trees were a few Treecreepers. These little birds never stay still for one seconds so I found them really difficult to capture, along with the low light in the forest. One of the treecreepers was hiding behind the tree and I was watching him through my lens, hoping he would come into view. Just then he popped his little head over to see if I was still there, and I was able to snap him, before he flew to another tree.

Walking further I came across a flock of Long-tailed Tits, these are much more pinker than the guys I had seen in Spain. They love to congregate together and was able to get a very nice photo of one of them on the flimsiest of twigs....beautiful!

A great end to a perfect but freezing day!

Birdlist: Buzzard, Kestrel, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Long-tailed tit, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Reed bunting, Sparrow, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Carrion crow, Grey heron, Goldeneye, Whooper swan, Treecreeper, Mallard, Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Loch Mochrum, Maybole

Spent a few hours this morning out and about. Thought I would take a look at Loch Mochrum very near to Maybole and only a few miles from my house. The fishing club have built a small hide overlooking the loch with chairs and visitors book. Bird feeders surround the hide so there is always plenty of activity nearby. Mainly the usual Blue tits and Great tits, with the occasional Coal tits coming to have a feed. Dunnocks and Robins were at ground level picking up the crumbs as was a Wren. Also a pair of Yellowhammers were in the bushes but because the light was poor, I had to shoot at 1000ISO at f5.6, 1/400sec shutter, hence the noise on the photos. Anyway i was pleased to get somekind of shot as I had not photographed this species before. On the water were about 20 Goldeneye a few Mallard and some other ducks, may of been Pochard, but not sure as they were too far away for a 100% ID. I drove back via Straiton. This is a quaint little village with a lovely river running through it. Here I saw a Dipper and so crouched down to watch him feeding in the river. He would bob uop and down on the riverbank and then plunge himself in the water only to resurface some 2 meteres away from where he submerged. He would swin with his little head and white breast showing, not floating like a duck, but 70% of his body was underwater....then he would go under again. I was watching this for about 15 minutes, wish he would come nearer so as to get a photo, but he never did, as the current of the river was taking him further away from me.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Maidens Again!

19th January 2010

I am afraid I havent been too adventurous with visiting different locations as you can see from my recent blogs, they have all been in Maidens and around the lovely harbour. Reason is...just havent had the time to travel far, there always seems to be things to do. Yesterday I managed to find a couple of hours so shot off to Maidens to see what was about.
The oystercatchers where there in there numbers as were the Mute Swans floating magestically on the sea. A couple of Shelduck in the distance, quite away from the shoreline, but could make out the red bills against the grey sea and sky. There were about two dozen Redshank feeding close to the shoreline, but ather than that not much else to be seen. I drove along the front only to see a kestrel perched in a branch. Was able to get reasonable close before he took to flight. On the grass by the beach came a Song Thrush bobbing along. He was glad the ground had thawed as he looked for his lunch. Other than the usual Blue tits, Great Tits nothing else to report. On the way home I did see a Fieldfare motionless in a field. He must of felt as cold as I did, so headed for home.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Maidens Harbour Again!

1st January 2010

It was a lovely cold crisp morning so we took a spin down to Maiden's again to see what was about. There were already some twitchers with their scopes, looking for some rare species about so we got our gear together along with our hats with ear muffs to keep us warm and took to exploring the harbour and coastline.
One of the first birds we saw around the harbour was a Kingfisher. I had never seen these birds on the coast before and used to seeing them on the ponds and rivers, mainly in the Summer. I was told that they head to the coast in Winter as it is milder and food is more readily found. We saw the resident Oystercatchers again and tried to get some flight shots. Redshank and Curlew were the other main waders about, but then we saw a flock of Brent Geese fly over our heads and land in the sea near the harbour. This was a first for us to see these geese, so we were quite excited! They look alot smaller than the other geese and were recognisible by the plummage and the white ring round their necks. Lots of Water Pipits and thrushes about with good sightings in the car of Fieldfare and Buzzards. seems to be Buzzards everywhere with every turn in the road. We stopped off at the pond near maidens for a few minutes to see Goldeneye and Whooper swan and Mute swan. Birdlist: Blue tit, Great tit, Buzzard, Pied wagtail, Robin, Blackbird, Brent Goose, Oystercatcher, redshand, Curlew, Kingfisher, Great Black-backed gull, Cormorant, Shelduck, Mallard, Water pipit, Thrush, Fieldfare, Whooper Swan, Mute Swan, Golden Eye.