I ran up to Williestruther Loch last night, which is to the south west of Hawick in the Scottish Borders. There was a beautiful sunset developing in the early evening. A small community of little grebes live on the loch, these are a favourite of mine and never tire of photographing them. I think they area a striking bird, quite small but with rich colours in their breeding plumage.
It started in March when I got a buider in to look at building a birdhide. We have a good veriety of birds comming out of the woodlands ajacent to my garden, from woodpeckers, lesser, redpols, nuthatch, blue tit, great tit,] and siskins to name a few. The hide has electricity and heating and very soon I will be able to get internet connection in there.
Its great having the facility so close to home, twenty metres away. I find myself going in at 6:00am some morning just as the sun is coming up over the horizon getting some stunning light on the birds
Whenever I travel to the Isle of Mull I will, if I have time stop in the harbour at Oban on Scotland’s west coast to see the very pretty black guillemot. Oban has to be the best place to see black guillemots. It’s usually just a few minutes for the visit and that has never been long enough to do these little birds justice grabbing a few pictures in the time available. So I decided to make this venue a destination rather than a passing visit to photograph the black guillemots. I spent three days there in some of the finest and hottest weather that Scotland can offer, getting burnt in the process but getting some nice behavioural images as well.
Siskins – busy collecting food for their young in the nests
After six months of feeding the birds in my garden the birds are now coming in on a regular basis, woodpecker, nuthatch, redpoll, collared dove, chaffinch, dunnock, tree creeper, blue tit great tit, coal tit, long-tailed tit in winter, spotted flycatcher, sparrowhawk. But I think one of my favourites is the beautiful little siskin. They are extrmely busy collecting food for their young.
Siskin – Male
Siskin – female at the reflection pool
Their colours are vibrant, the male has more colour than the female
I have started the Garden Bird Workshops up again after have a state of the art hide built in my garden recently. The birds are turning up now after six months of feeding them. My favourite birds are the great spotted woodpecker and I am lucky enough to have them visiting regularly. They come in as close as ten feet from the lens giving great opportunities of getting stunning images of these exciting birds.
I took these pictures of the Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides on Mull Charter’s boat Lady Jane on a white-tailed eagle trip on Loch Na Keal. As with most small boats Lady Jane was getting a following of sea gulls looking for offerings from the boat. In the middle of the group of following gulls I saw the Iceland Gull competing for food, its a bit of a rarity around UK coastline so we were very please to see it.
On a recent trip to the Isle of Mull looking for otter, I came across this ringed plover on the shore of Loch Na Keal. The bird was calling incessantly to its mate. I spent some time watching the bird calling and running around in front of me and took some images of their behaviour.
The ringed plover Charadrius hiaticula is a small wading bird; it can be very difficult to see on a stony shore as it blends in so well with its habitat. It will lay its eggs on the shore in a small scrape in the pebbles. This is its best form of defence as it is very difficult to pick out on the shoreline.
Here are a few pictures from the session, I hope you like them
The lesser redpoll is a bird not seen too often around the Borders Region of Scotland, so I was delighted to see them in my garden darting about in playfull courtship. My new hide has now been finished so I decided to spend some time trying to get pictures of this beautiful bird. It didn’t take long before the pair settled and let me get some image.
I have never made any secret of the fact that I don’t like snakes, they always give me the creeps just looking at them. I got a phone call from a friend of mine saying I should come and look at some adders he found on the edge of some moorland. My initial reaction was “not likely”, but then I thought about it for a while and decided to give it a go. So I went the next morning to the adder site with some trepidation.
I arrived at the site quite early and the sun was shining, the adders were very obliging and they behaved themselves. Nobody got bitten, the adders were unharmed and treated with respect and I managed some images. Result I think.