Friday 31 May 2013

Scotland day 7 - King Eider again

Always go back - if you want a better picture (or in this case something better than the previous dismal distant record shots!)  On arrival at the Ythan estuary, hopes of getting anything special were scuppered by the local haar, (sea mist to the uninitiated) visibility was initially down to 20m or so but it did clear somewhat.....

Enough to pick out the good looking one and get some pretty decent views :-)

A few representative poses from all angles

Even looking good from behind!

But birds are better when they are doing something? Like diving for and then eating mussels....

Or washing.

Getting closer into the action.....

A bit of wingflap.....

Shaking the last few droplets off!

Yeah, always go back!

Thursday 30 May 2013

Cairngorm - Ptarmigan Country!

A gentle walk up Cairngorm today with one particular target species - Ptarmigan. Despite a good forecast for the day, it was a damp cool walk from the car park - most of it in drizzle!

It didn't look good at the ski station either, with cloud closing in!

I sheltered for about 30 mins and then, unbelievably, the cloud cleared :-)  I was off to the summit.....

I'd seen and heard Ptarmigan on the walk up - below as well as above the ski station. Always distant and sometimes in flight!

Returning from the summit by a different path, it wasn't long before I was in Ptarmigan land!! A male was flying around trying to fend off another one - as I sat eating my lunch, he opted to join me!

Amazing stuff as he simply ran around the general area nearby!

He wasn't alone either as a female strode into view. Completely untroubled by my presence!

Provided I sat still, the two were just content to  carry on feeding.....

The highlight was the arrival of another male and an ensuing chase by the 'local' male took him, calling over a nearby snow patch...... Moments don't come better than this!

I moved on with job done. Here's some of the final farewells.....

The female becoming even more curious!

Plus the male showing off nicely......

Before taking to a favourite perch :-)

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Scotland Day 5 - Raptor finale

A nice end to the day with a post dinner Owl watch.  Richard Pegler had been checking a nearby site over the previous evenings and we were pretty confident for Shorties but first bird of note was a fly through male Hen Harrier. (Given the distance - bigger images than usual!!)

The Short-eared Owl took us by surprise as it appeared from the opposite side of the road!

It didn't stay long either - another fly through!

The sun nearly peeked out briefly!

Not a bad end to the day :-)

Scotland Day 5 - Grouse and Goldie

Lochindorb can be relied upon for fantastic Red Grouse opportunities, Golden Plover aren't always as good as this!

more to come.......

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Scotland Day 4 - Osprey spectacular

I've resisted the temptation to take the plunge with an 'Osprey' hide session but came away with some memorable images as three Ospreys took the plunge!


Up she comes....

Then away!

My favourite image - reflection on take off!

Given the weather for the coming week, a return will have to wait for blues skies and another visit?