Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Some flowers from Glen Clova

A few of the flowers in Glen Clova. The violas were growing wild everywhere and the cotton grass was common and had to have a photo of a Scottish thistle. Not quite sure what the other flowers are, I think the lilac colour plant is wild thyme,but would love to know!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Five days in the Glens of Angus

Having decided to celebrate our first wedding anniversary by having a few days away, we decided to go to the place of our engagement, Glen Prosen in the Glens of Angus. We went from the 18th June until the 22nd June, despite the risk of midges! We had a fantastic time, spending most of our time in Glens Prosen, Clova and Doll and didn`t get bitten once!

Corrie Fee in Glen Doll

Glen Doll

Glen Clova

Glen Prosen

We stayed on an estate called Balnaboth in Glen Prosen, a 6,000 acre estate that was full of all sorts of flora and fauna. There was a pair of Swallows nesting in the old garage next to our cottage and without really trying we saw lots of birds and other wildlife, the wild flowers were also beautiful. On the estate itself were; at least two pairs of Common Redstarts (one pair was seen feeding recently fledged young), Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, Curlews and Oystercatchers by the score, Siskins, Spotted Flycatchers (a lot easier to find here than in Peterborough), soaring Common Buzzards, Red and Roe Deer and Red Squirrels.

Male Common Redstart (digiscoped with Lumix FS15 and Kowa TSN-883 x30)

Adult Curlew (digiscoped with Lumix FS15 and Kowa TSN-883 x30)

Curlew chick (digiscoped with Lumix FS15 and Kowa TSN-883 x30)

Greater Spotted Woodpecker young in nest (digiscoped with Lumix FS15 and Kowa TSN-883 x30)

Oystercatcher adult and juvenile (digiscoped with Lumix FS15 and Kowa TSN-883 x30)

Oystercatchers at sunset (taken by Lisa in her `artistic` moment using Lumix FS15)

Grey Wagtail juvenile (digiscoped with Lumix FS15 and Kowa TSN-883 x30)

Red Squirrel

Red deer stag (digiscoped with Lumix FS15 and Kowa TSN-883 x30)

Male Siskin (digiscoped with Lumix FS15 and Kowa TSN-883 x30)

Spotted Flycatcher (digiscoped with Lumix FS15 and Kowa TSN-883 x30)

We had a lovely river passing by our cottage, looking ideal for a Dipper, but despite searching for hours, we had no luck! One day we went into Kirriemuir to look around the birthplace of James Barrie and whilst sitting in the park enjoying some fresh raspberries a Dipper flew along a small stream (no wider than 2 feet)that was right in front of us! We walked up-stream, following the path of the Dipper and we eventually saw a youngster begging for food. Despite numerous attempts however I couldn`t get a decent picture of the adult, it was just too quick for me!

Dipper juvenile (digiscoped with Lumix FS15 and Kowa TSN-883 x30)

On the Monday we went to Glen Clova and Glen Doll, where there is a nature reserve in Corrie Fee that is famous for its soaring Golden Eagles and flora. We walked the glen and climbed the corrie seeing plenty of flora and eventually Lisa spotted two Peregrine Falcons and then she saw a large bird of prey soaring over the lip of the corrie, it was a Golden Eagle! Didn`t get great views, but the bird was majestic, even Lisa got excited!

A selection of orchids seen in Glens Clova and Doll and Corrie Fee

One of the two Peregrine Falcons on Corrie Fee (digiscoped with Lumix FS15 and Kowa TSN-883 x30)

We were returning to the ranger centre in Glen Clova when we met a man walking his dog. He had bins around his neck and we stopped to chat. We mentioned that we had seen the Peregrines and a glimpse of a Golden Eagle and then he asked if we would like to know where the eagles were nesting, so of course we said yes! He described the route and the site and so the following day we got on our bikes and made our way there. We were treated to views of both male and female Golden Eagles and also, we saw the female on the nest and even a fluffy chick!

Golden Eagle on nest with chick (digiscoped with Lumix FS15 and Kowa TSN-883 x30)
I know it`s a rubbish photo, but it was taken at some distance, but you can make out the adult and the white `blob` is the chick,honest!

We had a really enjoyable time, seeing lots of birds and wildlife that were in their `proper` surroundings.

The highlight for me (and for Lisa if she would admit it!) was the Golden Eagles soaring majestically over Glen Clova and being mobbed by a Merlin and then on the nest, brilliant!

The number of species wasn`t mind boggling, but we did see 8 species of birds of prey, including the eagle, Merlin,Peregrine Falcon,Osprey and Marsh Harrier and it was good to see large numbers of Red Squirrels.

List of species of birds seen;

Barn Swallow
House Martin
Sand Martin
Common Buzzard
Golden Eagle
Peregrine Falcon
Marsh Harrier
Common Redstart
Willow Warbler
Greater Spotted Woodpecker
Green Woodpecker
Grey Wagtail
Pied Wagtail
Spotted Flycatcher
House Sparrow
Meadow Pipit
Grey Heron
Mute Swan
Black Headed Gull
Herring Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Greater Black-backed Gull
Common Gull
Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Tufted Duck
Red Legged Partridge
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Coal Tit
Long-tailed Tit
Song Thrush
Mistle Thrush

I can thoroughly recommend a visit the Angus Glens, it may not be as fashionable as the West coast of Scotland, but has a good range of flora and fauna. The coast itself was not visited, but also holds good amounts of breeding seabirds.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Turtle Dove

Been waiting a while to get a photo of a Turtle Dove. This one is taken on my tea break at work. A pair of Turtle Doves have bred at Fletland Mill in Baston for the past 4 years, this is one of the pair this year.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Peek-a-boo 2!

This Wren has been steadily building a nest in one of our other nest boxes in the garden. So far there has been no sign of a female taking up residence, but who knows?!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Little Gulls at Baston/Langtoft pits

On Saturday 5th June I received a call at approx 8.45pm from Mike Weedon to say that he had got up to 5 Little Gulls at Baston/Langtoft pits. I left at once as I `needed` this bird for my PBC year list. Ten minutes later he called me again to say that he could no longer see any, but they were probably still about. I took my chances and arrived at the site to see lots of Black-headed Gulls, but not a lot else. I scanned with my `scope and there were 2 first summer Little Gulls flying with a few Black-heads. Hurrah!
Number 165 for my PBC list.

Turnstone at Maxey GP

For some reason my previous posting got deleted, probably pressed the wrong button. Anyway, here I go again.

This was the second `good` wader found at the site in two days, the other being a Wood Sandpiper, bringing my PBC total to 164 for the year.