Monday, 24 June 2013

Crow Caught in the Act!

Caught this crow on the feeders yesterday - I had wondered what had been throwing them on the floor, especially as I haven't seen a squirrel here for a few years!

Isle of May

I recently enjoyed a fantastic trip to the Isle of May NNR.  We couldn't have picked a better day, with the sun coming out as the boat, the May Princess, neared the harbour after a not too choppy crossing from Anstruther, Fife.

During the sailing we were blessed with fantastic views of Gannets, some flew right alongside the boat, others were bobbing about in the Forth collecting seaweed.

Gannet with seaweed in it's beak heading back to Bass Rock
Puffins became more numerous as we neared the island, as well as other sea birds that nested on there.

When arriving on the island we had to run the Arctic Tern gauntlet!  The birds had chosen to nest either side of the walkway so the dive bombing terns had to be encountered to and from the boat.  Nothing like a peck in the head - so advise wearing a hat!

Arctic Tern - waiting to dive bomb us on arrival!
Puffins were out in force, I was not disappointed!  I had hoped to see one or two, but instead there were several thousand of the comical little birds all over the island!  A lovely sight.

Puffins galore!

Razorbills, Fulmars, Kittiwakes and Guillemots also adorned the cliff face.

A Razorbill enjoying the warm sunshine
There were a lot of Lesser Black-Backed and Great Black-Backed Gulls around, along with Eider ducks.

Lesser Black-Backed Gull
Lesser Black-Backed Gull feeding its chicks
Great Black-Backed Gull with an unfortunate Puffin
Male Eider
After spending about 2.5 hours on the island, we made our way back through the divebombing Terns and onto the May Princess, and enjoyed a cruise around the rest of the island before heading back to Anstruther.  We saw plenty of Grey Seals and the vast Guillemot colonies, appearing to be perched very precariously in places!

May Princess in the harbour
Leaving the Isle of May

A Shag, with a leg ring, perched on the cliff face
Looking back to the island as we head back to Anstruther

 An amazing trip, lots of wildlife, and well worth doing.  I hope to return again in the future.

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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Dumfries and Galloway

9 June

Did a few walks in Dumfries and Galloway on a lovely warm summer's day (for a change!).

Saw a few new birds, a Black Guillemot, swimming off the coast, bright red legs clearly visible although not showing up so well in the photo.
Black guillemot

Later in the day we were doing a cliff walk and suddenly there was a loud swoosh sound.  My other half turned to me and said "What the **** was that?!" !  Then we saw it, a Peregrine Falcon, and then another.  It looked like a male and female.  They eventually flew back past us, and we will never forget the noise from the dive, such speed.
During the day I also saw a Whitethroat, Great Spotted Woodpecker and the usual cliff dwellers: guillemot, razorbill, fulmar and cormorants.