Sunday, 30 June 2013

Outer Hebrides Days 9 and 10

Well another great couple of days weather wise, blue skies and sunshine. A busy two days with many photo's again. Major sighting today was a Hawfinch real bonus my first sighting of one of these birds. The Hawfinch was located in the grounds of the Langass Lodge. The Lodge owner was not happy and instead of making birders/photographer welcome she removed the feeder so the bird moved on. A business opportunity lost she couldn't be bothered making tea's/coffee/sandwiches for birders/photographers, silly women.  She has a dislike of people in camoflage gear with big lenses so if a Hawfinch/rare bird turns up there again you might be more welcome if you turn up in your tweed jacket and Rupert bear trousers, lol. I have included some record shots of Hen Harrier so apologies for the quality, I did see a nest location  but as it is a schedule one bird I kept. my distance. Watching these birds doing food passes was amazing (to distant for pictures though) but did witness about five passes in all, superb. More Short Eared Owl were found and a record shot of a cuckoo for my efforts.  Well I shall get onto the pictures.

Not sure if this was a road kill or not, but it was soon taken away, so no food for  opportunistic birds/animals

Short Eared Owl on rock (makes a change from the posts!)

Short Eared Owl

Male Hen Harrier returning with prey

On this occasion the male Hen Harrier drops the food straight down to the nest, look closely below  to the right of the male and you can just make out the female

Short Eared Owl hunting


Dunlin? bathing


Young Artic Tern

Red Deer

Corn Bunting

Corn Bunting

Artic Tern


Red Deer at Sunrise (enhanced a bit in PS, there wasn't as much colour but I saw the  potential)


The closest I got to the cuckoo



Thursday, 27 June 2013

Outer Hebrides Day 8 mostly Corncrake

Well a good forecast and an early 5:30am start to try to capture Corncrake.  Weather forecast was spot on and the Corncrake did not disappoint either. Not a bird to show itself patience and keeping still and quiet is the key to photographing these and the short grass helps, a week later the grass was much longer. After a busy and productive morning photographing the Corncrake a shower and lunch break was in hand before heading to the beaches of Balranald RSPB reserve. Lots of Artic Terns here but the harsh light even at late pm didn't help me. Overall a successful day, which is always a welcome  boost after putting in long hours the rewards come eventually, lol.





Artic Tern

Awkward crop on this as there is a large black tyre right of the bird, Balranald in need of a clean up I think

Artic Tern

Corncrake "Road Runner" the birds often run between field areas over paths/open space

An evening drive for Owls, produced this pheasant in nice evening light (but no Owls)

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Outer Hebrides, days 5,6 and 7

Well doing the rounds of the normal area's, lots of waders and Eider about at Stinky bay, managed to fit in a Corncrake at Balranald and Short Eared Owl on the road to Sallas from Balranold.  Redshanks posing on the posts in addition to Short Eared Owls.  Managed to catch up with the Red Necked Phalerope at Loch Mor after my fifth visit there! Early morning photography is the most productive here, some nice early morning Corncrakes in the next post.

Top of the pile!

Afternoon Siesta

Corncrake calling

Short Eared Owl


Red-Necked Phalerope



Sunday, 23 June 2013

Outer Hebrides days 3 and 4

Well I have now set up base in North Uist, seems to be a better location centrally. Found some local spots, ie Stinky Bay and Committee road so getting my head around the area's locations. OS map is really useful, just a pain to open and shut the bloody thing lol, it's huge.  Spotted my first White Tailed Sea Eagle on Benbecula but couldn't get out the van in time for pictures. Light is still causing issues but getting up at 4:30am ish, having a siesta and shooting late evening helps get around this.

Otter at "Stinky Bay"

Loch Sgiopoirt

Another uneconomical to repair tractor

Pair of Eider

Artic Tern

Short Eared Owl

View from picnic area at Loch Druidibeag

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Outer Hebrides days 1 and 2

Well my first visit to the Outer Hebrides, I came off the ferry late on and booked into Kilbride campsite on South Uist.  A new site with stunning views and superb facilities and a nice public house in the form of the Polochar Inn great beer and food, old Inn with stacks of character and Wi-fi, lol.

So I spent my first couple of days exploring Loch's and bays on South Uist, if I am honest I didn't find much and unexpected but very welcome warm weather was producing some harsh light for photography.  I also found light direction on South Uist where ever I went was generally not in my favour. However you can only photograph in the conditions on the day so I just got on with it.  As in Mull earlier on the wildlife/bird front things seemed a little quieter than expected.  On exploring my first few bays I did come across a Pomarine Skua, I think see photo! The racket being made by Oyster Catchers in every bay I visited was intense, they were busy chasing gulls or anything that ventured into their space. After a couple of days exploring South Uist I headed to North Uist where I would base myself for the rest of my visit.

Whimbrel (I think) seems to have a large chest injury.


Oyster Catcher, like the light on this one

Rock Pipit

Pomarine Skua

Oyster Catcher, and blue skies in the Hebrides

First sighting of Corncrake at Balranold

Lots of displaying Lapwings about