Thursday, 1 December 2016

Christmas Cards from Nairn

A selection of Greetings Cards suitable for Christmas, or any occasion, with photos of waxwings from the recent influx to our gardens, or Robins by the River Nairn. They all come with an optional greeting on the front page: 'Happy Christmas from Nairn'. The back page gives details of the bird and where the photograph was taken. The inside of the card has been left blank for your own message. They can be purchased via my Facebook page www.facebook.com/thenairnbirder/ (just leave a comment against the selected card or message me via Messenger) or via a special website at www.seamusmcardle.co.uk or via a message left on this blog.  The cost is £2.50 each, or five for £10, plus p&p.

These cards and many more are available from The Woolshop on the Brae and Crafty Wee Birdie, the craft shop on the Brae, as well as a small selection at Strachan's. Here are a few examples.






Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Garden Favourites

The waxwings seemed to have quietened down - but as I write over 250 fly into the tree opposite the house!  Anyway, the garden is still alive with the regulars.  In fact there seems top be a lot more activity formn the blue tits, as they come in in small flocks of p to six at a time.  Here's a few pics.


A blue tit on a tree in the back garden on Sunday.


And here is a waxwing from a few days ago, along with a few of the flocks in flight on a sunny day.





Monday, 21 November 2016

Invasion of Waxwings

And they still come!  Circa 300 flitting around the house this afternoon.  Lots recorded all over Nairn and Moray.  Waxwing invasions like these normally follow from a lack of food in Scandanavia, coupled with a favourable wind direction toward the Moray Firth.  Here's a few photos, in form of greeting cards - message me if you want to buy some..









Friday, 18 November 2016

Waxwing Part Two

If you're lucky (or patient) enough you might spot the waxwing eating their lunch.  This one was photographed a couple of years ago in a Rowan tree in the Dunbar Golf Course carpark on a very dull day.  This photo is also available as a Christmas Card from Nairn.  The back of the card includes a description of the bird and details of where the photo was taken.  Contact me in the comments section below for availability, or via my website at www.seamusmcardle.co.uk






Tuesday, 15 November 2016

A regular winter visitor, Part One: Waxwings

A quick 60 minute drive around the country roads south of Nairn and Auldearn stopping at certain points to spot the birds uncovered three of the main winter visitors that grace our fields and gardens.

The first pleasant surprise was a flock of Waxwings sitting atop the large tree at the entrance to the hospital carpark, bordering Station Park football ground.  Even under difficult light conditions, the camera managed to highlight the wonderful markings on the birds.


The golden crest and the bright yellow tip to the tail and wings are a real give away.  When it is a dull day these birds can appear bland and dull, and you could assume they are a flock of starlings in the tree.  Look a wee bit closer and you'll see they are a bit bigger and fly out from the tree and back to the same branch.  Once spotted, never forgotten!

They visit us from Scandinavia when the wind is in the right direction, coupled with a shortage of food in their native Scandinavia.  They travel in large flocks and can be seen in car parks and anywhere berries are found on trees.

Part Two: Fieldfare, to follow in a few days.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Wintering Blackcaps


 A dull, wet, cold, miserable day - lit up by this little visitor: a blackcap flitting around the dogwood in our garden. It appears that these birds have changed their wintering habits: normally, blackcaps head south for the winter, some northern ones staying in southern parts of the UK. But recent records show that summer birds in Germany are heading north and west to the UK to winter! A sign of the global warming I suspect.

Monday, 26 September 2016

An Afternoon at Burghead

A few photos from my afternoon at Burghead yesterday. The birds in the first photo are Eider Ducks; all the other birds are cormorants. Look how prehistoric the last one looks!
Eider Ducks

Cormorant

Cormorant

Prehistoric Cormorant!


Cormorants


Thursday, 15 September 2016

An afternoon at Lossiemouth Estuary

A few pics from an afternoon at Lossie.  They show what a bird has to go through to hold on to its food.  This goosander was being harassed by gulls a crows as it desperately tried to swallow a fish that was not designed to go down a ducks neck!  It managed to swallow it eventually.

I was taught a big lesson photographing this one.  I had just taken a few landscape shots along the estuary and had set a very slow shutter speed to increase the depth of field - and then the goosander flew in to range.  So I quickly swapped lenses and started taking photos of it struggling with the gulls - but I didn't change the shutter speed!  There I was thinking I had lots of great action shots - but all I got was blur!  I have posted one of the pics at the end, as it shows the mayhem that was going on in the water.  I actually quite like the effect of the blur - so maybe I should say I did it deliberately!

Gull fighting with goosander for food






Goosander walks away victorious

And here's the blurred one.  The goosander's under water!

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Siskins on the Isle of Mull

We're just back from a week on Mull and identified nearly 70 different species of birds, from golden eagles and white-tailed sea eagles to siskins and oyster cattcher chicks.  We were amased at the great aerobatic displays from the siskins as you can see from the photos below.  They flew upside down and on top of each other, and were fighting for space on the seed feeder that was hanging in the tree in the forrest.













Sunday, 5 June 2016

A day out at Lossie - Skylarks (and Red Arrows and Typhoons!)

We left sunny Nairn behind and ended up at cloudy and dull Lossie.  But the entertainment was anything but dull!  This skylark was singing its heart out as it protected its nest near the airfield as the Red Arrows and a Typhoon dispalyed overhead.  Spectacular!