Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Brent Geese on the Footie Pitch (and some Bar Tailed Godwit)

Yet another beautiful day in Nairn today, so I went down to the golf course to see what was on the beach.  First sighting was of this pair of Bar Tailed Godwits feeding with Oyster Catchers.
The Godwits are the paler birds


Then over to the Links to look for the Brent geese that I've been told have been feeding on the cricket pitch.  Well I was too late for that as a dog had just chased them off, but I saw them on the footie pitch instead.  It's quite a new venture for them (I think).  Normally they feed off the eel grasses on the beach.  But a friend tells me tat the latest sand movements have covered these grasses, and now they look to have found a suitable replacement!

I sat for two (getting colder) hours waiting for them to fly - but had to settle for the Oyster Catchers flying over their heads instead.





Sunday, 15 January 2017

Little Grebe


This little beauty is still showing well on the river just around the Merryton (Sewage) Bridge. It's been around for a good six weeks (or more) now. It's the one that keeps diving just as you're trying to focus on it, and then pops back up miles away!






Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Little Grebe on the river

Freinds have told me to look out for the little grebe around the A96 bridge - and sure enough, there it was giving some good views as it kept diving for food.  It's a very small diving duck, with beautiful plumage in the breeding season.  It seems to have been around for quite a while, so very likely to see it again.  As ever, a robin popped out to say hello as I was wandering down the path!





Sunday, 18 December 2016

Robin

Whilst it's always good to see the waxwings, redwing and fieldfare in the garden at this time of year eating all the berries, it's alway  reassuring when the robin pops around for a snack!


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.