Saturday 31 October 2015

Hare - Hoodie skirmish

Back at work so despite a trip to Hoy on Wednesday when there were plenty of birds moving very limited time with the daylight to go birding.

Today there were quite a few thrushes about but the most interesting thing was this interaction between a Hoodie and adult Brown Hare. The hare looked well but I suspect that the Hoodie thought it was a potential meal.

Interesting looking buzzard today, Common Buzzard tho. (A Rough-leg really would not go amiss as I've never found one.)

Monday 26 October 2015


Other than Sedge Warbler Yellow-browed has been the most common warbler on the Old Nisthouse patch with three. A Chiffchaff did finally join the list with this interesting bird. The call was slightly odd, but not tristis and whilst it was quite a brown looking thing to my eye it did not have the right look.

Nice seawatching with a good few Great Northern's passing Northside.

...actually the day after this big blow which produced a few small skuas. After Northside I went on The Brough and had a single distant Sooty.

Still a few of these about.

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Days of still...end

The wind got up today and the cloud came and it rained, that's more like it, more as it should be otherwise our reputation will be damaged. I didn't really intend to go birding much but ended up going to Howaback mid morning, having been awoken by nearby fusillades and incessant Greylag calls, yes the "hunters" were in the fields below the house with their toy geese and their camouflage.

Anyway down to Howaback and a quick scan of the loch found the Whooper family on the far shore, as I was watching a familiar call came to ear and a quick investigate produced a Yellow-browed Warbler in the Water Treatment site willows. Two more groups of Whoopers were found and a couple of Stonechats were on the fence lines.

Back to the house for the heating engineer, as the central heating had conked out, quickly fixed but a consult on our leaking mains water source led to a bit of serious hole and trench digging. The thing has been leaking for a while and the back lawn is becoming a quagmire to be negotiated with every trip to the shed or washing line. The sun shone briefly and the sycamore next to my now growing hole echoed with a loud and much repeated Yellow-browed call. Grabbing the bins I dived under the tree for some excellent yellow-green stripey views. (No pix tho.)

 From the garden pics

There were nice bird surprises the rest of the day too. A couple of Kestrels, a very late Bonxie over the garden, a super female Merlin by The Shunan and at dusk a Swallow hawking swiftly around the house.

Now the wind is really up, the rain horizontal from SSE, maybe a bit of promise for the morn.

Saturday 17 October 2015

Sunrise - sunsetting

The dangers of rural photography - it's ok I was safe indoors having a cuppa at the time...


Dawn of a good birding day with Sibe Chiff and Yellow-browed Warbler in the same bush at Barony Mill, 10 points in 10 seconds! (Patchwork Challenge reference.) There was a Little Stint on the beach too.

Dusk on the Saturday evening, so still, Loch of Harray.

Other pictures....

 Brick and Rosy Rustic

 Opilione, I'll get around to an ID shortly


I expect Stonechat to breed here again next year, wiped out after the 2010 -2011 winter they only began to reappear in Harray last autumn but are currently a more regular sight.

Sunday 4 October 2015

Early October

 Whoopers on the move over The Shunan

 and Pinkies over Palace

 Mepit numbers are reducing after the September peak

 The kitchen rocket continues to attract hovers, female Syrphus ribesii (other photos show the hind femur)

Female S.torvus/vitripennis (tricky to split)

But here's a deadly threat to the rocket, Pieris brassicae

Still good numbers of Eristalis pertinax, Helophilus pendulus about with the occasional E. arbustorum. No sign this year of any E.tenax.

The mothe trap has produced a few interesting and late beasts including this Seriocomya silentis

and some moths even...
 Acleris sparsana

Depressaria radiella

This wee dipteran is Pseudolyciella sp apparently, possibly pallidiventris, also in the moth trap.