Sunday, 24 June 2012

Slave to The Garden

Spent the whole day in the garden, even though there was a Little Swift in Merseyside, but if I don’t do it no one else will. I had a bit of interest with a fly over Hobby. But the main find was a dead Spotted Flycatcher which I raked out of the border from under a large Oak tree. I have only ever seen one life Spot Fly and technically it wasn’t in the garden. It looked to have only been dead a few days, but unfortunately it is in an area where I wouldn’t see it from the house. However, I am pretty miffed that I never saw it alive and makes me wonder how long it had been there.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Wednesday 19 June

Had my first visit in quite a while, pleasant enough walk but little in the way of birds. There was nothing apart from a couple of Song Thrush and a single Blackcap singing.

There were two pairs of Gadwall and it was nice to see that the injured male Teal was still around. There were a half a dozen Common Tern but no where near the numbers reported recently.

It will probably remain quite for the next six or so weeks before we start to get a trickle of migrants coming through. However, it is not looking good for waders with the edge really overgrown and the water level high.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Decorating, Work and Break Dancing Squirrels

I have had a hectic two weeks, undermanned at work and trying to decorate one of my bedrooms. This has left me with little time for birding. The poor weather had decimated the breeding birds in the garden with the Goldfinches and Red-legged Partridge deserting. The Crows that nest in the largest of my Pine Trees had there young blown out of the nest, they were all dead when I found them and could not have been more than a couple of days of fledging.

Driving down Castle Lane on Saturday a squirrel was spinning round on its back erratically I thought it must have took a glancing blow from a car, I slowed down and it was moving with jerking motions it was only when I got close that it put on a spurt of speed towards the verge. It would have been nice to think that it was practicing for Britain’s got Talent, but unfortunately, for the squirrel at least, it had been despatched by a Stoat that was dragging the much larger animal off to its lair!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Friday 8th June

Adult Arctic Tern with two possible 1st Summers (Tom Perrin). I have been knee deep in decorating since coming back from Scotland, but it is a quiet time of year anyway. Hopefully I will get over for an hour tomorrow – especially if it is raining!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Saturday 2nd June

Not much at Shustoke apparently, although the Black-necked Grebe was seen last Tuesday.

I have spent the last week with the lady wife climbing in Scotland but I did manage to get a bit of birding in whilst there.

Climbed seven Munro’s including the Ring of Steall in the Mamores, which was a hell of a day with four Munro’s and a lot of climbing plus the “Devil’s Ridge”.

Last Sunday I had a call from a Scottish friend of mine who knowing I was in Perth texted me with news of a Red-backed Shrike and Marsh Warbler in Angus. Joy and I decided to have a go for them as it was only just over 40 miles away. We were fortunate and got both birds.

I met up with Stuart on the Wednesday as the conditions were excellent. He has found some stunning birds in Angus including Collared Flycatcher, Eye-browed Thrush and Blyth’s Reed Warbler to name but a few. Wednesday looked good the wind had east in it but there was a steady drizzle most of the day which probably contributed to it being a wash out bird wise. Apart from a couple of Spotted Flycatchers the coast was poor. The highlight was a visit to a bay were access from the cliff was down a very steep path with the aid of rope, Stuart in full waterproofs stayed dry, but I got absolutely soaked to the skin. We then got out by following a gully out to the top of the cliff, what path there was muddy and wet and part of it had been washed away by a land slip, Stuart was very apologetic but I think he had a glint in his eye.

Forfar loch however, had a Red-crested Pochard and Little Stint. We also had moment of excitement with a distant hybrid resembling a Lesser Scaup but on closer examination it was a hybrid PochardxTufted. The

On Friday Joy and I were up at 5.30am drove to Kinlochleven and climbed Na Gruagaichean which was the last of the Mamore group we hadn’t climbed. It was a short day and we were back in Perth by 3.15pm and packed and on our way home at 5.30pm as we were driving down the M80 I was amazed to see a White Stork soaring above us. Unfortunately I couldn’t stop but excitedly I put the news out but found out later that it was probably an escape from the local Safari Park!

Hopefully now I will manage to get over the Shustoke a bit more often and there will be a few birds around.

Beinn Achaladair

Red-backed Shrike, Angus

Marsh Warbler, Angus

Sgurr a’ Mhaim, and the Devil’s Ridge

On top of Sgurr a’ Mhaim with Ben Nevis behind.