Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Maple Lodge and Woodoaks farm

Last week visited the lodge with a friend of note a jay was on the feeder at the rotunda but still
overgrown no chance of any migrants ie waders would be visible here.
Moving on to the Teal and Long Hedge hide it was nice to see Great crested grebes with a juvenile.
although a photographer was telling us to be quiet as he was trying to photograph kingfishers he then
proceeded to talk of maple lodge. I have forgotten more than he knew.
Today a phone call from Paul Lewis sent me trotting to Woodoaks where a nice male Redstart performed admirably along with Whitethroat and Red Kites.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Wettest Winter on Record

On the Usk Fly fishing with Chris and Jim Devoy

Jim arrived at the Gliffaes as did Chris first up Chris had some casting lessons on the lawn ,before we
set off for the Llandetty beat.
Jim and I then Chris followed us along the lanes where we got our waders on  and
walked across the field to the River Usk.
We struggled again ,Chris fished till lunch time  I perservered in the afternoon and
managed a small brownie but at least I didn't blank.

An evening meal at the Gliffaes with the new outlaws was a lovely end to the day.

The following day  I walked down to the river where I saw Kingfisher,Dipper and Merganser
a nice end to a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

All action week continues

Arrived home from Shetland Sat night ,up Sunday morning off to watch Arsenal play Man City in the
charity shield,well City didn't turn up and its 3-0 to Arsenal.
So whose a happy bunny now and on Friday I'm off to Wales for the weekend with Carol
and the mother in law. We cross the Toll bridge and I have seen Buzzard and Red Kite.
We stop at the Three Salmons hotel in Usk for lunch.
Chatting to the Spanish waiter he directs me to Sweets Fishing Tackle shop where I buy some
hand tyed flys by the lady proprietor,we discuss my fishing with Jimmy Devoy for the next day.
We arrive at the Gliffaes hotel,where buzzard,raven and house martin are overhead.

A lazy afternoon crept up on to us as tea was served on the terrace,the staff are exceptional

Cullivoe birding

Well overnight rain had produced a cloudy windy morning.After tea and toast twenty golden plover showed in flight from the community centre window.
Kevin and I bid the others farewell having a leisurely morning as I worked on photoshop.
Around 1300 hrs Kevin went filleting on the quay at Cullivoe while I went in search of Otters,
everything except obliged a pair of Grey seals put in an appearance.
The Shoreline produced Wheatears,Meadow pipits and Starlings in small numbers.
I don't see many juvenile Wheatears so it threw me for a minute.Gannets plundered the Voe
between Yell and  Unst as I walked the shoreline,the peace was explosive just the cry of the birds and
the wind blowing the bog cotton.
Around 1500 HRS Kevin followed me up the hill to our accommodation where we had a spot of tea
Later we all had dinner it was Geoff the Kiwi's birthday and a pleasant last supper followed..

Fulmar in flight following our boat for scraps.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

fishing for cod ,Muckle Flugga and the sea birds from the sea

0700hrs a light breakfast,preparing for fishing trip out of Cullivoe.
We sailed out of Cullivoe around 0930hrs on Oberon 2 with John Keggy our skipper.
It was around twenty minutes out we were tackling up and raring to go.

It was not long before we were into the Cod and they are big here.
John was soon in to a fish and eventually even I got one around 25lb at least.
Now off Hermaness we were close to the Gannet colony thanks to our skipper I
managed some good shots here.
Now under Muckleflugga  lighthouse the views were awesome from below.
It's not easy hauling up these fish and the boys worked hard for their catch on the return
they were busy gutting while I photographed our avian masters following the boat.
In particular the Fulmars were incredible as were the gannets and skuas.
Finally we returned  to Cullivoe around 1800hrs  before cooking a cod curry with
Geoff Ansell our Kiwi chef for the week and a good bloke to be with.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Unst Muckle Flugga and more birds

At  the cliffs we walked away from the light house and followed the coast looking for sea birds.
Around 25,000 Gannets nest here on Hermanness.
Incredible views of breeding Gannets and Fulmars as Jim and I walked along the cliffs.
The Fulmars are tubenoses a species of petrel who emit liquid through their upper bill
in defence of nest or territory.
Obviously birds in flight were at a premium too ,I  particularly liked the juv Gannets.
Reluctantly leaving we made our way to Haroldwick and Brookpoint where I photographed the
Viking boat and Longhouse.
On a nearby pool a Pectoral sandpiper obliged this American vagrant was a nice surprise.
On to Norwick the most northerly village in the British isles we scanned beach noting Arctic terns etc
Stopped at the café met Chris Cash before taking the ferry back to Yell.

5th of August Unst

got up 0600 hrs cup of rosy with the gang,followed by breakfast.The lads are going for Hake and Haddock today.I was birding with Jim today a native of Cullivoe,we set off for Gutcher and the ferry to Unst around 0820hrs.
At the ferry we met a twitcher from Beds and we were soon viewing distant Puffin and Black Guillemot.
We arrived at Belmount and was soon viewing Redshank in sum plum at Uyea Sound.
We drove north on the A968 passed Baltasound and on to Loch of Cliff where a number of Bonxies were bathing.

Also of note here were two Red throated divers,then it was on to Hermaness NNR.
Here a long walk up over the moor to the cliffs started in earnest.
After a while we got close to some Great Skuas sitting on the moor while Skylarks were rising and singing.
Moving onwards and upwards meadow and rock pipits obliged after 30 mins or so we reached the ridge.Hang on for the next instalment Hermaness and its Gannets.

Monday, 11 August 2014

4th of August Cullivoe Yell Shetland

Early morning passed the red throated divers,back for breakfast  around 1000hrs left  the community centre  and waked down to the  harbour.
Walking along the shore I found some Eiders and the sub species of Shetland Wren.
The wren shot is not that good but it was a bit distant and it was moving along the breakwater stones.

I followed the shore line for a while along the bay noting signs of Otters but instead found two
Arctic Skuas one dark phase and one light.

Finally walking back chasing Wheatears I saw a Great skua feeding on the beach.

birding in Shetland

Been off the radar for a while work and other things,a weeks fishing in Shetland with my cousin et al
was something different and I got some good birding in.
A long trip by road and a stop near Penrith at the services then Dalgetty bay near Edinburgh next stop Aberdeen and the overnight ferry to Lerwick. Drove to Toft for the ferry to Yell on arrival in Yell
met  Logan Johnson and Alan, Logan and I went for some  birding we saw Red throated diver with young then moving on to Sands of Breckon where Arctic tern,Sanderling and Great Northern divers ended our day.