Blog – 2024

Birding Ecosse Blogspot

Welcome to the Birding Ecosse blog, if it is your first visit then thank you very much for dropping in!

This blog will follow all my trips and tours, so if you have been out with me recently the chances are very high you will make an appearance! Most of the pictures on the blog are my own, however if I do use third party pictures I will have obtained their permission and will give them full credit.

It is designed to be a light hearted read to show how and where Birding Ecosse operates, so if you are thinking of booking a tour check out this Blog and my Blog Archives and then read through the Testimonials and you should get a flavour of what to expect! Great Birds, Great Scenery with Coffee and biscuits thrown in!  Please note: All  birds will have been viewed in a safe and environmentally accepted way, that is to say by using public access at all times or by the use of hides specifically erected for the observation of this species and by keeping at a safe distance and viewing through telescopes. Remember you can keep in touch via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dslaterbirdingecosse 

So sit back and enjoy the read, any feedback is appreciated.

Keep safe and keep Birding

Dave

April 2024 Catch up

Greeting from the far North, welcome to the April 2024 Catch up.

Spring is in the air although we still have strong winds bring the temperature down to sub zero a lot of the time, the first summer migrants have started to trickle in, the Ospreys were back mega early, something like 11 days earlier than last years, Sand Martins are flitting across the local lochs and Sandwich Terns are ” kreearrr kreearrring” along the coastline, they must be wondering why they made the effort!

Tours have been absolutely max chat with absolutely fantastic victims taking part, birds have been outstanding as well with the likes of Green Winged Teal, White Billed Divers, Osprey, Crested Tits, summer plumaged Black Tailed Godwits, Golden Plover, Slavonian Grebes, 4 White Tailed Eagles tussling with each other and practicing food drop and regular views of Crossbills, it has been a great time to be in the Highlands!

 

Oystercatcher
 Sandwich Tern
Sandwich Tern
Sandwich Tern
Sandwich Tern
Long Tailed Duck
Long Tailed Duck
Osprey
Glaucous Gull
Purple Sandpiper
Snow Bunting

March 2024 – So far!

Well spring you would think had indeed sprung, however as I type this on a Sunny Sunday afternoon I have just hear a “ping” on my phone and was delighted to read about a heavy fall of snow due with us Tomorrow evening in Tuesday morning, luckily I don’t have any trips out until Friday.

The rich spell of birds and birding continues, I’m now sitting at 134 for my 200 year and I am eagerly awaiting the arrival in the summer migrants, Sand Martin, Chiffchaff and Osprey are all being reported back in the area so here is hoping for next weekend.

On the birding front we were graced with a Kingfisher on our local river, usually these birds are chased relentlessly, however this bird took up residence in a little pond and showed extremely well, and on the occasions I was there or passing it looked like everyone was putting the birds needs first and not flushing it. A really good sign.

A sure sign that spring is on the way is when you see the Goldeye displaying, sitting a local hide we got some really beautiful views of the male:

After a period of strong gales and heavy rain it was lovely to feel the warmth of the sun on our faces, and we were not the only ones, this Corn Bunting was giving it “laldie” from wires and fence posts.  A species that seems to be making a resurgence up here at the moment with one flock reportedly numbering 32!

 

February 2024 – So far……..

We are having a real purple patch for sightings up here in Highlands and the moment, and the best way to demonstrate this is by showing some pictures!

One of the top birds in the area have been the Waxwings, after a slow start to the season a second influx of birds early on in February brought some fantastic photo opportunities.

A real draw to the area is the charismatic wee Crested Tit, usually the winter season is the prime time for this little belter, however all the usual locations have been very quiet, never fear Birding Ecosse have a very reliable place, regular birds and great photo ops!

 

 

Another speciality in the area is a lovely male Smew, found be little old me way back in December, it is now almost now in full plumage, but always remains quite a distance from the hide, these are the best I could get.

The recent bad weather continued until nearly mid month, this however did bring the beautiful Long Tailed Ducks and Common Eiders into the local harbours, and kept them there.

January 2024 – Round-up

So what will January 2024 be remembered for, the great victims that took part in our trips and tours?  well yes that goes without saying. The great birds birds that we saw? Yes definitely. How about the beautiful locations we visited? Yes of course that is a given. But what will January really be remembered for, the awful weather that’s what! -15 degrees, absolutely treacherous black ice, snow, rain and gales, just horrible, but it turn up some stunning birds!

Long tailed Duck
The Long Tailed Ducks at a local harbour were sensational, they were sheltering from recent gales and rough seas and giving a fantastic photo opportunity at the same time.
Male Eider.
Great Grey Shrike
The long staying Great Grey Shrike just outside Tomintoul was a great crowd puller, although sometimes elusive it usually turned up after we had had our first coffee 🙂
Usually an easy (ish) bird to connect with Crested Tit
Crested Tits have been fickle this winter so we were lucky to connect with this little beauty.
January 01 and 02 2024
1 01/01/2024 Robin 51 01/01/2024 Fieldfare
2 01/01/2024 Coal Tit 52 01/01/2024 Mute Swan
3 01/01/2024 Blackbird 53 01/01/2024 Wigeon
4 01/01/2024 Blue Tit 54 01/01/2024 Tufted Duck
5 01/01/2024 Great Tit 55 01/01/2024 Little Grebe
6 01/01/2024 Chaffinch 56 01/01/2024 Goldeneye
7 01/01/2024 Long Tailed Tit 57 01/01/2024 Grey Heron
8 01/01/2024 Dunnock 58 01/01/2024 Goosander
9 01/01/2024 Siskin 59 01/01/2024 Coot
10 01/01/2024 House Sparrow 60 01/01/2024 Moorhen
11 01/01/2024 Tree Sparrow 61 01/01/2024 Crested Tit
12 01/01/2024 Great Spotted Woodpecker 62 01/01/2024 Dunlin
13 01/01/2024 Woodpigeon 63 01/01/2024 Mallard
14 01/01/2024 Jackdaw 64 01/01/2024 Bar Tailed Godwit
15 01/01/2024 Greenfinch 65 01/01/2024 Teal
16 01/01/2024 Buzzard 66 01/01/2024 Pied Wagtail
17 01/01/2024 Pheasant 67 01/01/2024 Whooper Swan
18 01/01/2024 Linnet 68 01/01/2024 Slavonian Grebe
19 01/01/2024 Goldfinch 69 01/01/2024 Velvet Scoter
20 01/01/2024 Herring Gull 70 01/01/2024 Shelduck
21 01/01/2024 Mistle Thrush 71 01/01/2024 Pintail
22 01/01/2024 Feral Pigeon 72 01/01/2024 Woodcock
23 01/01/2024 Common Gull 73 02/01/2024 Red Kite
24 01/01/2024 Black Headed Gull 74 02/01/2024 Stock Dove
25 01/01/2024 Starling 75 02/01/2024 Greenshank
26 01/01/2024 Redwing 76 02/01/2024 Scaup
27 01/01/2024 Magpie 77 02/01/2024 Lapwing
28 01/01/2024 Rook
29 01/01/2024 Pink Footed Goose
30 01/01/2024 Great Black Backed Gull
31 01/01/2024 Oystercatcher
32 01/01/2024 Long Tailed Duck
33 01/01/2024 Common Eider
34 01/01/2024 Cormorant
35 01/01/2024 Shag
36 01/01/2024 Great Northern Diver
37 01/01/2024 Purple Sandpiper
38 01/01/2024 Sanderling
39 01/01/2024 Turnstone
40 01/01/2024 Rock Pipit
41 01/01/2024 Redshank
42 01/01/2024 Common Scoter
43 01/01/2024 Razorbill
44 01/01/2024 Curlew
45 01/01/2024 Ringed Plover
46 01/01/2024 Red Breasted Merganser
47 01/01/2024 Kestrel
48 01/01/2024 Reed Bunting
49 01/01/2024 Yellowhammer
50 01/01/2024 Corn Bunting