Easter Parade

Easter Parade #1 Easter is approaching and the shops are full of eggs and endearingly fluffy yellow chicks. Of course, all young animals have that sort of baby creature appeal, but it’s especially so for young birds. I mean, how could anyone resist this cute little shag … ?   Easter Parade #2 … another […]

Not a sparrow

I don’t know how many times I have seen a dunnock and thought it was a sparrow. They do look quite like sparrows – hence their common name, the hedge sparrow. But they are not sparrows. and not even close relatives. They are accentors, probably closer to thrushes and warblers than sparrows. It was only […]

Blackbirds are not all black

That’s just the adult males. Females are speckled and brown, and juveniles are reddish brown. This young blackbird, which has been hanging around the West End for the last few days, is very tame … When I say very tame, I mean that it lets you get really close … And when I say close, […]

The other auk

I’ve previously posted photos of the three commonest auks in our waters – puffins, razorbills and guillemots. There is another – the black guillemot. This one was spotted sitting on a rock in Orkney. Or should that be Auk-ney? According to the RSPB, the numbers of breeding pairs of auks in UK waters are: 950,000 […]

Tern, Tern, Tern

Terns are so agile and elegant in the air, twisting and turning (pun inevitable but I’m not proud of it). The best photos are probably also the ones that are most difficult – when they fly around you and even attack you because you are close to their nesting ground. On the Isle of May, […]

Swallows in the mud

The swallows (and house martins) are back, and they are busy. Nest building for both has a ready source of raw material in the harbour. Mud. The swallows reinforce their cup-like nests with straw, which they bring to the harbour and then liberally coat in mud … (see next post for house martin photos)  

The noisy whitethroat …

I’ve seen this bird a few times recently. I’m not sure if it has become more common, or whether I am noticing them more – or if I’m just getting more photographs that are good enough to identify them. I think it is probably the first, because they do draw attention to themselves, perched in bushes […]

Newtonmore garden

There’s a place in Newtonmore where visitors are spoilt, and that includes the feathered ones being treated to lashings of nuts, fat balls and seeds. This weekend, I tried to catch them in flight (see http://davesmith.org.uk/imagenic/bird/birds-in-flight/) but it’s not only chaffinches that drop in – here’s a short slideshow I prepared after an earlier garden photoshoot, which includes […]

Alca torda

Having featured puffins and guillemots, it would be churlish not to complete the trio of auks that nest on the Isle of May. So here’s a  razorbill … (insert suitable anthropomorphic adjective to describe its expression)

A is for auk

First post. The auks are a family of “medium-sized seabirds with long, barrel-shaped bodies, short tails, very small wings and short legs set far back on the body. Most can hardly walk, but stand upright on cliff ledges where they come to breed each spring.” So says the RSPB, They are also really cute. I’ll […]