Our Expeditions: August 2021
Good Riddance 2020

Week ending: 29th August: Doonfoot and Troon Harbour

After a week of warm, sunny weather it was disappointing to find that Sunday was remain dry and reasonably warm but would be overcast. And so it was. But, it was my challenge, as the photographer, to beat the gloom by finding the bright little moments that always occur as we watch nature. So after our customary breakfast, this time in Stewartfield Morrisons at the edge of East Kilbride (9.5/10 - excellent and only spoiled by the small plates), we sped down the M77/A77 to Doonfoot on the south side of Ayr.

 On alighting from the car I came across an unfamiliar tall flowering plant growing through long grass of the bank behind the car park. This turned out to be a variety of Soapwort, Rosea Plena. There were the usual Mute Swans on the River Doon, as well as Mallards.

Soapwort Rosea Plena Mute Swan
Female Mallard Drake Mallard in Eclipse plumage

To the west, Greenan Castle overlooked the sands and rocks that were exposed by the low tide. There were far fewer people on the shore than I expected. There weren’t many birds there either, but we did see a very large gathering of birds at the mouth of the river.

We walked over the sand beach along the estuary and settled on our stools to see what we could see. John picked out a few Lapwing on the opposite bank. They were getting chased occasionally by Crows and Jackdaws. Just why I’m no sure. A large Curlew few over us as it made for the inner shore. John located a few Wigeon dabbling in the shallows amid the mass of gulls.

Curlew Wigeon

We could also see many Redshanks foraging in the shallows, and at the edges of the shore there were a few Rooks. I spotted a flying Herring Gull trying to evade other gulls that were after the Crab it had just caught. Among the pursuers was a large Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Redshank Rook
Herring Gull Lesser Black-backed Gull

There was a wader by another Lesser Black-backed Gull that was standing about 50m away from where we were sitting. I suspected it was a Greenshank . We moved a bit closer, running the risk of putting up the assembled mass of birds. It was indeed a Greenshank. They feed on invertebrates and small fish. As we made our way back to the car I snapped a Juvenile Herring Gull in flight and a Curlew poking about on the opposite side of the river mouth.

1st Cycle Herring Gull Curlew

We relocated to the Greenan Shore Car Park and walked past the castle but the shoreline was strangely devoid of birds. We did spot a couple of Grey Herons on the water’s edge a bit further on from the castle. We doubled back along the field adjacent to Greenan Bay. We found it was full of large cylindrical hay bales, and there were large numbers of Woodpigeons and Jackdaws feeding on the areas of shorn hay.

Grey Heron Carrion Crow
Wood Pigeon Jackdaw

The edge of the field was packed with wildflowers. I came across a plant I hadn’t noticed before, and I’m still to identify it. We also found Sea Mayweed and Red Campion. I also came across the lovely red berries of Bittersweet.

TBC Sea Mayweed
Red Campion Bittersweet

In fact there were quite few types of berry on show. The blue berries of the Blackthorn  also called Sloe berries. They are too hard and bitter to eat, but they can be used to flavour gin. There were fruiting Bramble bushes - good for jam-making. The Hawthorns  also were loaded with their bunches of red berries. Elder berries were also very much in evidence. Rose hips of the Dog Rose took us back to our school-days when we called them “itchycoos” due to their inner contents causing much discomfort when placed down a classmate’s back. Not a berry, but the fruit of Lesser Burdock are “burrs” that are round burrs that stick to clothing and fur.

Blackthorn Bramble
Common Hawthorn Elderberry
Dog Rose Lesser Burdock

At the east side of the field, just below the castle I photographed a young Goldfinch feeding on Knapweed. John pointed out a Feral Pigeon that was visible through a Castle window.

Feral Pigeon Juvenile Goldfinch

We decided to finish the day at Troon Harbour car park, a 20 min drive north. The waders that were sometimes on the rocks there were sadly flushed away by day trippers. However, the Herring Gulls were close at hand, waiting for chips from said day trippers. The juveniles were especially needy, making the pleading cries they use to encourage their parents to feed them. The ubiquitous Starlings with their attractive plumages were also nice to look at as they searched the shore for invertebrates. We also watched a female Pied Wagtail tweeting its way around the wooden tables and benches looking for nibbles.

1st Cycle Herring Gull Starling
Female Pied Wagtail

We got closer views of the fine plumages of adult and juvenile Starlings as we consumed our tea and, wait for it, Pear and Almond-cream Tarts. I thought they outshone our recent Strawberry Tarts. Our penultimate capture was a shot of a juvenile Herring Gull that patiently waited for some of our tarts - no chance mate. Just as we were about to leave Sammy seal turned up, albeit about 100m out. Nice to see it nevertheless.

Starling Juvenile Starling
1st Cycle Herring Gull Grey Seal

It was not a bad haul of sightings despite the gloomy conditions. I enjoyed seeing the Herring Gull with the Crab and I was pleasantly surprised at seeing such a variety of berries along the field by Greenan Bay. Hopefully our next visit will be in much brighter conditions

Week ending: 22nd August 2021: Hogganfield Loch LNR 

I wasn’t available on Sunday for our usual nature-watching trip but I managed a few mid-week trips to one of my favourite haunts, Hogganfield Loch LNR  in the northeast of Glasgow. It is a busy public park but the Loch and its surrounding area contains an impressive variety of flora and fauna. All my observations were made from or just off the road that encircles the Loch. The usual starting point for my visits is the car park that borders the northwest corner of the Loch. There is a raft moored about 30m from the shore, where Gulls, mainly Lesser Black-backed, congregate. It is always worth a look as in the past it has attracted relative rarities such as Iceland and Glaucous Gulls. Amongst them this week was a large Cormorant, one of the permanent residents usually seen elsewhere on the Loch. Some of the Lesser Black-backed Gulls had sizeable chicks in attendance pleading with them for food. I could also hear the persistent pleading cries of a Great-crested Grebe chick and I located it not far from the raft. It was harassing its mother who was obviously demented with its constant cries for attention.

Lesser Black-backed Gull 1st Cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull
Cormorant Great Crested Grebe

Another noisy youngster that flew close-by was one of many juvenile Black-headed Gulls. It’s parents seemed reluctant to feed it.

Black-headed Gull / 1st Cycle
The edges of the Loch were packed with interesting and very attractive array of wildflowers, such as the Purple Loosestrife  pictured below.

I photographed a few of the other flower species I saw: Water Mint , Sneezewort  and Birdsfoot Trefoil. I also found a small mushroom which I think is Turf Mottlegill .

Water Mint Sneezewort
Bird's Foot Trefoil Turf Mottlegill

On the west end of the Loch I found several Pochard  ducks based on a small artificial island.

They were diving for food, typically aquatic plants, molluscs, aquatic insects and small fish. Also in that area were Little Grebes also diving for fish and insects. I noticed a juvenile Grey Heron perched on an artificial island situated to the the east of the wooded island. It too was after fish and invertebrates, but I’ve seen them eating baby birds. As I photographed the Heron I was visited by a Magpie and a juvenile Goldfinch.

Pochard Pochard
Little Grebe Juvenile Grey Heron
Magpie Juvenile Goldfinch

 There was a large flock of Tufted Ducks on the Loch. The drakes seemed to be on the hunt for females to pair with.

The male Tufted Duck has mainly black plumage with white flanks, and of course a large curved tuft of feathers on its head, while the females were a dark brown with light brown sides. I also snapped female and drake Mallards. They have similar plumage at this time of year since the drakes are in eclipse plumage. They are most easily distinguished by their yellow beaks.

Drake Tufted Duck Female Tufted Duck
Female Mallard Male Mallard in Eclipse Plumage
On my circuits of the Loch, as well as noting the flowers I saw, I also photographed some of the insects that were on the flowers. In a long stretch of Michaelmas Daisies to the south of the car park there were rich pickings for me as well as for the insects. I started with several snaps of Honey Bees . The were also Greenbottles, Lucilia Caesar and the small, neat hoverfly, Eupeodes latifasciatus , but at the other end of the size scale, the much bigger and hairier hoverfly, Eristalis arbustorum, bossed it’s way onto the scene. I finished with a couple of Bumblebees: the Heath Bumblebee , which is common but often mistaken for the Garden Bumblebee; the other Bumblebee was the much smaller, brown Carder Bee. Below it is pictured searching a Devil’s Bit Scabious flower.

Honey Bee Fly - Lucilia Caesar
Hoverfly - Eupeodes latifasciatus Hoverfly - Eristalis arbustorum
Heath Bumblebee Carder Bee

On the north edges of the Loch I found a Great Crested Grebe fishing on its own well away from demanding chicks. There were many noisy Coots, feisty wee birds that are often seen fighting among themselves. Similar-looking to the Coots are Moorhens. They are easily distinguishable by noting that Coots have a large white/pink forehead and pink beak while Moorhen have red and yellow beaks. The Moorhen below is probably a juvenile as it’s beak is not quite at full colour.

Great Crested Grebe Coot
Coot Juvenile Moorhen

The Loch at at the car park is occupied mainly by Mute Swans. I photographed a group of sibling cygnets as they drifted toward the main group of Swans. There was a single Whooper Swan, clearly identified by the yellow in its beak. I believe it has an injury that prevented it flying back to Iceland for the summer along with the rest of its flock. Other large visitors include geese. The numbers of Greylag and Canada Geese varies throughout the year. Often they outnumber the Swans. Last week there was one of each. My final capture of the week was of a juvenile White Wagtail  foraging along the lochside.

Mute Swan Juvenile Mute Swans
Whooper Swan Greylag Goose
Canada Goose Juvenile White Wagtail

If you’ve never visited Hogganfield I hope I’ve managed to whet your appetite. It really is a great place to visit for close views of birds that you would need binoculars to see elsewhere. It is also a great place to develop your knowledge of flowers and insects.

Week ending: 15th August 2021: Longniddry Bents and Yellowcraigs

Central Scotland was sandwiched between areas of cloud to the north and south and the weather prospects were good, especially in the east. We opted for Aberlady although the tide would be low and gulls and waders would be quite far offshore.

After breakfasts in Dalkeith Morrisons (9.5/10: excellent again) we stopped off first at Longniddry Bents, a popular spot with day-trippers and birdies alike. The weather was very dull, the tide was low and many of said day-trippers were clambering over the exposed rocks so we walked “around the corner” from the car park past a line of World War II fortifications, where it was devoid of people and where we could hear the pleasing sounds of birds.

At the western edges of Gosford Bay we found Sandwich Terns were fishing and Curlews and Oystercatchers were also very busy. A lone Herring Gull was not so busy as it stood the whole time on a boulder, watching the world go by.

Sandwich Tern Curlew
Oystercatcher Herring Gull

Of course there were the usual gulls  in attendance: Black-headed, Common and Herring Gulls each doing what gulls do - foraging, quarrelling and squawking.

Black-headed Gull Common Gull
Herring Gull 1st Cycle Herring Gull

John spotted a Grey Heron patrolling the damp seaweed piles. It was difficult to make out due to the low light levels. I could see it was a juvenile as it had no white on its crown. John then informed me he had counted four Herons in total and it wasn’t long before they congregated at the spot that we’d seen the juvenile. An adult Grey Heron displaced the juvenile, who rather sulkily waded into the salt pools and poked about for tiddlers. John told me later he’d seen the adult down some frog-like morsels but I reckon they were crabs. It wasn’t long before we could see the two adults and two juveniles, probably a family.

Grey Heron / Juvenile

As we made our way back to the car we came across some butterflies: a lovely Wall Brown, a Large White and a Meadow Brown. We also found a Sawfly, Tenthredo arcuata, on some Thrift flowers.

Wall Brown Butterfly Large White Butterfly
Meadow Brown Butterfly Tenthredo arcuata

I found a patch of Eyebright flowers. These may be tiny but closer inspection is always rewarding as they are very beautiful - mainly white with yellow, purple and green markings. We also noticed many Meadow Cranesbill, much larger than the Eyebright and just as beautiful - striking blue petals with pink stigma and stamen. Even larger were the brown, oval, spiky seed heads of the Teasel we saw. We heard and glimpsed Goldfinches (but unfortunately never photographed them). Goldfinches, are birds who just love to eat Teasel seeds. I also encountered some gloriously jaggy-looking Musk Thistle.

Eyebright Meadow Cranesbill
Teasel Musk Thistle

We next drove the short distance east to Aberlady but concluded that the tide was too far out (at least half a mile!) for decent pictures, besides, the car park and roadsides were rammed with cars. In the end we settled for Yellowcraig, a picturesque section of coast that is often rich in bird and plant life. The picture below shows the island of Fidra that dominates the view from the Sandy beach. This island  reputedly inspired R.L. Stevenson to write his very famous novel, Treasure Island.

If our morning viewing was in black and white due to the absence of sunshine, then the afternoon was in glorious technicolour as the sun finally came to the party. The beach was fairly well occupied with visitors most of whom were active and noisy enough to have flushed away the birds that normally frequent the sea shore. However, since the water was so far out due to low tide, and since there was an exposed “plateau” of rocks difficult to walk on, I thought it was worth having a look at the albeit distant waters edge. As I made my way across the sand an unexpected Peacock butterfly landed in front of me on a sprig of seaweed. As I snapped it, a wee family of Linnets twittered onto the rocks. It wasn’t long before they twittered off again but I did manage a shot of daddy Linnet. I also got quick shots of a couple of birds in flight, a Carrion Crow and a beautifully sunlit Herring Gull.

Peacock Butterfly Linnet
Carrion Crow Herring Gull

As I reached the rocks another bird family appeared, Pied Wagtails . Like the Linnets they were very flighty but they didn’t fly clean away so allowing me to track them and get shots of the male, female and juveniles - the full set.

Male Pied Wagtail Female Pied Wagtail
Juvenile Pied Wagtail Juvenile Pied Wagtail

My heart fell when I saw that there were a dozen canoes just beyond the shore. And beyond them were the latest craze to disturb coastal waters - paddleboarders . So I cast my eyes further, towards Fidra where I noticed that there were quite a few Gannets diving to the east of the island. There was obviously a large shoal of fish there and the Gannets were engaging in what you could term a “feeding frenzy”. I managed to get a sequence of four (distant) shots of a dive of one particular bird.


On my way back to the car I photographed the Bass Rock, the Gannets’ likely nesting site which lies about 6 miles to the east.

On my way back to the car I photographed some of the Sea Buckthorn that is very plentiful along that part of the Lothian coast. It is often planted in coastal dunes to slow erosion. We also saw a lot of Large Bindweed  draped over other plants and bushes. Our final pictures were of Lesser Burdock, another “jaggy” plant. Its flower heads are surrounded by a bracts that end in hooks that stick to fur, feathers or clothes so enabling the seeds of the plant to hitch a lift on creatures that will take them far from the parent plant.

Sea Buckthorn Large Bindweed
Lesser Burdock

We finished the day with tea and our recent favourites, naughty-but-nice Strawberry tarts. Our fortunes had been mixed but we ended up with a decent set of photographs. Favourite shots for me were the Grey Herons and the Pied Wagtails.

Week ending: 8th August 2021: Musselburgh and Port Seton

The whole of Central Scotland was experiencing a wet and thundery low pressure that had stalled on top of us for most of the week. There was news of assorted Sandpipers at Musselburgh so we decided to brave the elements and hope for sunny intervals. Our breakfasts at Morrisons got us off to the best start (10/10: faultless - quick, responsive service with delicious, perfectly cooked food) and the weather was dry and very mild.

As we entered the Levenhall Links nature reserve, otherwise known as “the Scrapes”, a birder winked at us and commented wryly as he was leaving, “You’ll be looking for the far hide”. Encouraged by this, we indeed made for the suggested hide where we managed to get a space in and immediately started firing of shots at the many birds gathered before us. First to catch my eye was a fairly distant juvenile Shelduck . Then I focused in on the reported Wood , Green and Common  Sandpipers. They were quite distant and not greatly lit, working their way around the right edges of the rightmost scrape.

Juvenile Shelduck Green Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper Common Sandpiper

 I was pleased to see a Wood Sandpiper with a Green Sandpiper that were a bit closer to us, foraging in the muddy puddles in the near left edges of the scrape. Casting my attentions more widely I photographed a few of the many familiar residents: Redshanks, Woodpigeons and Carrion Crow.

  Wood  / Green Sandpiper Redshank
Wood Pigeon Carion Crow

 Far to our left we saw a large flock of Canada Geese grazing on the grassy surrounds of the far scrapes.

 The tidal waters of the Firth of Forth were rising, forcing the many birds that were feeding on the shores to seek shelter until they were once again exposed. We watched waves of Curlew  , Oystercatchers and Bar-tailed Godwits  fly into the reserve, increasing the numbers of their flocks already settled before us.

Oystercatcher Bar-tailed Godwits

Eventually the Sandpipers filed past us, as close to the hide as they were going to get. The clouds were thinning and blue sky was breaking through. It hadn’t rained and we were hopeful that the sun would soon make a showing. We decided to check out the Firth from the sea wall adjacent to the Scrapes. As we we exiting the reserve a pair of Canada Geese passed overhead, one of which was a Greylag x Canada hybrid.

Wood Sandpiper Green Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper Canada Goose / Canada X Greylag Goose

At the boating pond John spotted a pair of Little Grebes diving several metres from the banks. At the wall we were immediately treated to the sight of Sandwich Terns passing. There were also passing Cormorants. Several hundred metres offshore we could make out a feeding frenzy of diving Gannets that had obviously come upon a large shoal of fish. A little nearer to us were a pair of Guillemots  bobbing in the fairly choppy waters. A lot closer was a bold Herring Gull that checked us out for discarded sandwiches.

Little Grebe Sandwich Tern
Cormorant Gannet

 Skies to the North, West and South were grey but we were in the sunshine - so much so that we had to discard our jackets. We decided to move to the mouth of the Esk for a quick check if there were any roosting birds. Below is the view of Portobello with Edinburgh in the background.

As we passed the Cadet Hall I snapped a cheeky Jackdaw that was walking across our path. I noticed some nice Hedgerow Cranesbill at the “big arrow”  along with some very pretty Common Mallow. We walked by the sea wall and photographed eclipse Eider, Goosanders and Turnstones that were settled on and between the rocks just below the sea wall.

Jackdaw Hedgerow Cranesbill
Common Mallow Eclipse Plumage Eider
Goosander Turnstone

Our last stop was at Port Seton where we knew there would be Sandwich Terns  assembled on the rocks. And so they were, albeit at a distance of about 200m. However the incoming tide was encouraging them to move to drier rocks closer to shore.

Also on the furthest rocks were Cormorants and Gulls that were getting the occasional lashings from waves but it didn’t seem to bother them. There were also Herring Gulls on the rocks closer to shore. I just about spotted a very well-camouflaged Pied Wagtail that was poking about on piles of seaweed just below the promenade.

Cormorant Herring Gull
1st Cycle Herring Gull Pied Wagtail

After we’d been there for about 20 minutes, the Terns decided they’d had enough of the waves crashing onto their rocks and they started moving to less exposed rocks nearer the shore. Many were juveniles with their rather chequered plumage. The occasional Tern flew in from further afield with a silvery fish in its beak. How they manage to locate their juveniles amongst the ever-moving mass of birds is impressive as it is mysterious, although they often have to fly around a bit before they find them. The rain clouds gathered and we retired to the car for tea before it rained. I managed a last couple of shots as the light faded. A few Turnstones shared a rock with a juvenile Herring Gull and a bit further out, the picture of stubborn persistence was a Cormorant on a rock, drying its wings while being hit by advancing waves and spray.

Sandwich Tern
Turnstone Cormorant

 We were ready to dodge the showers but it turned out to be rather a nice day , both weather-wise and bird-wise. We had tea and cream caramel tarts as we discussed how the day had turned out better than we had expected. My favourite sightings were of course the Sandpipers but I love Terns as they are such active, skilful birds. As for next week - we’re due a soaking as our last few visits have been in warm sunshine, however it is still Summer so there’s a strong chance that we might again have to get out the sun cream.

Week ending: 1st August 2021:  RSPB Lochwinnoch

I was on my own this week as John had a family commitment. Fair weather was predicted but with low tides and summer “stay-cations” at the coasts I opted for a wee visit to RSPB Lochwinnoch. I passed on the usual breakfast and instead opted for a boring sandwich for lunch (4/10), then I travelled the M74, M8, A737 and finally A760 to finally reach RSPB Lochwinnoch.

After a quick chat with the staff in the Visitor Centre, who advised me that all paths and hides were open, and that there were Nuthatches on the feeders and Grebes with chicks on the Barr Loch, I headed straight to the bird feeders. The usual suspects were dining there including Chaffinches  and Great, Coal and Blue Tits.

Male Chaffinch Female Chaffinch
Great Tit Juvenile Great Tit
Coal Tit Blue Tit

A big Woodpigeon and a couple of Collared Doves were throwing their weight around, bossing a big feeder that had a ledge they could stand on. This of course was good news for the Robin, a ground feeder, as pigeons and doves are messy eaters and would rain down the seed to ground meaning Robbie wouldn’t have to work too hard for his share. Another bossy bird made a brief appearance, the Great Spotted Woodpecker , a juvenile (indicated by his red head marking) that made off smartly with some of the nuts.

Wood Pigeon Collared Dove
Robin Juvenile Great-spotted Woodpecker

I next moved away from the feeders and onto a wooden hide which overlooks the wide expanse of Castle Semple Loch. It was sadly devoid of birds though, but the view was nice.

 Outside the hide I heard some twittering Goldfinches. They were high in the trees but I was fortunate to catch a couple of glimpses. As I moved further along the trail I came across a few insects that were feeding on wildflowers. On the fabulously flowering Meadowsweet I snapped a hovering Honey Bee , complete with bulging pollen sac. Also on the Meadowsweet I found the hoverfly, Leucozona glaucia. At the end of the trail I found some Devil’s Bit Scabious on which was another hoverfly, Ferdinandea cuprea.

Goldfinch Honey Bee
Hoverfly - Leucozona glaucia Hoverfly - Ferdinandea cuprea

With so few birds “on show” I turned my attention to the rich variety of wildflowers that were showing profusely. Not far from the Scabious flowers, at the water’s edge, large spikes of Purple Loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, stood proud. Around them I noticed some yellow blooms I had, from a distance, thought they were St John’s Wort, but on closer inspection it was obvious they were not. After some research I discovered they were actually Yellow Loosestrife, Lysimachia vulgaris. There were many patches of Yellow Water Lilies on the waters edges. I set off back along the track towards the Visitor Centre keeping an eye out for the wildflowers that lined its edges. A sprig of Herb Robert caught my eye (not literally!).

Purple Loosestrife Yellow Loosestrife
Yellow Water Lily Herb Robert

Dominating much of the areas of wildflowers were the tall Great and Rosebay Willowherbs. Also well represented was the thistle-like Common Knapweed. I could only see a few Common Comfrey in bloom.

Great Willowherb Rosebay Willowherb
Common Knapweed Common Comfrey

I explored the wild flower garden in front of the Visitor Centre. A Dotted Loosestrife plant, Lysimachia punctata was in full bloom. In the same bed was a lone Musk Mallow. In another bed there was a large patch of Wild Marjoram. A Garden Bumblebee was hard at work among the plant’s tiny blooms. The bed at the Centre’s entrance was dominated by Spearmint upon which I immediately noticed a striking Pellucid Fly, one of the largest UK flies.

Dotted Loosestrife Musk Mallow
Garden Bumblebee Hoverfly -Volucella Pellucens (   Pellucid Fly )

Beyond the left hand side of the Centre I had a quick look through the viewing screen at the Reserve but it was very heavily overgrown with the water channels obscured.

I next crossed the very busy A760 and walked to the end of the path along the edge of the Barr Loch. It too looked bird-free, but on further inspection (very further) I could see there were birds on the opposite edges of the loch. These were too distant, even for my 600 mm lens. And guess where the aforementioned Grebes were - on the opposite banks. Once again I turned my attention to the pathsides. I took a picture of a White-tailed Bumblebee on Himalayan Balsam flowers shortly before some RSPB volunteers arrived to root  them out. There was a small swarm of what looked like Marsh Greenbottles, Lucilia silvarum, that were getting excited over a discarded plastic wrapper. When I noticed the names of fish on the wrapper I assumed it was for fish bait - hence the interest of the flies. There was a very smartly carved seat by the path. It had a metal plate with the engraved message: “Ronnie Bell, Enjoy the view”. On my short trek back to the car I snapped a Meadow Brown and a Green-veined white butterfly and also some Hedge Bindweed - making my visit to the Barr Loch not a complete waste of time.

White-tailed Bumblebee Lucilia Silvarum
Ronnie Bell's seat Meadow Brown Butterfly
Green-veined White Butterfly Hedge Bindweed

At the car I thought I’d give the feeders another go to see if I could see the reported Nuthatch. Sadly it wasn’t to be. But I did get some more pleasing shots of a male Chaffinch, a male Great Tit and a Collared Dove that was just about to fly off its perch onto the ground. My last shot of the day was of a Jackdaw that I only spotted once I’d left the feeder area. It was perched high in the trees, obscured by their foliage.

Chaffinch Great Tit
Collared Dove Jackdaw

I had a wee cup of tea and a biscuit before driving home. The young Woodpecker was perhaps the bird star of the day. It is certainly true to say that if it wasn’t for the feeders I would have seen only one bird, the Goldfinch. Good job I’m interested in flowers and invertebrates. My favourite sightings of these were the Pellucid Fly and Yellow Loosestrife (a newbie for us). The weather was great too. More of the same next week please.

Highlights - August 2021

We present last month’s gallery of my favourite pictures I’ve taken during August 2021. They are not listed in the order they have been taken, but according to a series of themes. I’ve kept commentary to a minimum, preferring to let each picture talk for itself.










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