Saturday, 31 December 2011

Christmas in the lakes

Had a few days in the Lake District near Ambleside for christmas with my family even though some days it sadly just rained got out to visit How Tarn and had a lovely walk round the tarn with the water very reflective and giving some nice view and a added bonues of 2 Pairs of Goosanders and a Goldeneye on the water.

Reflections in How Tarn
Reflections in How Tarn

Reflections in How Tarn under the mountains

On Boxing day had a lovely walk around Derwent Water around Ashness bridge giving some views of the water though still quite damp after raining most of christmas day.

Ashness bridge

Looking back to Derwent Water

River flowing down
Then had a final walk at Bleu Tarn even though overcast the colours of the land made up for it with lovely oranges and brown a nice end to a good break away.

Overview of Bleu Tarn

Colours around the edge of of Bleu Tarn

Shoreline of of Bleu Tarn

Wishing all my readers a Happy New Year

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Stocker's lake

Had a visit to Stocker's lake with my Local RSPB group on a very chilly morning first sighting were Wigeon and Pochard on the first lake before one of our members though he saw a Hawfinch but sadly it was only a brief view so could't be confirmed then round the corner had view of Song  and Mistle thrushes  and blackbirds feeding in the trees and on the bushes.

Then we got round to the main lake where there was up to 6 Goldeneye feeding and 1 male Red-Crested Pochard and some of our group saw a female Smew. Also around the water were Canada Geese, Gadwall, Mallard Lapwing, Common, Black-headed Gull and 1 Lesser-backed Gull.

Then we had good search in the Woodland section and after seeing a flock of finches we relocationed them and found a nice flock of at leat 30 Siskins. Also around in the woodland section was a Treecreeper and a lovely Goldcrest.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Around the reservoirs

After a early morning session at the doctors headed to Tring Reservors started the walk from Startop's End Reservoir where there were plenty of Tufted Ducks and Pochard with a scattering of Mallards and Wigeon walking around the edge came to where the river met the reservoir and had a nice of a Goldcrest my first for this winter along with a flock of feeding Song thrushes. Then walked looking across to Tringsford Reservor where there was a small flock of Pied Wagtail and 1 Grey Wagtail.

Then walking around the Marsworth section had a lovely view of a Kingfisher perched on the reed before flying off. Then around the edge back to the top of Startop's End Reservoir where there was a flock of around 6 Meadow Pipits feeding. Then at the top had some view of the 1st Year Snow Bunting which had vanished at the time of my arrival but was happt feeding very close to the walkway and some 20 yards into Hertfordshire before happily slowing feeding along the shore towards the county boundary.

Snow Bunting

Having a little clean

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Morning out

Had a morning out with my local RSPB group at Tyttenhanger gravel pits very windy and a lack of wader but still a few ducks on the  main Pis with hundreds of Coots along with Mallards, 1 Lone Grey Heron , GC Grebe BH Gulls, quite a few Lesser- Blacked Gulls and a Common Gull my first of the Winter.

Around the edges had good view of Green Woodpecker and 1 Flyover Great Spotted Woodpecker and around the hedge near the farm around 8 Yellowhammers showing very well along with House Sparrow and Gold Finches before a hunting Kestrel drove them back into the Hedge before we finished the walk with a flock of about 50 Fieldfares overhead.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Great day out with the owls

Had a good day at one my local sensitive sites which has had up to four Short-eared though friday evening drew a blank had really good encounters on saturday evening with one flying over my head to start off magically then some beatiful view of them hunting over the fields even seeing catching a vole. Also around were a flock of Bullfinches at least 8 and everywhere Fieldfares and Starling and the end of the day see the crows heading to roost in the nearby woods.

At the end of the day had a beautiful set with the sky shimming red before the moon came out with a mystical glow i suspect due to the luna eclipse of the night before.

Red covering the sky

Red sunset

Friday, 9 December 2011

Out and about

After a forced stayin due to an injury manged to get out so headed to Wilstone Reservoir still at very lovel levels seems to have hardly rained around here but lot of the winter ducks now in with good numbers of Pochard, Mallard and Tufted duck with 1 pair of Red-crested Pochard in with them. Then walked around to there hide where in the woods lot of Fieldfare and a few Redwings, then at the hide saw 4 Bewick Swans showing well nice to see this uncommon herts visitor. Also out from here were Lapwing, Black-headed  and Herring gull and 1 Little Egret.

Around the other side of the reservoir was a big flock of Linnet at least 200 strong and in the fist field a big flock of Greylag Geese before further round a solo Brent Goose on its own.

Friday, 18 November 2011

The end of the road

First stop in the morning was a walk around the Birks of Aberfeldy beautiful seeing all the autumn colours which had come out along the valley and what Perthshire seemed to have in full at this time off year with the colours showing lots of different with the yellow and yellow of the beech tree the standout colour.

Colours in the woods

By the river

Red leafs by the river
Next was a visit to Pass of Killiecrankie and the river garry walked along the river and up to soldiers leap where a soldier leapt to save himself in one of the Jacobites battles. Then walked up to the top of the bridge and yet again the colours were again wonderfully looking across the valley. Then headed to dundee to catch the train to home.

Pass of Killiecrankie in autumn colours

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Callender pt 2

Started off the morning with damp cruise on Loch Katrine even though the weather was quite damp it was lovely to see the loch in the full autumn colours and in a such a relaxing condition.

The Sir Walter Scott
After the cruise drove around up to Loch Tay and stopped at the Falls of Dochart at Killin on route very pretty but could see the effect of the recent with the river and falls very water heavy.

River Dochart at Killin

Falls of Dochart at Killin

The Autumn Colour

The last bit for the day was a lovely drive along Loch Tay with the Autumn colour with the red , orange, yellow gold and green wonderfuly.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Around Callander Pt1

Next stop was a visit to the Callander area and first visit was around Loch Lubnaig even though the sky was grey the Loch was giving some very nice reflections.

Stitched image of Loch Lubnaig

Colours in Loch Lubnaig

Far end of Loch Lubnaig
Then after a nose around callander headed to stirling castle a very intresting building with lots of history having been involved in at least eight different siedges and was the where Mary queens of Scots was crowed.

Buildings in the Stirling Castle Courtyard

Church in the Stirling Castle Courtyard

Kin's Chair

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Loch Awe and the highlands

Next was a lovely scenic drive along the side of Loch Awe in almost perfect weather with the sky almost totally blue apart from around the top of the peaks scotland at its best also very nice to see the mountains with snow on the top.

Side of the Loch

Snowy mountain tops

End of Loch awe

Then drove up to Tyndrum before deciding to do a section of the highland road with the mountains very impossing and impressing though very noticeable how the weather had changed as about five miles up the road the weather changed went from blue sky to cloudy and misty. Along this road had good sighting of a Female Red Deer and a Golden Eagle.

One of many Mountains along the highland road

The weather changing

Storms over the mountains
Then headed back to Loch Lomond and caught a little bit of it with blue sky.

Loch Lomond with blue sky!!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Around Loch Fayne

Day started quite wet so drove around the shore of Loch Fayne till we got near to Inveraray where it started to brighten up and we got some nice views of the maintains with snows on the top viewable from the harbour.

View from Inveraray harbour across Loch Fayne
After lunch drove along A83 and the side of Loch Fayne where they were some nice views and a fiew intresting birds on the Loch with Eider Ducks, Cormorant and Red-breasted Merganser around the loch. Then drove up the A816 before doing a lovely scenic drive by Loch Craignish where the weather was very changable before finishing at the end of the loch and watching the sun go down.

Double Rainbow along the loch
Boats out on Cragnish Loch

Sun dipping down

Sunsetting over the Loch    

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Around the lochs

Works up to a bit of sun breaking across Loch Lomond then after breakfast drove along to Loch Long where we had some nice views over the loch then drove up some perfect scenic valleys and on this route had my first Hooded Crow of the trip.

Loch Lomond early in the morning

Loch Long
Next headed up to top of the valley and the point called Rest and be Thankfull i suspect due to the steep road to get to it but well worth it for the view points.

Loch Restil

View from Rest and be thankful
Then drove down to Loch Goil with some nice views as the sun was playing ball today and down to the end where Carrack Castle was though a bit of shame as it was still being repaired. Quite a few bits of Birdlife with lots of Hooded Crows, Lapwings, Curlew and Oystercatchers around the edge

Loch Goil
Carrack Castle sadly under repair

Next stop was a visit to Benmore Gardens along the edge of  Loch Eck at this time of year it was very green I suspect due to the amount of rain around!! The garden starts off with a lovely Redwood Avenue then at this time of years lots of different ferns and mosses around quite a few in the Victorian Fern House and a bit of autumn colours was already around.

Redwood Avenue

One of many Ferns

Victorian Fern House

Fountain in the garden
The last stop of the day was along the road by the Kyles of Bute which were giving some wonderfully views in the early evening sun.

Views over the Kyle of Bute