Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Adverse weather conditions

We've got snow. Lots of snow:

Snow on the hills

That was the track up to Polouriscaig this morning. I'd gone up in search of deer (much as I wanted to drive down the Strath and look for stags, I doubt my car would have made it up the drive!), but half way up the hill more snow clouds started rolling in and I had to turn back. I saw a fox, but didn't get my camera to my eye before it had legged it, so the only life I managed to capture on film was a rather chilly sheep:

Chilly sheep

I retreated to the garden and shot birds instead. My little robin is looking considerably less tatty:


Though he's somewhat put out by the presence of another two robins in the garden - they were having a bust-up on the shed roof when I got there, but they're so quick I couldn't catch it. He was eyeing up the feeders:


Now, I've always read that robins won't eat from bird feeders, they'll only eat off the ground. My robins obviously haven't read that book:



It's been a bumper day for chaffinches as well, I counted 12 at one point:


And the trusty RSPB bird identifier tells me this is a dunnock:


Something that looked remarkably like a blue tit landed on the shed roof at one point, but didn't stay long enough for me to get a proper look at it. It'll be the first one I've seen here if it was, so I shall keep my eyes peeled.

More snow due over the next couple of days, so more garden bird photos on their way, possibly!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

When you're smiling...

Two posts in one day (don't get used to this!), but I've got some more pictures that I never got round to posting up.

There weren't as many seals around this time, the bay was calm so most of them were out at sea, but I did spend a while photographing these three - love the smiles:

Grey seals

Since the sandy side beach was totally empty, I went for a walk along it. Seals are curious creatures and I soon had an escort:

Grey seals

Or two...:

Grey seals

I think pupping is more or less over for the year. Now that I know what's where, I can hopefully get out and about more in October and November next year. I've heard about a pupping beach that may be closer than the one I was visiting, but I'm not sure how easy it is to get to.

The robin's been in a fight I think - he was looking very tatty:



Maybe the sparrows have been beating him up again:


Otterly fantastic

Sorry for abandoning you through November, but it's my busiest month and I barely got time to pick up my camera other than to photograph beads.

No pictures in this post either, but I wanted to report some progress in my quest to photograph otters. I have a veg patch with a view - it's in our bottom field, so it looks out over the bay. On Sunday morning I was happily getting on with digging it over (my neighbour kindly drove two tons of well-rotted manure down there for me over the summer and it needs to go on) when something caught my eye in the water. It was a flat calm day and the tide was high and there were two otters fishing in the shallows. I watched them for about half an hour.

After lunch today the sky was blue and all the work that really, really HAD to be done was done, so I went back to my manure-spreading. The veg patch is in the bottom corner of the field, next to our fence. There's a steep bank and our neighbour on the other side has fenced about 20 feet of flat ground off for vegetables before there's another, flatter, bank. In this flatter bank is a large rabbit hole, which the dogs always go and investigate when we're down there. Today I saw what I thought was a cat sitting in the grass beside it. My brain was telling me there was something odd about the shape of its head, so I looked again - and saw the second otter emerging from the hole! The first otter bounced off past the neighbour's gate and down to the beach and the second one disappeared back down the hole - so I think we may be on for cubs next year!