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12th -24th May – trip to Inner Hebrides

A couple of years ago we had stayed on Skye on our way to the Outer Hebrides and thought that it would be fun to explore Skye and its near neighbour the island of Mull.

The trip was a great success with magnificent landscapes and (in the end) plenty of wildlife to see and photograph.

Here I have displayed some of the wildlife we saw but I have made a blog of our trip (see index) where (for our benefit mainly) there is a brief description of our itinerary and some photographs of some of the magnificent scenery and the wildlife.

The highlights were the white-tailed eagles (sea eagles), the divers (such as great northern divers, red-throated divers, red breasted-merganser, eider duck),  oystercatchers, hooded crows, siskins, wheatears and a twite.

I have tried to provide links to the craft centres and different venues we visited but need to work more on this. Amendments and additions will come soon.

FP5A1291Female white-tailed eagle

FP5A1275Female white-tailed eagle

FP5A1303Male white-tailed eagle

MT1D2130Male eider duck

MT1D1774Buzzard

DSCF7567Male and female eider duck with accompanying gull

MT1D1681Hooded crows

MT1D1078Wheatear

MT1D1569Twite

MT1D1443Siskin

MT1D1693Great northern diver

MT1D2561A dipper in flight

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 – Friday 12th/ Saturday 13th May

Day 3 – Sunday 14th May

Day 4 – Monday 15th May

Day 5 – Tuesday 16th May

Day 6 – Wednesday 17th May

Day 7 – Thursday 18th May

Day 8 – Friday 19th May

Day 9 – Saturday 20th May

Day 10 – Sunday 21st May

Day 11 – Monday 22nd May

Days 12 & 13 – Tuesday 23rd/ Wednesday 24th May

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9th May 2017 – Severn Estuary

A morning’s birding on the Severn Estuary: I started at Aust Warth but could only see a whitethroat so I moved on to the Pilning wetland in the hope of seeing the reported  black-winged stilt.

MT1D0631Whitethroat

Other birders reported that it had been showing well at the front of the ponds but it had now moved to the back. I was able to locate it by going down the lane leading off the main path (where I heard a cuckoo) but it was still quite some way off. The one benefit was that I was now out of the cold wind; unfortunately the light was not good.

MT1D0870Black-winged stilt

There were also lapwings (6), pied wagtails (3), little ringed plovers (6), and a greenshank not too far off. On the way back I saw 3 male reed buntings and another whitethroat.

MT1D0812Lapwing

MT1D0807Greenshank

MT1D0736Pied wagtails

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MT1D0811Little-ringed plover

MT1D0881Reed bunting

I counted a dozen swallows too.

A flock of 9 yellow wagtails were reported but I didn’t see them. There were shelduck and tufted duck on the wetlands and more shelduck (6) on the warth and on the estuary.

On the way home I stopped at Aust again and had a very good view of a kestrel.

Click below for gallery of photos from this morning.

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8th May 2017 – Stoke Park

Just a small window of opportunity this morning to get some fresh air and enjoy nature and I was well rewarded in the hour and a half on my walk around Duchess Pond in Stoke Park, Bristol. Quite chilly to start but it soon warmed up especially with so much activity.

I saw 4 chiffchaffs and a wood warbler (probably feeding some young), a long-tailed tit, a reed bunting, a whitethroat, a wren, 6 swifts flying around (but not coming close to the pond), a heron and a cormorant fishing quite successfully, 4 Canada geese and a good number of mallards (but only one duckling on view). On the small pond there were 2 coots and a moorhen and in the meadows behind masses of crows and jackdaws.

There were white butterflies and a tortoiseshell butterfly and a fisherman who had caught an eel. As well as the beautiful hawthorn blossom there were yellow and purple irises around the pond.

MT1D0395ChiffChaff 

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Wren

MT1D0398
Long-tailed tit

MT1D0453Reed Bunting

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Whitethroat

MT1D0567Wood warbler (I think)

MT1D0554Cormorant swallowing a fish

MT1D0521Grey Heron grabbing a fish before the cormorant eats them all

MT1D0508A bee making the most of the yellow irises.

MT1D0564The only duckling to be seen

MT1D0602A distant swift

MT1D0600Moorhen

MT1D0590One of the two coots on the small pond

Click below for my gallery of photos from this morning