Wildlife

The Garden Awakens

Although we often get Mallards on our pond, last weekend their were a couple of pairs of Teal exploring the reed bed.  With the lengthening days and warmer weather we are also seeing and hearing a lot more bird activity in the garden. There are a more Wrens than previous years, as well as Coal and Great Tits, Yellow Hammers and Tree Sparrows. We still see the occasional flock of Greylag Geese in the surrounding fields. Over the last few evenings we can now hear common toads calling as they start to make their way to the pond and the early mornings are now punctuated with the songs of the Skylarks and Meadow Pippits.

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Kirkhill Forest & Fyvie Lake

Beggshill Wood

Orkney

Birds from May and June

A week in Flight

A selection of birds in flight from this week’s lunch times spent alongside the River Don.

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20140409

Toads

As with previous years, the pond is a huge draw to the local Toad population. Whilst returning to the house with the dogs late one evening, they kept sniffing at gravel outside our house. When the security lights came on the reason became clear, there were about fifteen Toads that had come out from their daytime hideaways. Considering how many Toads we see in the pond during the breeding season, a number that is in the order of hundreds, its surprising how well they hide themselves away during the rest of the year.

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20140415

A feather for the nest

I often hear and occasionally see Wrens flitting through the undergrowth on the banks of the river Don. This one didn’t appear to be to put out by my presence as it went about searching for nesting material.

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20140414

Goldfinches in the Garden

The longer evenings provide plenty of time to get out and about in the garden after work. The tress and hedges are currently alive with flocks of Goldfinches and Sparrows and also a few Dunnocks.

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20140323

Forvie Sands, Newburgh

Grey and Common seals are a familiar site in the Ythan Estuary at the southern edge of the Forvie Sands Nature reserve. On the day I visited there were several hundred seals basking on the beach and near shore sand banks. I had previously only seen seals from a relative distance and as such it was a real treat to be able to get close up and spend time watching and photographing them. I had read that Seals are often very inquisitive, a trait which was confirmed when a young seal crawled out of the surf and made a direct line towards where I was sitting. After a few short pauses to look me over, it eventually stopped about 4 metres away before having a roll about in the sand, scratch itself a couple of times and then settle down for a snooze.

During the time I sept with the seals, a strong wind kept the sand moving constantly. It is not difficult to understand why Forvie Sands is also famous for its Sand Dunes

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