Sunday, 25 January 2015

Don't miss the Knot.

It's been a little bit too cold for me to sit on the pier for hours trying to capture more photos of the Knot again, and the sand is blocking my path anyway!  But I keep an eye out for them from the car.

On Saturday I pulled into the car-park at the harbour for a quick look to see if the they were there. The tide was in and I saw what looked like a wave splashing up over the East Beach wall, only to realise it was the Knot flying very low and turning their bellies into the sun.

They were moving eastward toward the sandbar and creating swarming, moving funnels in the sky, flashing dark and light as they turned.  Fantastic!  Anyone lucky enough to have been on the beach would have had great views.  I suspect they were close to the harbour only seconds before I got there.

I couldn't capture them on camera this time, but luckily I had my binoculars and so I could follow them all the way out toward the large sandbar on the east beach. But, always looking for an excuse to re-post my favourite picture of them, here is the one I took earlier!

Cheers.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Knots are still performing!

I know you're all probably getting board of my pics, but just in case! Here are a few from today out on the East Beach wall in Nairn.
I always said I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time for a decent photo - well, after spending there hours waiting for these little buggers to fly, I think I should now claim to be at the right place....after loads of patient waiting!

These Knots are here most of the winter and perform great displays for those of us who happen to be in the right place at the right time!

Santa had given a new pair of binoculars to a lady that I met on the wall.  I am hopeless with names, but I think hers was Linda or Lynn (sorry if I've got it wrong).  We were both enjoying the sight of these Knots pushing for position on the sandbar as I was eulogising about the wonderful displays they give when they fly - and then, they up and flew all around us, performing wonderful twists and turns , and flying overhead with a lively whispering, whoosh of their wings.  Fantastic!

I urge you all to get down to the beach (or harbour walls) as the tide is turning, just in case they perform again.

Happy and healthy 2015 to you all.

Seamus (and Kate)










Monday, 29 December 2014

A Walk up the River Nairn

A lovely day for a walk and among the many Robins along the river from the Merryton to Firhall bridges were a few Wren, Blackies, loads of Chaffinches and a Tree Creeper.  A Woodpecker flew overhead and landed in a tree across the river and a tree closer to e suddenly filled with a flock of around 30 Siskin.  The Wren and Tree Creeper were too quick for me to photograph and it was too dark in the tree of Siskin to get any decent images.

As I've said previously, there are a good number of Red Breasted Mergansers on the river at the moment, giving good opportunities for close ups and photos.  And whilst composing this photo Kate spotted a Buzzard in a tree across the river keeping a close eye on us!  Buzzards are usually quick to move on if a passer by stops and points a camera at it, but this was seemed comfortable enough and just kept its eye firmly on me!

Male Red Breasted Merganser having a wash

Buzzard keeping watch


Thursday, 25 December 2014

Red Breasted Merganser for Christmas?

Anyone walking down the river past the Merryton Bridge enjoying today's glorious sunshine couldn't fail to miss the two pair of Red Breasted Mergansers feeding on the river.  We always have at least one pair here at this time of the year, and they'll be here until moving up river to bread in the spring.

Female on the left

Not a great pic - but he's got his snack.
Happy Christmas.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Fancy some Greetings Cards?






JUST CLICK ON THE CARD ABOVE FOR A CLOSER VIEW OF ALL THE CARDS.

Fancy some Greetings Cards photographed and made in Nairn?  Most the photos shown on this blog (and at www.seamusmcardle.co.uk or direct link http://seamusmcardle.co.uk/page24.html ) have been hand-made into greetings cards with a real professional feel and look.  All cards are blank inside and have an individual description on the reverse describing where the photograph was taken and a little snippet of information about the bird.
A small selection of cards available are shown below, but almost any photograph on the blog / website can be turned into a Greetings Card on request.

They can be purchased direct from me via the blog, or via the above website, for £2.25 each or five for £10.  All come in individual polybags and with an envelope.  A large selection are available at the Woolshop on the Brae, the Flower Shop on the High Street.  Some can also be seen in the Little Bookshop and at Broadley Green Garden Centre, at slightly higher prices.

Cards come as A5 folded to A6 (114mm x 148mm).  Other formats are also available, particularly small mounted 'Tiny Cards'.  These are on sale for £2.

Here are a selection of the A5 folded to A6 cards.














Friday, 5 December 2014

Knot in flight

The Knot were a wee bit closer to land late yesterday afternoon and posed for a few photos.  And I was very cold!



Sunday, 30 November 2014

Flock of Knot visit Nairn again

My goodness - is it really nearly three months since my last posting!  And with so much going on out there you'd have thought I would had overloaded the blog!  Time........

Anyway, anybody walking the East Beach or the harbour could've failed to have seen the 1,500 - 2,000 little waders sitting in a huddle on the sand bars and shuffling along further in-land as the tide comes in.  This is a familiar sight on our beach at this time of year as the wintering waders choose Nairn to hang around in until it's time to head north again in the spring.

The ones that are here at the moment are Knot.  Here's a couple of pics.
Two groups of Knot, with the smaller group at the front among the gulls.  There is also a Sanderling and a Turnstone.
A wider angled view to see they have split into three groups, all in view from the east wall.
Below is a better pic from last year, showing them in flight.  They perform wonderful displays, starling like, as they swoosh from beach to beach, flashing their bright underparts against the low sun in unison.  One of Nairn's great wildlife shows.


The best time to see them is as the tide is coming in.

Also around are a few Sanderlings v(as well as the usual Turnstones and Redshanks and a few Widgeon).  The Sanderlings (small and predominantly white waders) run along the tide line, back and forward, apparently scared of getting their feet wet!

The Sanderling are the small birds out from the flock at the front of the photo.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Migrating waders on passage at the pig farm.

I've been quiet for a while, which is more that I can say for our local Robin which has been singing for a few weeks - at all hours of the morning! The Robin is often the first bird to sing to welcome in the autumn, and it is certainly singing this year!

This is a great time of year for spotting waders on passage to their wintering home.  Lossie Estuary and beach are great places to sit and watch as the divers and skuas and godwits and knots and dunlin etc.fly by.  Some come into the estuary for a feed.

Luckily, some of the migrants have popped into the mud pool at Wester Delnies pig farm, and are very easy to see from the road (be careful though, its a very fast road!).

Here are a few photos.

Curlew Sandpiper


Two male Black Tailed Godwit - still showing some summer plumage.

Two more Black Tailed Godwit
Little Stint

From the left: Ringed Plover; Ruff; two Curlew Sandpiper.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Flycatchers in the Cycle Helmet: Part Four - The Chicks.

I sat for ages trying to photograph the chicks in the cycle helmet, hoping the parents would come and pose for dinner.  Here you'll see how they just waited patiently for me to leave them alone so they could feed away.....

One of the parents biding its time.

Hungry chicks



And then I looked behind me....!

And guess what a Spotted Flycatcher eats for dinner - click on the pic for a closer look.

Come on, move along and let me feed the kids!


Sunday, 13 July 2014

Flycatcher Part Three!

Here's another installment from the Flycatcher out at the Hidden Glen in Laikenbuie, down the Grantown Road.  The sunshine makes all the difference.