Friday, December 05, 2008

North again

I made another trip north last weekend, with an overnight bus on the Friday with Megabustards (marginally better, though not much, than National Nonexpress), this time home to Ayrshire. The plan, firstly, was for some photography at Hogganfield Loch in Glasgow but the cloud cover put paid to this and most winter wildfowl have still to arrive with few Whoopers or Goosanders present. Heading south to Ayrshire the weather was wonderfully cold and frosty but really the birds are quite difficult to photograph here and a portable hide and much time is needed. Still it was good to get away from balmy London and of course the birds are a complete change of scene up here: auks, divers and Kittiwakes offshore; Eider, Shag and seals in the harbours and Waxwings, which will hopefully appear in the South soon.

Not Antarctica - the Isle of Arran & Holy Isle c20 miles from the Ayrshire coast

1st-winter drake Common Eider

A raft of Eiders in Troon Harbour

1st-winter Herring Gull & fishing boat

A distant juvenile Long-tailed Duck on Ardeer Recreation Pond

One of five Pale-bellied Brent Geese (Branta bernicla hrota) - Ayrshire has a tiny wintering population of less than half a dozen birds

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