Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Bird News

We don't often see woodpeckers on West Ardnamurchan, though Paul Howes pictured one recently at Ockle - post here. We found this one on the road to Sanna, just past the turn to the Kilchoan water treatment palnt. When he flew out of the tree he headed further along the road, into territory which would have offered him few trees.  Judging from the pale orange-red feathers just visible under its tail, it's a juvenile greater spotted woodpecker.

On a much less happy note, wood pigeons used to be rarely seen along this end of the peninsula. Now we have a flock of a dozen or more, and we live in fear of what they can do to our brassicas.

Some of our wildlife species have thrived in the damp start to the year, and the sand martins appear to be one. This photo was taken of the colony in the small quarry by the side of the road to the south of Loch Mudle. It's an ideal place to watch these cheerful birds as one can pull the car off the road right in front of their nests and sit in comfort to watch them.

Many thanks to Kilchoan Early Bird for these pictures of two swallow nests in the same shed, both of which contain relatively new hatchlings.

If the swallows are doing as well and the sand martins, it doesn't show when we're out walking, as there don't seem to be many swallows working the insects flying over the fields.

We bemoaned the loss of our siskins through last winter. Now they're back, with at least two pairs of adults visiting us, and a number of young. There's one or more on the feeders in every minute of the day, resulting in a rapid rate of attrition of the peanuts. They're lovely birds, and very easy to photograph as they sit on the feeders and watch until one is quite close.  This picture was taken using the macro setting on the camera.

After the recent sad disappearance of the robin which used to join us for his own, private snacks at sundowner time on our terrace, we have a potential replacement to keep Mrs Diary happy. From his colouring, this is a fully grown bird, but his short tail feathers suggest he's been though a moult.

1 comment:

  1. Not sure that the woodpecker is a juvenile, Jon, as both male and female adults have the red colouring under the tail. The juvenile has a red crown to the head, but this is difficult to see in the photograph. The juveniles which we have visiting us are rather off-white in colour, in contrast to the bright white of the adults.