It was the school mid-term holiday in February, so I decided to use this time off to do some more wildlife photography.
I’d recently got a new app (Bird Guides) which gives me real-time information on bird locations and it was telling me there were some Waxwings less than half an hour away at Hamilton; so I set off to find them. This time I was hoping to get some photos of them actually feeding on berries.
After arriving at Hamilton I quickly spotted a huge flock flying around; it wasn’t long before they settled in some large trees and started feeding on the berries. They were really close and not easily spooked so I managed to get some nice photos.
The next day of the holiday was spent at WWT Caerlaverock near Dumfries where I saw Mute and Whooper Swans, Pink Footed Geese, Barnacle Geese, Shoveler, Teal, Widgeon and Pintail as well as Yellowhammers, Tree Sparrows and a Little Egret.
At the same time as I saw the Peregrines, myself and 3 others in our hide were sure we saw a Merlin disturb a flock of Knot, but as they were too far in the distance to positively identify they weren’t added to the day’s species list!
At the photography hide and the viewing point I saw a Water Rail and a number of the more common bird species in addition to a brown rat!
By the end of the day at Carlaverock I was able to add three new ‘lifers’ to my list: Golden Plover, Peregrine Falcon and a Green-Winged Teal.
As the sun began to set we made the short journey across to Gretna where we lucky enough to see a fantastic starling murmuration with thousands of birds; it was definitely the highlight of the day! (wildlife video coming out this year, please check website info as there will soon be more info on that)
My final ‘nature’ day of the holiday period involved a trip to the west coast of Scotland to visit a family friend (Keith) who has a delightful flat overlooking Inverkip Marina. The area is just fantastic for wildlife and after chatting for a while we had a short but very interesting costal walk. Although there weren’t any new species on view, those which were around provided a number of great photo opportunities. In less than an hour I saw lots of Turnstones, Ringed Plovers, Oystercatchers, Curlews, Eider, Red Breasted Mergansers some Robins a Dunnock and more common species of gull.
This holiday has been amazing so far and it was really nice to finish my 3-day nature blitz at Keith’s super place on the coast.