Monday, 16 November 2009

The Story of the Eagle and the Whale (October)

A trip up to Aberdeeen started the month off and again the journey up was non stop pishing! wiper blades were doing over time and I had planned to stop off at a few locations on the east coast on the way up like the Firth and Forth Estury in hope of WTS eagle, Marsh Harrier or Potential late Osprey makng their way down. I was planning on calling to kirnordy as well my dads old stomping ground with the RSPB but stopping off anywhere was a waste of time as visibility was awful.
The first morning up in Aberdeen I got up earlish at 9 and headed straight out to the areas of Dunecht and Scotstown to look out for Red Kites. Its funny my nanny used to live in this area but the year of the Kites release she moved to westhill but never mind worse things happen at sea. Hung around for the whole morning period and eventually got some good views of the birds as there was about 5-6 on show. it drives me cockahoop that all around the area of Dunecht and the estate there is signs every 50 yards saying please drive carefully pheasants around, its all about the money.....shame

when scanning the press and Journal local Aberdeenshire paper the next morning second page in with a picture of a beached Sperm Whale I was in complete shock and when I read that it was on Balmedie beach half an hour from us I was not missing the opportunity to see the biggest toothed animal on the planet. Me and Tom Milo headed down in the morn and it was a splendid day to be by the seaside! wasent for the whale though. When we got to the beach we could smell the cetacean before we could see it, for obvious reasons it was a 35 foot mammal carcass. Once we seen the Sperm Whale it was a bid sad to see it and doesent really count as a whale sighting, well im not going to count it anyway. An amazing size it was been 35 foot plus. It was a Bull and they can grow to about 65 feet and feed on Giant Squid at extreme depths. When they get beached there sheer body weight crushes there internal organs.

The day after it was a trip upto the well known reserve Loch of Strathbeg up past Peterhead as there is a Sea Eagle that has settled there for over 9 months. It is a 2008 release bird from Fife a juvenile male. I got to the reserve at about 10am to give me as much time as possible for eagle sightings so I had a quick look around the facilities and was very impressed with the setup as I came across an indoor bird hide viewing point that looks right out to the Loch and the surrounding shallow waters. They provided scopes there and had a video TV screen zooming in on a desired area. tea, coffee machine and comfy chairs it was all gravy all I needed now was an eagle.
10 minutes in boom! flying barn doors straight ahead in hunting mode...special. the bird was manoeuvring back and forward flushing ducks and ended up staying for 4 hours! people were coming in and out the whole time and they all got to see the WTS eagle which was great especially this old couple who I showed the bird and told them a little bit about the species and the old woman bought me a sandwich which was smashing! she even got my favourite flavour chicken Tikka which I didn't even ask for! was a superb day all round with the only negative been the nob on my gear stick snapped off on the way home, but it didn't bother me.

A nice all round picture with the monument in the foreground and the bird been mobbed by lapwing with the farm landscape in the backdrop. I framed this picture and gave it to my dad for his birthday..he was delighted.

After a successful trip up to Scotland at the start of the month it was back to good old Geltsdale for some great views of our magnificent Buzzard that I got at Talkin head on a superb photo day where 7 Buzzards were circling above me as I was lying on my back looking straight up at me. One curious buzzard came in for a closer look as I had the dogs with me as well. It was so pleasing to see all those buzzards together and as well as that me and Gary had a walk around Geltsdale new water and must of seen 12 plus kestrels so the Raptors are doing well at Geltsdale which is smashing!

Buzzard looking right at me, this was a great pic!

Wildlife Sightings (October) : -

  • WTS Eagle
  • 8 Red Kite
  • Sperm Whale ( I might as well mention it)
  • 15 Buzzards
  • 20 plus Kestrel
  • Wild Polecat (Geltsdale)
  • Hedgehog (Geltsdale)

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