Sunday, 28 November 2010

Autumn Photography and Sightings

*-Every year when the summer season is coming to an end you seem to automatically think thats it for another season and the best of it has past regarding wildlife, sightings and weather, but you soon realise thats no way the case as a lot of migrant birds are on the move and anything can crop up which makes for exciting times, also the days are shorter so there is less daylight hours for animals to feed and hunt which provides a better chance of viewing certain species. And as for the conditions and weather my own personal opinion is that I prefer the Autumn/winter period compared to summer with the main reason being the scenery, landscapes and beauty in colour variations is outstanding as summer merges into Autumn and then Autumn blends into the extremes of winter.

Another reason for the preference is the cooler temperatures and some what freshness about the conditions that I enjoy and being a true northerner I have adapted too them down to a tee!Also I always think that the summer has always to much expectancy and over hyped way in advance (just like England football games) and when summer does arrive its always a bit of a let down i always recon!

In terms of Wildlife sightings the last few weeks we have had some nice records with the main one being the large number of Waxwing on the west side of the country. Upto 4 Hen Harriers coming into roost at Campfield Marsh. A Rough Legged Buzzard at Tindale Tarn on the 1st December. 4 Short Eared Owls also on Tindale reserve. A Great Gray Shrike spotted at Coanwood. Me and John went to see a Slovenian Grebe sitting on Tindale Tarn in Mid November.

Here are some of my photos I have captured in the last couple of weeks.......with a small caption on each

My official first Waxwing! beauty! Went out birding on dads birthday and after wondering about the streets for an hour perving into peoples gardens we got the call right above my car when we were about to leave and managed to see a flock of around 20.

A pair of Long-tailed Tits at Dalston cemetery. Graveyards really do create good nature reserves as they are untouched with minimal disturbance so that wildlife can thrive!

A Male Kestrel sat on a Hawthorn in Geltsdale

What a view, up at 'the cairns' in Geltsdale looking out west towards the Solway and bonnie Scotland!

'Ewans Cairn' as it is known globally in all walking books for the area

While I was watching Hen Harriers coming into roost I took this snap of the moon

Autumn colours on the east side of G reserve

Angles Angles Angles!

Closeup of Oak leaves...

Wildlife bay at Talkin Tarn....I just love the sign name

T Tarn and boat house

Mallards in army training...

Mistle Thrush feeding on rowan berries

Waxwing at Wetheral showing well sat on a birch

Fieldfare lit up by the sun

Larch plantation at CC reservoir

800 year old Sessil Oak at reservoir

My weekly Sunday Wildlife trip with the students was taking place and we had a car full heading north to the scots side for a change instead of a visit to Lakeland. A request off one of the regulars Danny Naisbitt to see Red Kites was accepted and we visited the RK feeding station near Castle Douglass. A 2 oclock arrival in time for the feeding to take place and we were greeted by good news from the RSPB warden as he informed us that 102 RK chicks were bred this year in the area which is a good number. It makes me happy when you hear such positive news like that.
We moved onto Thrieve castle and visited the hides there and got treated to a brief Kingfisher wizzing past, also an unidentified Mustleid species in the reed beds. At first glance I thought it was a Mink but soon realising it was the wrong colour being a dark brown colour, It was too big to have been a Water Vole so I would of said it was a young Otter but cant confirm anything as it was a split second view. A successful trip to Dumfries and Galloway which is a fantastic area for wildlife with great potential! Look out for John Miles newly published book hitting the shelves called - Best Birdwatching Sites: The Solway: Cumbria / Dumfries and Galloway.....
Thanks for looking....My next update will have some Winter Photography from the area and also hopefully some Wildlife sightings and stories to tell you from the coming weeks!


  1. Great report as always and nice to see some shots without snow on them! :-) I agree, autumn and winter is the best and most atmospheric time of year for nature watching. Just wish this damn snow would stop.:-) I'll keep an eye out for the book coming out as the areas covered are favorites of mine. Cheers Brian.

  2. Another good entry Ewan, plenty good photos which made the read more enjoyable. DS!