Sunday, 3 March 2013

Fin whale on the Solway & More night shifts

Article on the Solway Fin whale stranding which I will talk about a bit more further down. Beaching is a natural event, and with years gone by in the British isles it would have provided a vital food source for a large number of animals like Wolves, bears, Lynx and Eagles.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-21504919

I love stories like this...the illusive life of Petrels for ya!
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1302/S00542/extinct-seabird-discovered-breeding-50-km-from-auckland.htm

Another soft sentence for a countryside criminal...oh how the millionaire land owner will afford to cough up £85.
 http://raptorpolitics.org.uk/2013/02/21/are-the-courts-taking-wildlife-crimes-seriously-as-another-gamekeeper-given-lenient-sentance/

A moving video of how the state of our oceans affect the dependent wildlife such as Albatross.
http://vimeo.com/25563376 

After hearing about the stranded Fin whale on the Scots side Solway if encouraged Dad and myself to head up that way for the day and cover a few sites in crisp sunshine. Double figure Buzzard count on the A75 and as we arrived at Wigtown Bay we saw the diggers out on the mudflats underway with disposing of the animal. A 17.5m meter (3.4 m across tail fluke) sub-adult male beached with a reported second Fin whale seen the days previous in shallow waters. Lets hope know one reports that whale again and it makes it safely out west to deeper waters. Who knows I might see an alive animal this year with Sea Life Surveys with their last sighting back in 2007 of two animals.
As we were watching the Cetacean a couple pulled up with one guy in an old wheelchair and he shouted to some random woman in front of him "Oy shift out lass i know its a big bugger but your arse is blocking most of it" haha. Then he goes "Am from Yorkshire I don't give a shit me" "They cant do owt to me look at me im already f##ked". What a legend...we spoke about the Leeds Revie glory days briefly before moving on. 

Click on photos for a larger scale...

17.5 Meter Fin whale on the mud flats as locals look on..

Poor animal...a mixed experience...

We headed up to higher ground on a back road to look for Golden Eagles and after a brief scan we got a female Goshawk disturbing Jackdaws. We moved onto the Red Kite feeding station and parked up in the 'tight yorkshire git' lay by with over 100 birds in flight and a couple of Ravens calling. A stunning sight!


Was hoping to get a Red Kite next to the moon but a plane will do...

Red Kites in large numbers...

On to RSPB Loch Ken as we gave the dogs a little walk and went to the hide to check the feeders as we had a single Willow Tit, Chaffys, Blue Great and Coal Tits and Nuthatch. Mallards, Teal, Tufties and Goldeneye on the loch with Red Kites soaring in the back drop. We went to the impressive Goose view point platform half way down the loch and picked up 4 Greenland White-fronts and seen a large distant group so we got back in the car and headed down that way to get a count of over 170. What a great day in D&G!


Greenland White Fronted Geese at Loch Ken

The high pressure continued and I did a local night shift doing some astrophotography and listening for Owls. A strong moon crescent lit up the landscape nicely to help with the photography. First port of call was in a nearby conifer plantation in Gdale to listen for early Long-eared owls but no joy yet. up to five Tawny owls calling all around me.
Headed down to the local bodies of water to try and get some reflections as the wind was very light. Talkin Tarn first of all where I got Barn and tawny owls calling. Castle Carrock reservoir next to shoot the dam under the star lit skies and covered a few fields to listen for Little owl but no joy there. A great night and after checking the forecast I hope to have more night time action in the coming days.


Castle Carrock...good Little Owl country...nothing heard

Castle Carrock Reservoir...

Duck pond listening for Long-eared Owls


Talkin tarn under a clear night sky...

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