Scottish Sea Birds & Cumbrian Ospreys

BETWEEN 22nd & 24th JULY 2010

This was a trip to Scotland with my brother to attend a family funeral. While we were there we filled in some spare time with walks in the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens and Aberlady Bay, and a visit to the Scottish Sea Bird Centre at North Berwick

On our way home we broke the journey at the RSPB Leighton Moss reserve, where we were lucky enough to observe (from a great distance and through misty rain) an Osprey hunting and consuming a fish.

On Friday morning we parked on the roof of the Ocean Terminal car park at Leith Docks, to have some lunch, change into our "guid claes", and watch the world go by.
Three Cormorants dry their wings.
A Great Black-Backed Gull soars past the car park.
One of four female Eider seen in the dock
On Saturdy morning we headed for North Berwick and the Scottish Sea Bird Centre, hoping for a boat trip round Bass Rock. On the way we stopped for a walk along the beach at Aberlady Bay.
Oystercatcher & Kittiwake
Bar-Tailed Godwits
Next we stopped at Scottish Sea Life Centre, North Berwick.
Bass Rock
A Gull with a damaged foot.
On our way home, we broke the journey at Leighton Moss, Cumbria.
Swallows & Coots on the lake
Here we watched an Osprey hovering and diving over the lake, from a great distance and through mist and drizzle. We moved to a hide slightly closer to the action, and found him in a tree with a large fish.
Distant Osprey, with fish
Osprey and Egrets
A male Marsh Harrier, near to the Osprey

Bedfont Lakes


Three trips to Ashford hospital today; taking in, visitig after operation, and bringing home. After the middle visit I called in at Bedfont Lakes.
An adult Great Crested Grebe shakes himself...
... and settles back in the water.
His offspring looks suspiciously at me...
... and they both swim away as fast as possible.

A little later, the Grebes somehow got involved in a Coot fight. The adult flew/ran away along the surface of the lake. The juvenile watched until the adult was back on the surface, wondering what to do. Then after a couple of half-hearted attempts, he stood up, flapped his wings, and imitated his mentor.
The juvenile G C Grebe tries out his wings.
The Common Terns were in good form. The warden told me later that they have counted 42 Tern chicks this year.
A Commin Tern in flight
A Tern picks up a piece of bread at speed.

The Far North : Tromso Botanic Garden

MONDAY 12th JULY 2010

Under construction - come back later.

The Far North : Life on Land

BETWEEN 3rd & 17th JULY 2010

Under construction - come back later.

The Far North : Gjesværstappan Nature Reserve


From the fishing port of Gjesvær, we went round the islands of Gjesværstappan. The first rocks we passed provided a roost for hundreds of Cormorants, and a few Black-Backed Gulls.

The surface of the water near the island was covered with various members of the Auk family, the most recognisable being the Puffin.

... and Razorbills were very much in evidence.

The plentiful supply of food (i.e. small sea-birds) supports a sizeable population of White-Tailed Sea Eagles.

One end of the island was home for thousands of Gannets. This one seems to have become entangled in seaweed.

As the boat approached, the Puffins either dived or flew. Sometimes they were so full of fish that when they tried to fly, all they could do was run along the serface flapping their wings.

We saw many Sea Eagles sitting on rocks. At one point we could see six at the same time.


The Far North : Sea Life

BETWEEN 3rd & 17th JULY 2010

Under construction - come back later.