Archives » Wild Life

Buzzards

Since we moved to Son of the Rock Acres we have noticed a lot more wild life than in the old house. That’s not surprising. We back onto woodland now.

We did used to be near a park where there were swans and herons as well as geese and gulls of various sorts and – once – a deer seemingly trapped in the fenced-off tennis court.

What we didn’t hear were owls which we did here as soon as we moved into the new house but they seem to have gone quiet.

Three or so years ago we began to notice a buzzard flying about the adjacent estate. I took this – very amateur – video of it in February 2016. (Click on the picture to get to the video.):-

Buzzard

Last year about this time we noticed three of the birds circling almost over the house:-

3 Buzzards

They were making a distinctive cry:-

Buzzards

Earlier this year one took to perching on a young tree just over the back fence:-

Buzzard

Ellon, Aberdeenshire

We stopped at Ellon both on the way up to Peterhead and on the way back down.

A scenic river passes just to the west of the town, the River Ythan.

River Ythan at Ellon

It’s crossed by two bridges, the old one:-

Old Bridge, Ellon

And the newer:-

Newer Bridge Over River Ythan at Ellon

If you look closely at the above photo you’ll spot a single swan. Here it is in a closer shot:-

Swan in River Ythan, Ellon

A Heron, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

I captured this heron on the bank of the Kinness Burn at St Andrews harbour:-

A Heron, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

River Cree and Newton Stewart, Dumfries and Galloway

Newton Stewart has a lovely situation sitting by the banks of the River Cree:-

River Cree, Newton Stewart

River Cree, Newton Stewart

Unfortunately the river sometimes comes a bit too close. In this photo you can see work on flood defences at centre right:-

River Cree, Newton Stewart, Dumfries and Galloway

There is a lovely bridge over the river:-

Newton Stewart bridge

It seems to be a good place for birds:-

Bird, Newton Stewart

Heron just to right of and above centre:-

Heron, Newton Stewart

The plant growth was making this chimney loook dodgy, though!:-

Chimney Plants, Newton Stewart

Hoy and Flotta

On the way back from Lyness on Hoy to Houton on the Orkney mainland the ferry took a slightly different route in order to put off and pick up at the island of Flotta.

Looking back to Hoy from ferry to Flotta :-

Looking back to Hoy from Flotta Ferry

Miltary constructions go back a long way on Orkney. This is one of at least two Martello Towers on Hoy. These date from the Napoleonic wars:-

A Martello Tower, Hoy

Defunct military building on Flotta, Orkney. Plus trees – an unusual sight on Orkney:-

Fortification on Flotta, Orkney

At the Flotta terminal a woman suddenly cried out, “Look. A Seal!”

A Seal, Flotta

Three more seals were basking on the shore on the other side of the ferry:-

Seals on Flotta, Orkney

Structure in mid Scapa Flow. This was too far away from the ferry for me to make it out but it looks like an artificial island:-

Structure in mid Scapa Flow

Oil Terminal at Rinnigill, Flotta, from Flotta-Houton ferry.:-

Oil Terminal at Rinnigill, Flotta

Tanker and Rinnigill Oil Terminal, Flotta:-

Tanker and Rinnigill OilTerminal, Flotta

Canal Bridges, Bruges

When we saw a notice advertising boat trips on the canal in Bruges we opted for one straight away. These photos mostly feature bridges over the canal(s).

Setting off:-

Bruges by Boat 1

Typical view:-

View from Boat, Bruges

Not quite “mind your head”:-

Under Canal Bridge, Bruges

But certainly do this time. I think this was the one the guide said was the lowest:-

Lowest Bridge, Bruges

Looking back to low bridge:-

Looking back to Low Bridge, Bruges

Bridge and swans:-

Bridge and Swans, Bruges

Furthest bridge on the trip. I think the building beyond the bridge is something to do with the water management system in Bruges:-

Furthest Bridge, Bruges

Side bridge and swans. The bridge wasn’t one we went under. It looks too low for that:-

Side Bridge and Swans, Bruges

Raptors at Gardening Scotland 2016

One of the outdoor displays at Gardening Scotland 2016 was of various birds of prey. There’s actually a place near where I live where someone keeps birds of prey. I’ve seen a bloke walking in Markinch with an owl on his arm. I have also seen them being displayed in a shopping mall in Kirkcaldy.

I think this is a long-eared owl:-

Long-Eared? Owl

A Falcon?:-

Falcon?

Barn owl:-

Barn Owl

This looks like a female lesser kestrel:-

Lesser Kestrel

Wildlife at Mount Grace Priory

Mount Grace Priory is in North Yorkshire, the best preserved Carthusian monastery in Britain. We popped in there for a look on our way from Northallerton.

Just before the car park there was a pond on the left hand side. I spotted a heron:-

Heron at Mount Grace Priory

Mount Grace Priory Heron

There were some geese too:-

Wild? Geese at Mount Grace Priory

Miniature Railway, Blenheim Palace

One of the attractions at Blenheim Palace is a miniature railway which every half hour does a trip from near the car park to a play area, maze and garden centre type thingy.

This is the railway’s station:-

Miniature Railway, Blenheim Palace

I photographed the train on its return journey to the car park:-

Miniature Railway Train, Blenheim Palace

This handsome gentleman was walking along by the side of the station when the train had pulled up:-

Pheasant at Blenheim Palace

This year we returned to Blenheim (the ticket gives free re-entry within a year) and had time to make a trip on the train:-

On the Train, Miniature Railway, Blenheim Palace

The locomotive is named after one of Blenheim’s most famous sons:-

Blenheim  locomotive

Amphibian Visitor

This summer we replaced one of the sinks in our house. The old one was then pressed into service as a makeshift pond for the garden.

Within 24 hours of filling it with water the “pond” had a visitor:-

Frog in Garden

Frog in Garden "Pond"

By this one the frog (or toad) had climbed out to the side:-

Frog in Close-up

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