Thursday, 28 June 2012

Aigas Spring 2012

Aigas Spring 2012, a set on Flickr.

Click on the thumbnails above for the full size versions.
Here are some photo's from my recent trip to the Aigas Field Centre in the Scottish Highlands. Funny how my best shots always seem to be of subjects I can see everyday at home.One of my personal favourites this time was the Pied Wagtail shot. However I did manage to crack the Bottlenose Dolphins this time, a few dolphin faces this time, rather than fins and tails! I was also pleased with the Wildcat which is one of the females in the Aigas captive breeding programme. Given the low light levels and wire fencing of the enclosure I think this one is pretty nice. I still have a few more to work through so check again soon if you like what you see.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Box End Park WeBS: 23/06/2012

Had to sneak the WeBS count in on Saturday morning as it fell on the same weekend as the guided walk at Priory Country Park. Little of note in the main count:

Common Tern 17    
Coot 3  
Cormorant 3  
Great Crested Grebe 2  
Grey Heron 2  
Kingfisher 1  
Lapwing 3  
Mallard 47  Plus family groups of 11 and 2 ducklings.
Mute Swan 15  
Oystercatcher 2  
Pied/White Wagtail 2
Skylark Present
Total number of species: 12 Individuals: 97

Also seen/heard were:
Chiffchaff  2
Blackcap 3
Common Whitethroat 1
Swift ~30
House Martin ~5
Stock Dove 1
Tawny Owl 1
Reed Warbler 1
Lesser Whitethroat 1

The highlight of the morning was undoubtedly the Tawny Owl which flushed from the trees in the south east corner when I cut through to the river. It flew to the trees on the island but managed to hide itself away again.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Aigas 2012: Intriguing video clip

I setup up a trail camera, on the stream below the loch at Aigas, in the hope of catching an Otter passing through. Sadly it wasn't successful, however the one clip captured is quite intriguing.

The above image is the first frame of the video and it shows an animal, circled, mostly hidden by the foliage. There is a dark spot near the bottom of the circle which appears to be the end of the animals tail. In the video the animal moves off to the top left of the frame.

The clip is very short but I think the movement looks quite feline, could it be.....?

Any thoughts, let me know.

The clip was timed at 22:02 on the 13/06/2012.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Aigas 2012: Pine Martin and Roe Deer

More from the Pine Martin Loch hide at Aigas. This time the Pine Martin is the star of the show. The first couple of clips are pretty standard stuff at this hide, although the second one has the Pine Martin having a groom. Later on a couple of Roe Deer pass by in the background, look out for their eye shine. Initially the Pine Martin doesn't seem bothered and continues eating, but then it spots the deer and heads towards them before realising they may be a little big for him. A little later one of the Roe Deer arrives in front of camera and we finish off with a Roe Deer passing through during daylight.

This is a good example of the sort of thing you can see at Aigas. There are now 2 Pine Martin hides, one on site (Loch Side) and the original one (Quarry) a few minutes down the road. Pine Martins and Badgers are visiting both hides most nights although while we were there last week they seemed to be later at the Loch side hide. Visits are arranged for the Quarry hide but the Loch Side hide is available at anytime.

For photography the Quarry Hide seemed to be the better option as the Pine Martins were regularly visiting while the light was still good whereas it was darker by the time they arrived at the Loch Side Hide. This would obviously vary depending on the time of year you are visiting and of course the animals may have other ideas!

Aigas 2012: Badgers at the Loch Hide

Just back from another great week at the Aigas Field Centre in the Highlands of Scotland. I took my Bushnell Trophy Cams with me and the rangers at Aigas were kind enough to let me put them out around the estate. The best results were at the Pine Martin Loch Hide and first up are a couple of clips of the Badgers, which were late night visitors to the hide. The 2 clips here are from consecutive nights, around midnight, early in the week. The Badger food is covered by large rocks to prevent other animals and birds stealing it before the Badgers arrive. These clips show a couple of the techniques the Badgers use to move the rocks, and also their amazing strength.

Stay tuned for more from this camera.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

News from the badger sett

The last couple of weeks at the badger sett have been pretty normal stuff. The badgers are backwards and forwards most nights and Muntjac have been regular visitors. In fact this Muntjac looked like it was going down into the sett!