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More Shorewatch

PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:25 pm
by Janet M
I've been managing at least one observation session a day from Tiumpan Head and have had several sighting of dolphins (too far away to identify), Minke Whales, and best of all - the magnificent sight of a pod of Orca. They were leaping about and being generally thrilling on Monday evening, I stayed out a long time until the light faded too much to see clearly.

Envy.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:17 pm
by Des
Cetacean heaven, Janet. Love hearing about your sightings.

Re: Birds and Bees

PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:35 am
by Dayna
I wish I could see whales and dolphins. There's been huge flocks of crows and other birds out back here every morning in some trees that have red/orange berries. It looks like a scene from The Birds. The crows get kind of loud. They always sound like they're talking to each other, like maybe calling their freinds to tell them there's food. I can't see the small birds good enough through binoculars.

I've been interested in history of this area and am now getting interested in searching for ancient Native American artifacts back here in the creek and other places I can do it. I've found a few things that look like they could be stone tools but I'm not sure what to look for. I've read they can look like pieces of stones that were cut or shaped. I need more information but it's really fascinating to find evidence of the people who lived here before.

Re: Birds and Bees

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:03 pm
by Dayna
I was told by someone from Arrowhead.com that the thing I found in the creek yesterday is a Paleo-knife. That is so amazing. That would mean I have something that's from some people who were here 1,000s of years ago.

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Re: Birds and Bees

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:03 am
by Janet M
I had a commission for a landscape watercolour so I was stamping the hills of south east Lewis yesterday. I tried to load a pic of the view from the top of Malasgeir but this site would have none of it.

On the way up and down I had lots of Magpie Moths, lacewings and Common Blue butterflies flying round me whilst being scolded by Wheatears and Meadow Pipits. There were plenty of caterpilars of the Fox Moth - big spotty hairy things. At the top there were Golden Plovers and I watched a couple of White Tailed Sea Eagles fly past - their tails are VERY white when seen from above.

There were other interesting things to see - this Round leaved Sundew, Drosera Rotundifolia for one.
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Re: Birds and Bees

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:12 am
by Janet M
I've also been doing at least one Shorewatch session a day for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society - there have been plenty of zero returns over the last month but just lately with the calmer weather and smoother seas I've been seeing much more. In the last week I logged a largish pod of Long Finned Pilot Whales plus Common Dolphins, Risso's Dolphins and more Minke Whales.

We don't even attempt to watch if the wind is over a Force 4, but most of my sightings have been when its Force 1 or 2

Re: Birds and Bees

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:06 pm
by Chris P
Bee wearing:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14175993

wonderful photos, the insectoid version of the burry man?

Mass stranding of pilot whales at Durness

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:18 am
by Janet M
I was one of the Marine Mammal Medics that attended the recent mass stranding of long finned pilot whales at the Kyle of Durness at the far north of mainland Scotland. In mass stranding terms this was a great success as 44 were returned to the open sea, 25 died of which 3 had to euthanased. The dead whale behind my tent was alive in the night, but it was too dark to work safely, and by the time it was light enough, the whale had died.

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If you google Durness whales you will find more info

Dolphins!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:05 am
by Janet M
Spent Thursday afternoon with some of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society people on a small boat off Lewis see the WDCS blog http://www2.wdcs.org/fieldblog/ their pictures are so much better than mine - and the littlest dolphin seemed to be doing the most spectacular leaps. We also saw porpoises, and some came very close to the boat, very unusual as they tend to be rather shy.

In previous days I had seen something humungous from Tiumpan Head, light fading and too far out for a positive identification - Humpback? Fin? Sei? Also the WDCS team had seen plenty of Minke and again something else really big but hadn't got an ID. We travelled round to Tiumpan Head and saw ... nothing. There were plenty of birds, and the Great Skuas did ask for mac'rel! We also clocked Red Throated Divers and Little Tern amongst the more usual sightings.

The weather had been perfect for sightings, mirror calm sea, light cloud cover - but all that has ended now and we are back to wild, wet and windy!

Re: Fox n' Crocs

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:35 pm
by Des
Tremendous, Janet. You convey the excitement of whale-watching so well.

Re: Fox n' Crocs

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:23 pm
by Janet M
Thanks Des, I am a woman of simple pleasures!

Re: Fox n' Crocs

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:40 pm
by DavidM
We've been visited by a heron recently. I've disturbed it a couple of times while it was standing in the old goose pond next to the house.

We have no more goldfish.

Re: Fox n' Crocs

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:33 pm
by Des
Herons seem to be getting rather fearless these days, turning up at quite isolated ponds in increasingly urban settings!

Common Seal

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:07 pm
by Janet M
On Tuesday evening I was one of the Marine Mammal Medics called to a local beach to assess a Common Seal pup, and when I got there it was tiny, very emaciated and had obvious breathing difficulties. After getting further advice from the Highland Seal Hospital we carefully took it to the vets where it was weighed, measured, given antibiotics and a goodly dose of vitamins, then a liquid feed. The next day he was taken to the seal hosp at Thurso, North of Scotland and is getting stronger, more lively and inquisitive every day.

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Also at the vet there was an Otter that had been found wandering, weak, thin and hungry on a Stornoway street. They were feeding it up ready to return to the wild. Stunningly beautiful, it was sleeping sweetly when I took the pic

Image

Re: Fox n' Crocs

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:48 pm
by Des
The Otter is sooo cute!