Tuesday, 23 October 2012


Sometime earlier in the summer No 1 daughter asked - somewhat out of the blue - if we could go bird-watching somewhere. It's one of the pleasures of being a Dad that you can respond favourably to such requests, so we spent a happy afternoon at a local lake trying to find some birds. In truth, it was moulting season, so birds were not really in evidence. "Thats it," I thought, convinced that the avian desert would put her off the idea for ever. But happily not. Another request appeared in my texts.

This time we tried Caerlaverock - their website suggesting that there would be Whooper Swans and Barnacle Geese in decent numbers. And we weren't disappointed - except by the swans who were too busy doing swanny things out in the fields.

Went into the first hide - and just about the first bird we spotted other than a few shoveller ducks was a merlin - only my second ever. So sorry swans - not bothered that I didn't see you now.

We managed to track down a snipe - largely by dint of sheer persistence, No1 daughter got her first glimpse (it was a glimpse) of a great spotted woodpecker and was wooed by the rather quaint wheezing of the wigeon all over the reserve.

Male Wigeon, Caerlaverock

And the icing on the cake? The day finished with a fly past from a couple of thousand barnacles - much to the delight of both ourselves and the guy videoing from the hide, who'd been waiting three days for that particular shot. So to celebrate our (and his) success and patience here are some Barnacles - all the way from Spitzbergen especially for us.

Barnacle Geese at Caerlaverock

Barnacle Geese, Caerlaverock

Celebrate the diversity of birds around the world with a visit to Wild Bird Wednesday


Adam Jones said...

That Wigeon shot is a real beauty.

Nigel Monckton said...

Thanks Adam - the pond is very close to one of the main hides which certainly helps with these things.

Heather Wilde said...

It's great sharing such days with the kids. Findlay would have us out every day if he could. Lovely pictures and story.


Awesome...just plain and simple ---these are AWESOME

Hootin' Anni @ Hootin' Anni's - Egret taking to flight
I'd Rather B Birdin - Cooper's Hawk

mick said...

The in-flight birds are especially beautiful.

Gary said...

Great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

i stora drag said...

It's so nice, the photo of the geese flying away!
Greetings Pia, Sweden

eileeninmd said...

Sounds like a wonderful birding outing with your daughter. I can not picture my 19 yr old son asking to go birding with me. Love the birds and your photos.

Stewart M said...

Greetings - splendid place. We went there if I recall!

The wigeon is rather good. I can see why RJ would like the call.

Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW


Pat said...

Beautiful captures!