Strathbeg Visit

Hi all. We spent a day up at the Loch of Strathbeg during the week. We had been watching the weather closely and were fortunate that a nice day was forecast. A long drive up there (3 1/2) hours) but we stayed overnight in a nice wee hotel so it was worth the trouble. Mostly Ducks......and mostly Wigeon and Teal.

First shot I've posted elsewhere but here it is again. It was worth the journey just to see the numbers present.

We left the house at just after 4:30am to get there for the light coming in. A passing Buzzard in the early morning light.

Lots of Whooper Swans about, these two coming in.

Passing Mallards.

I don't see many Marsh Harriers so it was nice to see this one on and off as the day wore on. I'm thinking a young bird with the dark feathers, but a female may also be possible. I'll leave the decision up to those with more experience with these birds.

There was a certain level of disturbance when the Harrier was on the wing. The Teal weren't overly happy about the situation.!!

They rest of the Ducks didn't like it at all.!!

Incoming Whoopers at a different area. A first for me were five Common Cranes, a few of which are in this shot. Too much atmospherics and distance to get any decent shots of them though.

Mostly Wigeon here.

It was a good day for photographing Whoopers.

Although landing spaces in the reeds weren't always easy to find.

Almost all the open spaces had at least a few busy residents.

Still, it was the Ducks we'd gone to see.

And they didn't disappoint.

There were a few Lapwings around as well.

But it was the Ducks which made the trip up there for me.

A shot with the 135mm. Just to give a bigger picture of the activity which went on all day long.

And a final shot of the Marsh Harrier off in the distance before we headed to the Hotel for a well deserved pint of the foaming Ale.!! :-)

Very enjoyable and highly recomended at this time of year.!! :-)

My bird photos HERE

  • Fabulous photos and post as always Paul, what an amazing area for waterfowl and your photos give such a realistic impression of numbers and habitat (I've got to learn not to crop my photos all the time ! ) I love the ducks too and hope to pop down to Deeside one day soon. Well done with the Marsh Harrier too, they do vary in colour sometimes as I remember seeing quite a dark youngster at L.Moss earlier in the year and then a slightly lighter version of a juvenile - who all resemble their Mum with cream coloured head ! After all that excitement and driving I hope you enjoyed your well deserved foaming Ale and a good nights rest.    Bonus bird had to be the Cranes, you lucky boy.

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Lovely shots Paul, super whoopers (never seen one) and the "mass" of birds on the wing is brilliant
  • Thanks folks. A good day out and a really nice country house hotel to finish off with. They've also opened a new bypass around Aberdeen which knocked a good half hour off the journey as well.!! :-)

    My bird photos HERE

  • Lovely to see that area and the huge number of birds is amazing. Good day out indeed after a long journey so glad you saw all you wanted and the weather seemed to be good also.

    Lot to learn

  • Looks like a good place to go, with good numbers of wildfowl (more than have made it here, so far, anyway) and great to get the Cranes, too. I often find it difficult to tell between young and female Marsh Harriers, too (and even worse if you're in area where some males are now being reported as crossdressing to avoid territorial disputes). I believe that in general, adult females have more cream colour on the leading edge of their wings than youngsters but it's more difficult to tell from the underside of the wing.

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    Nige   Flickr

  • Thanks folks. Interesting info regarding the Harriers, Nige.

    My bird photos HERE