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Hebridean Imaging
Hebridean Imaging

Off to work….

15th April 2013 – A hard day in the office… First day in my new job, i have a three and a half month contract doing breeding wader surveys, working for RSPB/Machair Life+ It’s not exactly an onerous task – getting paid for what i love to do anyway.

This is my mobile bird hide (Vauxhall Combo Van) and office in one of my survey locations (RSPB reserve at Balranald, North Uist). I will be here once a week. I have four other locations that I will carry out vantage point surveys from so I will visit each one once a week. I also have transect surveys to do, these need to be done either early morning or later in the evening, my plan is to do them early mornings then move on to my vantage point surveys.

Mobile office

Mobile office

16th April 2013 – Took this shot on my way home from work, it’s the main road that goes through South Uist, the A865.

It’s been raining on and off all day and pretty breezy. I was amazed at how quickly the streams and ditches had filled with water – i know we needed the rain but now it looks like it’s not going to stop! We’ve had around 10mm in the last 24 hours. I felt a bit sorry for the cyclist in the photo – not a good day to be out and about on a bike in Uist!

But even in the gloom and rain it still looks rather beautiful.

A dull and rainy day in South Uist

A dull and rainy day in South Uist

A walk around the patch, Manx shearwater, Great Skua and Fulmar added.

17th April 2013 –  Still very wet and pretty breezy today. Work entailed spending some time at the RSPB reserve at Balranald, conditions were just too horrible to be able to get any bird photographs. Had to get filmed for the BBC Scotland programme Landward. God, I hope they don’t show my bit, how embarrasing will that be. I really can’t stand doing things like this. I can blether away happily to anyone but as soon as you point a camera at me my brain seizes up and I become a mumbling idiot. The team were great and very professional. I felt sorry for the cameraman who was outside filming the presenter, Dougie, and I who were inside the van. He said that his camera had already stopped working a few times earlier in the day when he was filming the ploughing. Perhaps i’ll get lucky and it’ll be no good for showing on the telly…

There were a few Corn Buntings and a flock of around 30 Twite active near the visitor centre and not much else about. Amazingly the Skylarks were singing despite the wind and rain. A male Shoveler was on a flooded area of field near the centre too.

Took this shot of a rather choppy Loch Bee, South Uist on my way back home – a brief sunny interval and break in the clouds.

Made a solemn vow never to do television stuff ever again even if i am begged or offered a million quid. I’m just not cut out for it. Too much of an introvert.

Loch Bee

Loch Bee

18th April 2013 –  Another day of squally showers. I worked in Berneray today, a wee island to the north of North Uist. Until 1999 Berneray was separated from Uist and the only way to get there was by boat. A causeway was built and opened in 1999.

Today’s photo is a boat I pass every time I go to Berneray, i’m unsure whether it’s even sea-worthy any more as it’s always hauled out. In nice weather I often see a man sitting drinking coffee on deck. I would like to stop and chat with him sometime, ask him the story of the boat. In the far distance, on the horizon, you can see Harris.

Berneray Boat

Berneray Boat

19th April 2013 – Stinky goodness! My job today took me to the machair at Iochar. As soon as I saw this rusting tractor, which had been hard at work spreading rotting seaweed onto some of the plots that I was surveying, I knew I would have to photograph it. The seaweed is collected in the winter and left to rot in piles and is then used by crofters as a natural fertiliser on the machair.

I will definitely be making a print of this one for my dad – he’s a tractor fanatic and has a lovingly restored Ferguson T20 – the first tractor he used as a young man in the late 1940s

Stinky goodness!

Stinky goodness!

21st April 2013 – I spent the morning working – not my everyday job but my self-employed stuff that I had to catch up with this weekend. This included a job I was dreading – a client’s web site which had been in situ since 2006, updated in 2010, now needs it’s SQL database relocating – the hosting company are doing away with the current version so everything had to be migrated to a new database. I was expecting problems. Amazingly enough everything went smoothly!

For my photography course homework photo I chose to use a metal sculpture which is located outside the nearby Kildonan Museum. The sculpture is by Malcolm Robertson and was commissioned to celebrate the re-opening of the museum in 1998. The sculpture is cut from sheet metal and embedded in a base of locally quarried stone. The words are from a Gaelic emigrant song.

Kildonan sculpture

Kildonan sculpture