Tuesday, 29 March 2011

From 286,886 people to just 65!

In just Two weeks time, I will be swapping my home from a  busy town to a small remote island just south of Shetland.

From This

 To this

Im heading up to Fair Isle working at the world famous bird observatory. Founded in 1958, it was the brain child of George Waterson which he dream't up while he was in a prisoner  of war camp. Run by a small charitable trust, it is still going strong after 60 years!

The new Fair isle Bird Observatory situated in Maver's Cup.

Home to hundreds of thousands of seabirds in the summer
 including the
Commical Puffin to the mighty Great skua.

Fair isle is also world known for its famous Knitwear.

Close encounters with Killer Whales.

Panoramic view from Ward Hill (highest point) to the south of the island.

This is just a taster of whats to come during the course of my stay this season.

For more information about Fair isle Bird Observatory and Fair isle, Please click on the links below:

Monday, 28 March 2011

Big Softy

The Spotty Hound was very quiet so I went to investigate to see what he was up.

and this is what I found:

We've had Chester since he was a puppy at eleven weeks and now he is just under Three. He can be a very bouncy boy obsessed with snow, Somehow he must think he is a Husky rather then a breed that comes from a hot region. Chester loves people  and his a very playful dog. A few of his favourite past times is to relax in the sun and play mental stimulation games like search & rescue for treats and toys.
The 1st Day we got him

8 months old

1st Birthday

Relaxing in the Sun

Loving the snow

Being a Pointer!

Best Buddies........The cat defintley rules the roost!

I could not ask for a better dog........He is certainly a man's best friend!!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Bird Ringing/Banding took me to Israel!

Today, My Ringing license came through the post from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) which got me remembering. This time four years ago I embarked on a epic ringing adventure going to Kabbutz Lotan in Israel. I went with a lovely guy called Dave Riley who I met a couple of times on Fair isle in Shetland, There was several of us (all licensed ringers) from all over the UK going there has a group. As  first timer, I saw and ringed plenty of new species of birds after travelling all over the south of the country.

Little Green Bee-eater

We ringed at three locations (Pool side and the Organic Garden - both at Lotan, Yotvata - Fantastic birding spot). All locations had different habitats so we were seeing/ringing a wide variety of species. From Arabian Babblers to Scops Owls and Hoopoes, Red Rumped Swallows to Eastern Bonelli's Warblers and Dead Sea Sparrows, and that was just the ringing side.

Black Eared Wheatear 

 Isabeline Wheatear

We got up at first light (4:30am) every day so we could make the most of the morning ringing as by 10:30am, it got too hot and the birds began to have their siesta. From then we had lunch with the community then a few of us went birding in the afternoon going as far as Eilat in the south and as far north as K76. Birding  was incredible as large flocks of birds of prey (up to 500 birds) moved up through the valley. We had as many as 10,000 Steppe Buzzards fly over us during the course of one day with several types of Eagles and 2 species of Vultures amongst them. We even ventured out late one evening to see the rare Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse coming over from Jordan to there favourite water hole in israel.
Short Toed Lark

Redstart (Easten form)

Laughing Dove

Israel was defintly an life experience I will never foget, from Fantastic birds to amazing people. One day I would love to go again to what I describe as an incredible Journey!!

Friday, 25 March 2011

A warm welcome!!

This is Just Magical!

Welcome to my first ever blog!

I have just read that a 'Blog is a Blank Canvas'.......So im going to make the most of it, instead of just covering one subject, I will be covering all what I encounter whether its from the small things in life to the large, The funny and the sad, The good and the bad....Wow...I have just started to sound like a poet!!

I have a great summer ahead of me as I head up north to Britians remotest inhabitated island 'FAIR ISLE' in Shetland where I will be working and living at one of world's famous Bird Observatories for the season.

Cant wait to get Blogging!