Day 74 / 365 – Photo a Day Project 2023

Did our monthly BTO WeBS counts today, slightly delayed due to the poor weather of the last few days.

Loch Bee: Most numberous birds were c390 wigeon and c340 Mute Swans. A good count of 82 Whooper Swans spread out over a fairly wide area. 24 Goldeneye, 100+ Tufted Duck, 3 Shelduck, c60 Mallard, c80 Teal, 23 Redshank, c70 Oystercatchers, 65 Dunlin, c60 Golden Plover, 3 Greenshank, 6 Buzzards, 2 White-tailed Eagles and a male Hen Harrier.

A colour-ringed Oystercatcher was photographed and we found out later in the day that it was originally ringed by our friend Chris at Dawlish, Devon, on the Exe estuary, 4th February 2018. It was seen the following year at Larne Harbour, Co. Antrim, 17th February, 2019. Possibly seen at Askernish beach in very poor light on 16th February 2023 by Bill and now our sighting today.

South Ford: I was surprised to find c112 Barnacle Geese along with several groups of Greylag. Out on the estuary the waders were starting to gather again as the tide dropped, c300 Bar-tailed Godwits, 110+ Grey Plover, c140 Dunlin, 17 Curlew, 4 Knot and a single Ringed Plover. c115 Black-headed Gulls were in the area near Hebridean Jewellery.

Colour-ringed Oystercatcher

Day 29 / 365 – Photo a Day Project 2023

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend so I took an hour this morning to watch the garden, it was a fairly breezy and dreich day with some rain during the hour that I chose. Nothing unexpected seen. The usual sunflower seed, fat balls and mealworms were provided.

Highest counts of each species were: 9 Collared Doves, 20 Goldfinches, 6 Blackbirds, 4 Greenfinches, 15 House Sparrows, 1 Dunnock and 1 Starling.

Very poor light conditions for photographing birds!

Day 12 / 365 – Photo a Day Project 2023

Another wet day of forced confinement, too wet and windy to venture out, well, I could but I really couldn’t muster the enthusiasm 🤣 I did make myself useful by starting to have a clear out and declutter in my studio so that I can actually sit at my desk to work and be creative.

As I looked out of the window I saw these Goldfinches in the tree outside, they are, at least, undeterred by the weather 🙂 My mum still calls them by the old Shropshire name of “seven-coloured linnet” which I think is lovely and really describes them well.

Day 7 / 365 – Photo a Day Project 2023

Well, I made it through a full week of photographing every day 🙂 Out and about this morning during a break in the weather – it was supposed to be 6’C but with winds of 35mph it felt like freezing – i’m pretty sure my eyeballs were frozen into their sockets by the time I got home!

Hooded Crow – new for my patch birding list
Next stop Canada…

Day 4 / 365 – Photo a Day Project 2023

It was hard to pick just one photo today! I’ve added a few below taken in Berneray where I arrived just as dawn was breaking. Making the most of the amazing weather today as the forecast tomorrow is set to be pretty grotty.

Barnacle Geese at dawn on the beach at Borve, I would estimate a total of at least 800 birds were present there
Also taken at dawn, two Otters were seen playing, a mum and a cub 🙂
Great Northern Diver with crab
Barnacle Geese on the flooded machair at Borve, Berneray


The world has officially gone crazy…

I’m currently stranded in Cyprus, for how long, I really don’t know! Hopefully my lovely neighbour Bill Neill will be able to sort out any online orders for me, if I can remember where i’ve put all my stock…

The Uist Craft Producers committee (i’m secretary again this year) decided very early on to keep the shop closed. Just after mid-March Calmac ferries were advising that ferries would only be for essential journeys for island residents and for essential supplies to the island and Loganair have suspended all but essential flights. So, no tourists anyway… Happily there have been very very few cases on the island which is just as well as we don’t actually have any intensive care facilities. The museum and cafe will also be closed. This will all be for the forseeable future.

Meanwhile MisterT and myself are well and enjoying the birds and the sunshine in Cyprus. It’s a little difficult being away from all the family – worrying about mum and dad, Sara and wee Sidney and also with Kat getting so close to having our new wee grandson. We’ll most certainly all be having a massive party together when all this is done with!

Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides sheep cyprus
Lots of sheep, not too different from Uist…
Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides cyprus laughing doves
Laughing Doves
Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides flowers poppies
Roadside poppies
Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides flowers geraniums
Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides Bluethroat
Stunning Bluethroat

Waiting for Puffins….

People are always asking me for Puffin photos – my collection was meagre so I decided late last year that in 2018 I would make a concerted effort to get some good photos of them. So, after visiting one of the off-shore, uninhabited islands recently I was  able to get some great Puffin shots. I’ve just sent my favourite image of the bunch off to the printers to be made into a square greeting card, hopefully they should arrive here very soon! Puffins are so cute! I took hundreds of shots.

Once I receive the order the cards will be on sale here online and at a variety of retail outlets for £2.50 which includes an envelope.

Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides Puffin greeting card

Visible migration

Visited both La Janda and Barbate. Probably the only two places still accesible by vehicle after all this rain.

Between the rain showers the migrants must have been pouring across the Straits from Africa. Hundreds of Black Kites and White Storks were seen. There were also plenty of other migrants around – Short-toed Eagles, Booted Eagles and Hoopoes.

Hebridean Imaging - Yvonne Benting - Bird Photography - Spain - Black Kites - La Janda
Black Kites taking a break from migration, resting up on the electric poles at La Janda

Hebridean Imaging - Yvonne Benting - Bird Photography - Spain - Hoope - Barbate
Hoopoes seem to be finding plenty of insects anyway.

Hebridean Imaging - Yvonne Benting - Bird Photography - Spain - Yellow Wagtail - Barbate
Quite a few Yellow Wagtails around at both La Janda and Barbate. This is one of the Iberian sub-species

Hebridean Imaging - Yvonne Benting - Bird Photography - Spain - Black Kite - La Janda
Black Kite in flight shot

There were also lots of Serins around at La Janda today – some very bright ones in amongst them.

Hebridean Imaging - Yvonne Benting - Bird Photography - Spain - Serins - La Janda
Looking very colourful!