Most days when i am out i will be looking for birds, ever since a young age whenever i am out be it in a car or walking i will look for birds. It makes me incredibly quiet to go on car journeys with! Orkney is a wonderful place for birding , a bad day is when i go out and i don't see a Hen Harrier. I get them most days passing through my garden , along with a couple of hundred starling, a bird that in Bedfordshire and the rest of England is on the decline.
On Sanday the island i live on i have counted 2 male and 3 female Hen Harrier , these have been around since i came in december so fingers crossed they stay . I would love to see them dancing and displaying to each other .Short eared owls are one of my favourite birds to see slowly floating over the fields looking for Orkney voles and mice to devour. There is a good population of these daylight owls on the island too.
My favourite bird as i have mentioned in earlier posts is the Fulmar and there are plenty of them around Orkney. I went along a 100m piece of beach today and counted 24 pairs already occupying nest sites. They are really noisy birds when they are together always keeping in contact with one another , they remind me of an old married couple just nattering away. I guess when they have the same mate for life they are an old married couple.
A bird i would like to photograph more is the Shag they are smaller version of the Cormorant. They are primarily fish eaters and are beautiful birds. I will soon have the ability to photograph adults in there stunning metallic green breeding plumage but for now here is a picture of a juvenile i took a few days ago.
Its amazing just looking at the bird life you can see the seasons changing , a lot of the winter visitors like the Whooper swans are starting to move on back to their breeding sites. Other species such as Oystercatchers are growing in numbers which means they will soon be pairing up and breeding , spring is finally on its way.