Adam Hough Photography

Adam Hough Photography

Saturday, 30 April 2016


Another week another Raven nest found. 4 chicks all doing well. Found a few more shags preparing nests which was nice, also around 10 pairs of Razorbill now occupying sites on the cliffs. Still no Puffin found but its early days into the season so i have hope. Short eared owls are still showing superb in the gorgeous evening light i am staking out a hopeful nest site , fingers crossed. Great Skua are around more frequently and i witnessed one pass a Raven nest which sent the female Raven into an epic aerial battle that lasted over a few minutes. The Raven got help from its partner in the end which sent the Bonxie fleeing.
Have caught up with some large flocks of Turnstone and Sanderling in recent days, these birds are feeding hungrily on the flies that are found around the piles of kelp on the beaches. The Oystercatchers seem to be seperating and are now more often seen in pairs rather than groups so they will be on eggs soon. We have some strange weather lately with snow, hail, rain, and beautiful calm sunshine! Dont think the birds know what to do..... i certainly dont.
Have caught up with a lot of the resident otters lately and am starting to figure out their springtime movements, this has altered a lot to the winter months. After talking to Richard Shucksmith from Shetland last month , I think the Otters on Orkney are surprisingly a lot different to the Shetland Otters. Richard says the best time to see them is a couple hours before and after low tide. Here on Sanday i find this is high tide, the tides on the islands are different to Shetland as the heights of the tides are more dramatic . On the sandy low beaches the tide can go out half a mile to nearly a mile which means the otters would have to travel a lot more for food, when the tide comes in it will bring food to the Otter . I will keep all my records and see what summer and Autumn bring.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

birding update 26/04/2016

The days are drawing out and i am finding myself waking at 4am and going to bed at around 11pm most of the week. Bird action is increasing, i will start with the Ravens , there is a lot of news with proposed culls which i do not agree with. They are wanting to cull them because of their "vicious attacks on sheep" which i have seen no evidence of. Anyway Ravens start nesting really early and birds in Sanday were preparing nests in January . As we speak i am watching 5 nests with young of various ages from a week to 4 and a half weeks . Some are tiny and helpless and some are about to fledge . I was worried about a cliff nesting pair yesterday with winds of 70/80 kmph i set off at 7pm to go and have a look . As always dad was on his perch and mum was further down the cliff. All four young were absolutely fine so i left and kept watch of a pair of Great skua doing the rounds.
Hen Harrier are doing really well in Orkney and 3 individuals a male and  ringtail are a common sight on Sanday , i am hoping they nest but not seen much activity of this , although there was a fair bit of chasing from the two ringtails last week. I see them daily and it is such an honour. Short eared owls are everywhere it seems with at least 5 individuals still on Sanday , they love a nice hot day , i watch them hunting the shores on a calm day ......

Took this short yesterday evening in the last light of day . The cliffs are really starting to fill up with breeding birds, have seen a lot of kittiwakes with a couple on the cliffs but no concrete evidence yet they are going to breed here. Razorbills are starting to frequent the cliffs a lot so hoping to update you soon on these. Puffins i have seen offshore for a couple of weeks and have a tip -off on a location  that may sound promising. Shags are early breeders and in two colonies we have three pairs now on eggs and lots of mating and pairing so fingers crossed for a good season, they had quite a bad winter with a lot of young individuals being found dead from the storms.
Migrants seem to be well and truly on the move with Arctic tern, Sandwich tern being most recent, Wheatears seem to be everywhere and i have had a lot of goldcrest in the garden.
A pair of Linnet are frequenting the garden lots so really hope they nest here , woul dlike some nice shots of these birds.
I will leave you with a shot from two days a go ......

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

What a busy time

As the colder weather settles it seems like the year is ageing to quick already. The April showers have arrived however we have had some absolutely beautiful sunny days. The birds are migrating and the spring time arrivals are becoming more frequent , this week alone i hve had Wheatear, Chiffchaff, Brambling, Goldcrest and Bullfinch all moving through the garden.
I am working on a really exciting project which i hope to bring to you in about a months time , fingers crossed it all goes well. I am going to need a lot of patience and dedication for this one. The days are getting longer and soon i will be photographing at all peculiar times of day and night , the best light will be about 10.30 pm and 3.00 am. Going o be a long summer but i am looking forward to all the new challenges. I leave you with some more recent images .......