Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Orca - Baleshare / Baile Sear update.

It’s good to have some follow up news on the killer whale that we found on Baleshare / Baile Sear on North Uist  last summer – see 13.08.14 on my blog – thanks to the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme.  He was a sub-adult ( 1900kg ; 602cm)  and was not thought to be one of the west coast of Scotland community – he was a mackerel and herring feeder – so it is more likely to be from offshore (Norway, Iceland, Northern Scotland) – DNA is likely to confirm this. He died of pneumonia. Sadly, his stomach content included some squid beaks, packing strap fragments; a long line hook; monofilament bundle; black polythene sheeting – possibly from silage wrap and other fishing hooks. We were so privileged to have found him.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Luskentyre - mini oils

They're 7cm x 7cm - so quite fiddly with a palette knife! The edges of the canvases are definitely the pain to do!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Ireby Old Church

Lovely to see so many spring flowers coming out along the roadside, despite the chill wind!

Friday, 24 April 2015

Luskentyre beach, Harris

A bigger painting today (oil 90cm x 70cm) - from a day last summer on our Hebridean expedition - so where do I put this one while it dries that is out of the way of cats, dogs and family?

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

New Puss moth record in Cumbria

Last night's moth trap would have been largely uneventful- that is apart from this beautiful moth.
Among the 50 Hebrew Characters and Clouded Drabs we got a large female puss moth. In the last 18 years of moth-trapping this is the first ever Puss moth we've had up in the North of Cumbria.

UK Puss Moth Distribution 
A very fresh specimen 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Bassenthwaite mini oils.

I didn't expect to get these done as a busy day today, but they worked out well. They're only 6cm x 6cm and so not that easy just using just a palette knife!

Giraffes ...Limpopo.

More pics from Molly...

Mawbray to Allonby in the sun!

A lovely sunny walk with chips at Allonby. Love the jammed-in pebbles. 

Increasing numbers of Garden Tiger Moths in Cumbria

Tom has been using his records of Garden Tiger moths, from his moth trapping, to plot the dramatic increase in a declining moth species. Between 1968 and 2002 the Garden Tiger's numbers fell by 89% in the UK, however here in Cumbria we've been seeing increasing numbers of this once common garden moth.
A Graph collated from our moth trapping records.

While the decline of large moths in the UK is alarming, in the future here in Cumbria, we will see a increase in both beautiful and rarer moths.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Limpopo province elephants!

So lovely to have Molly home and what lovely photos - here are the first I've gone through - elephants...

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Fishing buoy from the Kelly Ann- a Hawaiian Long-liner

Last week, on Islay we had the fortune of finding an American fishing buoy at Sanaig.
This is not unusual as we get many fishing buoys from over the Atlantic- usually from Connecticut, but they normally don't have any identification clues. What made this buoy different was that it had a name and ID number of the boat it came from. 
The Kelly Ann 929284

The Kelly Ann (92984)was built in 1988 built by Kelly Ann Corp and is a 78ft tuna long liner- licensed from Hawaii. 

Langdale Axe Fragment

Lovely to see this axe fragment - found on the allotments at Burgh by Sands - next to Dad's patch!

Friday, 10 April 2015

April moths in Cumbria

A good night for moth trapping!
Left hand column: Small quakers; common quaker and twin-spotted quaker and early grey. 
Early thorn. 
Right hand side clockwise:  brindled ochre ; red sword grasses ; diurnea fagella; water carpet; shoulder stripe . 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Islay wildlife

Now at home - watching 'Spring Watch' - here are our wildlife highlights from Islay.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Sanaig beaches

A foggy morning, so a walk along the beach at Sanaig and a couple of paintings when it dried up.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Rhuvaal and beyond

A long hard walk beyond the lighthouse and along the beaches towards Bholsa. The ground was sodden and there was a constant mizzle accompanied by, at times, a rather strong wind. The scenery was though spectacular, with lots of caves to explore. Red deer were abundant - much to the dogs delight - who had to be kept on a lead for most of the time....which didn't please him!

The bottom picture is from within the caves
 through ruins of some sort of settlement.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Another otter on the way back to the Jura ferry

Jura - the ferry to Rubha aoineadh an reithe (coral beach)

A super walk, lots of deer and remarkably dry underfoot. Enjoyed stopping on our favourite coral beach to hunt for cowries and also to admire the range of purple colours in the maerl.

The bottom picture was I admit contrived! 

Jura - otters

Caught the ferry across to Jura as foot passengers and then turned left along the shoreline - fantastic view of a mother and two cub otters playing and fishing -really close in. It wasn't until we downloaded the photos that we realised that there had actually been four otters in the bundle! The bottom picture shows an extra tail! 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Big Strand

A blustery walk along the big strand; deer on the way there; good views of oystercatchers sheltering from the incoming squall and a perfect circle in the wind.

Hares - gorgeous as always!

'Felted Xanthoria Ball' - Claggain Bay

..still blustery with squalls so down to the south end of the island. Walked along the coast at Claggain Bay and took the brief (sunny) opportunity to photograph my 'felted Xanthoria ball' and to do a very quick sketch.

Frenchman's Rocks - Portnahaven.

It was still quite stormy last night!