Category Archives: Baron’s Haugh

Baron’s Haugh

Flood Damage at Baron’s Haugh, Motherwell

The RSPB nature reserve at Baron’s Haugh in Motherwell rarely escapes any flood damage due to its proximity to the River Clyde. Today we went on a walk through the reserve to assess the extent of the damage.

Causeway Hide

The Causeway hide was flooded with waist-deep water.

Causeway Hide

Phoenix Hide

Being higher up, the Phoenix hide usually escapes being flooded but the adjacent River Clyde had burst its banks and damaged the steps to the hide.

Phoenix Hide

The damage does not seem too bad until the steps are climbed and the damage to the top step is revealed.

Damage to top step of the Phoenix Hide

Footpath Damage

Centenery Hide

This showed the remains of debris left when it had been flooded, but the water had receded. The steps to the hide had been badly damaged a few years ago and were repaired to such a high standard that they were relatively undamaged.

Steps to the Centenery hide
Dirt left by floodwater in the Centenary hide
Centenery Hide

Carbarns
On the way to Carbarns, the field was flooded. 

Field at Carbarns flooded
Carbarns flooding

Carbarns usually has a large flooded area which remains in the summer which can be seen in the top of the photograph above. Theflooding in the foreground only occurs during the winter.
Other Damage

Damaged noticeboard

The path at the Chestnut Walk was blocked by trees which had fallen in the severe gales. The extent of the flooding can be seen by the debris left on one of the trees.

There is much work to be done at the reserve to clear up the damage.

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Filed under Baron's Haugh, Bird Watching, General, Lanarkshire, Scotland, strathclyde, Wildlife

Digiscoping Birds – Some Photographs

The weekend weather for the past few weeks has been cloudy and wet so there were not many opportunities for outdoor activities.

The rain on Saturday was very heavy but today it did become brighter around mid-day so I went to my local bird pond to catch up with the new feathered arrivals.

Many birds migrate from Scandinavia to the UK over the winter for the slightly longer days and milder weather.

I took my spotting scope and my SLR camera and tried to get some shots of the birds. Using a scope requires good light but I was hopeful the light was bright enough to get some decent photographs.

The first few photographs of the Robin were taken in my garden. Robins are great birds top photograph as they are not shy and are entertaining.

The other photographs were taken at my local bird pond. The water levels were quite high so there were no waders about as they prefer shallow waters. However, there were many Whooper Swans who had arrived for the winter from Scandinavia. Photographs of them can be seen below.

There were also a group of  Cormorants sitting on a platform on the water. One was stretching its wings so I took a few photographs of it. There were also some heron but they were quite far away. However, I did manage to get a photograph of one sitting high in a tree overlooking the River Clyde.

The photographs came out quite well. The main problem with digiscoping with an SLR camera is that the autofocus does not work on the camera so the focus has to be done manually. It is also useful to use a remote shutter control to minimize camera shake.

Hopefully, there will be sunnier days so that I can improve my digiscoping technique.

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Photographs of Migrating Birds at Baron’s Haugh, Motherwell

The weather this weekend has been warm and sunny and this provided excellent conditions for viewing the birds on the large pond at Baron’s Haugh. The word “haugh” is the Scottish word for flooded meadow.

With Autumn getting underway many birds migrate from Scandinavia to the South of France and North Africa. The migrating birds stop off at various places on their journey southwards and Baron’s Haugh is a great place to spot some of these migrating birds.

Ruff, Green Sandpiper and Black-tailed Godwit 

This weekend did not disappoint – a Ruff, a number of Green Sandpiper and a pair of Black-tailed Godwit were seen on the Haugh and I managed to get some photographs of these birds through my scope. 

There were also Snipe, Lapwing, Mute and Whooper swans on the Haugh, along with the usual Ducks. 

Below are some photographs of these birds. Clicking on the images below will enlarge them.

A Ruff  can be seen at the back of the photograph

Ruff are migrant birds, passing through on their journey South.The ruff is a medium-sized wading bird with a long neck, a small head and a short bill. It occasionally breeds in eastern England, but is mainly a migrant bird in the UK.

Ruff

The Ruff were a bit far away, so the above photographs are a bit blurry.

Green Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper are also migrant birds. It is also a wader with a dark back with pale underparts. 

Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit

The Black-tailed Godwit are large wading birds. In summer, they have bright orangey-brown chests and bellies, but in winter they’re more greyish-brown. They have long beaks and legs, and the black and white stripes on their wings.

Snipe

Resident Birds

Snipe are resident birds but this was the first time I had a good close-up view of them. Snipe are medium sized wading birds with short legs and long straight bills. Snipe breed in the UK and in winter the resident birds are joined by birds from northern Europe.

Fungi

In Autumn, Baron’s Haugh also has a good variety of fungi. I managed to see some as I walked around the reserve.

 
 
Velvet Shank

The Velvet Shank can be eaten and can be added to stews and casseroles.

It had been a good weekend at Baron’s Haugh.

Further Information:

Baron’s Haugh is an RSPB reserve in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire. There are four hides for viewing the birds at different locations to observe the birds. The area is popular with birdwatchers because of the large variety of birds in the area.

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Filed under Baron's Haugh, Bird Watching, General, Lanarkshire, Scotland, Wildlife