Wildlife photographer John Smith was the speaker at our December meeting. He gave us a talk, illustrated with some images which were accompanied by audio recordings of several birds .Many species were shown from around the country, but perhaps none more interesting than when in Scotland . The haunting calls of the red throated and great northern divers on the Scottish lochs added another dimension to his presentation. The remote Flannan Isles off Harris and Lewis, provided the setting for John to able to photograph the secretive Leach’s petrel and also record their unusual purring sound, interrupted with a short sharp whistling note. John also told the story of the mystery surrounding the sudden disappearance of the three lighthouse keepers on the Flannans in Dec.1900.There has not been any conclusive evidence as to what happened to the men . They were possibly washed into the sea by a freak wave
while they were on the cliff top for some unknown reason.
The talk was very interesting and the accompanying photographs were outstanding showing just how much dedication John puts into getting these amazing shots.
Recent Sightings reported by the members:
Interesting long staying birds at Anglers/Wintersett include Long-tailed duck, smew and scaup.Yellow-legged gulls and Caspian gull have been seen in the evening gull roost.
There are many thousands of Waxwings in the country and have been seen in the Wakefield area, though they tend not to stay in one area for very long. Pugneys/Calder Wetlands have had several small flocks going through.
The young male long-tailed duck is still present at Pugneys, with sporadic visits by scaup and some of the scarcer gulls in the evening roost..