Thursday, 13 June 2019

Pied Flycatcher

4th June.

A trip to Yarner Wood on Dartmoor at this time of year is always a treat, although on this occasion the weather was a little against us with low temperatures and light rain, though it did brighten up a bit in the afternoon. Pied Flycatchers are one of the main attractions here with nest boxes being used by a good number of birds,. On all previous trips Wood |Warblers have been present but alas this year none have arrived, hopefully next year they might fare better.



Female Pied Flycatcher approaching nestbox

Female Pied Flycatcher

Male Pied Flycatcher
Female Pied Flycatcher

Male Pied Flycatcher

Friday, 7 June 2019

Robins

2nd June.

Its always nice to find and photograph unusual birds and birds that you have to travel to see, but its also good  just to spend time in the garden watching the commoner species come and go. 'Our' Robins are having a very good breeding season, with one brood fledged and another on the way.




Thursday, 30 May 2019

Kittiwakes and Fulmars

25th May 2019.

Another visit to Trevone on the North Cornish coast ,this time with Joyce, a beautiful location and plenty to see ,although there was a cold wind blowing and rain came in later in the day. Nice to see the Kittiwakes doing well along with small numbers of Razorbills and Guillemots. And I can never resist photographing the Fulmars ,with their starched wings and tube noses this is a bird which always fascinates me, I never tire of watching them glide around the cliffs.



Nesting Kittiwakes
Kittiwake collecting nest material

Kittiwake and rough sea 1

Kittiwake and rough sea 2

Fulmar fly past

Fulmar over Thrift flowers

Fulmar

Herring Gulls sharing our lunch.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Coal Tits

15th May 2019.

Coal Tits are common enough birds, often nipping in and  taking seed from the feeders before nipping off again to eat its treat somewhere out of sight. I came across a pair locally which had nested in a hole at the base of a birch tree and were busy coming and going with food for their young, so I watched them for a while and realised they were taking no notice of me, so I set up my tripod and camera and spent some time photographing them bringing in an assortment of insects.





Thursday, 9 May 2019

Easter in Derbyshire


Easter 2019.

Joyce and I stayed with friends for a week in Chesterfield, Derbyshire and although not at all a bird or photographic week I, as usual managed to get away once or twice or find something while out and about. ( or cunningly suggesting somewhere to go that I thought might be good for seeing some wildlife). One very early morning was spent with our friends son Mark, who spends a lot of time being an 'outdoorsman', wild camping and cooking out in the middle of nowhere, he knows all the best spots on the moors for deer and we spent some time watching a few while eating bacon baps, a pretty good way to start the day. I have an invite to go back in the autumn  for the rutting season, and maybe even camping out for the night ( or am I getting to old for that?) No. dont think so.  A visit on a very busy bank holiday Sunday to Cromford canal produced the expected approachable Little Grebes and then on to Bakewell where on the river a family of Mallards looked very cute in the beautiful light.
Red Deer

Little grebe-very close. Cromford canal.

Little Grebe

Little Grebe on its nest unnoticed by many people passing close by


Little Grebe with catch
Little Grebe with catch 2

Moorhen at Victoria Park, Chesterfield.

Mallard family - Bakewell

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in the treetops

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at new nesthole

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker making a new nest hole

Grasshopper Warbler- Carr Vale

Grasshopper Warbler

Reed Bunting- Carr Vale
 The best was a surprise though, a family day out and picnic at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire whereupon on parking up and getting out of the car I immediately heard the call of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker which I soon found and realised it was excavating a nest hole in the tree which we had parked under, obviously that was me engaged for much of the time, but nobody seemed to mind, they know what I'm like!.  Another site I visited was Carr Vale owned by the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust,  a great site with a mixture of habitats, here I heard a Grasshopper Warbler reeling and managed to locate it and get a couple of photos.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Fighting Pheasants

14th April 2019

This is just so typical of wildlife photography, the house I was working on a couple of weeks ago, in the garden the cock Pheasants were on the lawn having a right go at each other, this was something I'd wanted to photograph for a long time but I was unable to get any photos as the owners had invited me in for my lunch .Here I am this week on another job ,sitting in my car having my sandwiches and a Pheasant runs across the lawn to attack a rival right in front of me, unfortunately this time the fight takes place on the tarmac drive , and I only had my old camera and very old 100-400 lens with me ( which isn't as sharp as it once was), but I took some pics anyway and to be honest they arn'nt too bad- but could have been so much better. Next time.
Fighting Pheasants

Fighting Pheasants

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Somerset Levels

12th April

Four of us made another trip to Ham Wall and Shapwith Heath on a sunny but cold spring day.Great White Egrets are now to be expected here with birds breeding and Marsh Harriers showing well but as always a little distant for any decent photographs. Plenty of booming Bitterns and the Great Crested Grebes were either courting or nesting. Always a pleasure to visit here with plenty to see.
Great White Egret

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

More typical view of a Marsh Harrier

You've been framed. Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe courtship

Great Crested Grebe courtship

Great Crested Grebe courtship

A Great Spotted Woodpecker looks from her nest hole.