Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Great Spotted Woodpecker

A common enough bird I know, and seen at my bird feeders almost daily, but I still get a little tinge of excitement when I see them, probably because they are differant to all the other visitors, also they are quite predatory, I've seen them take Blue TIt nestlings from a box and wait for the local Nuthatch parents to leave the nesthole and try to break into the nest ( unsuccessfully thankfully, the Nuthatches were'nt far away and went into attack mode), but thats the way nature is. This female perched on a tree trunk in front of my hide ( a shed with some camo netting over the doorway) and preened in the afternoon light giving me the chance for some nice photos

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Red Breasted Flycatcher

This super male Red Breasted Flycatcher was recently found in the churchyard of St.Wynwallow at Church Cove on the Lizard in Cornwall. Only the third I've seen and the first male. They breed in Eastern Europe and winter in South and West Asia, a few turn up in the U.K each year.

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Two West Cornwall Falcons.

A rare day off work on a rare sunny day, so decided to have a day out 'down west'. An early start ,hour and a half drive and I'm exploring the West Cornwall valleys hoping to find a scarce or uncommon species which often turn up here on October days. Yellow Browed Warblers had been seen the day before and a Red Eyed Vireo the previous week, but try as I might nothing really showed except brief views of Firecrest and Ring Ouzel.However I was trested to stunning views of two birds of prey, first a beautiful male Kestrel which sat on a wall in front of me at Cot valley before coming down within feet of me to sit in a small pool and start to bathe, almost too close to photograph ,I stepped back as far as I could but as I was looking down on him and I was unable to get the angle I would have liked, but still what a great view, a pity it was spooked by a passing van but lovely to see. On the way home with wonderful light I decided to look in on the Seals at Godrevy, which are always a treat. With the sun dipping I noticed a small bird of prey wizz past in front of me and thought it looked like it might have landed and sure enough there on the cliff right in front of me was a stunning female Merlin, how wonderful, it stayed for about five minutes taking no notice of me ( or other passers by) before taking off and chasing some waders.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Pirate Wolf Spider.

I,ve often noticed these small spiders in the pond and not really known what species they were, thinking they were a small species of Raft spider but while in the pond to do some maintanance work I saw that some were carrying egg sacs or young on their backs. So obviously had to get the camera and take a few record shots. On further investigation I found out they are actually Pirate Wolf Spiders a common enough species and capable of running across the waters surface, ( thanks to water repellent hairs on the legs).

Thursday, 3 September 2020


Hopefully Beavers are back to stay after being hunted to extinction in Britain in the 16th centuary.They transform the landscape , building dams,and felling trees and in doing so creating habitats for many other species, and helping alleviate flooding further on down in the valleys.The Beavers featured here were originally escapees from a neighbouring farm and have now increased in numbers. Luckily for me the valley in which they have taken up residence is only about five miles from my home and so I jumped at the chance to go and see them for myself. Great views were had, first when one just appeared on the surface doing a good impression of a floating log, then as it got later and the light beginning to fade another came very close, unaware ( or unworried) of our presence. My main reaction was of how quiet they were, diving and then resurfacing with no sound at all. Awesome.

Saturday, 29 August 2020

Great Egret

Great ( White) Egrets are becoming more of an expected bird to see each year now without having to travel too far. This year 15 pairs have bred on the Somerset levels producing thirty six young so the future is bright for this elegant bird. This one turned up in Bude ( Cornwall) actively feeding on the river while holiday makers passed by ,most taking little notice but one or two stopping to ask me what the bird I was photographing was. I watched it for about half an hour before one of the resident Grey Herons chased it off. Cant be to long before they breed down here ( if they dont already).

Friday, 14 August 2020

Some local Dragons and Damsels

 I always enjoy a session with these beautiful insects and am lucky to get some of the commoner species visit my pond, where all these were taken with the exception of the Demoiselles which were taken on the nearby river Tamer which forms the border between Devon and Cornwall

Banded Demoiselle
Banded Demoiselle female

Banded Demoiselle female with lunch

Banded Demoiselle male

Banded Demoiselle male

Banded Demoiselle male

Banded Demoiselle male

Emperor ovipositing

Emperor ovipositing

Southern Hawker

Southern Hawker

Beautiful demoiselle male

Azure damsels mating

Azure Damsels mating

Blue Tailed Damselfly

Blue Tailed Damselfly