Hunting Kestrel

September 24, 2016 at 5:18 pm

A couple of weeks ago I was watching the Kestrel which features on my blog when it suddenly took off in pursuit of prey. One photo captured the moment of take-off and like most wildlife photography there were no second chances.

This weeks gallery is of Spitsbergen’s most famous sea-bird cliff at Alkefjellit. More than one hundred thousand Brunnichs Guillemots breed on this cliff and these are hunted by Arctic Foxes and Glaucous Gulls. Walruses haul out on a beach nearby.Click here

Wader Feast

September 17, 2016 at 7:57 pm

September is a good time to visit Morecambe Bay to film wading birds and this year water levels are just right. During the week I spent three hours one morning on the Bay and was treated to great action from Snipe, Greenshank and Spotted Redshank. In addition Little Egrets were everywhere and even Cormorants had mastered the knack of catching fish in front of the hides. A Peregrine flying past was the icing on the cake but too fast for a photo! Click here

Africa Bound

September 10, 2016 at 6:19 pm

This weeks photo shows a September brood of Swallows at my local Golf club. The nest has been built on metal netting that was put up to stop them nesting!! It didn’t work and several broods of Swallows have already fledged and are heading south to Africa. The Swallows had a major problem in that they were nesting in a room that was secured overnight by a sliding green door. It meant that the Swallows could not fly to their nest to feed their young when the door was closed. They got around this potentially disastrous problem by landing on the ground and squeezing under the door though a one inch gap!! There are four pictures in this weeks gallery that show how this manoeuvre was effected. Click here

Resplendent Cock Linnet

September 4, 2016 at 5:32 pm

By late August most birds have finished breeding but not the Linnet. Gorse is a favourite place to find their nests and whilst the male does not build the nest he always escorts the female as she does the necessary work. He usually perches on the highest gorse by the nest and this is where this weeks photo and gallery shots were taken. Click here
Whilst in Hopwood woods this week I came across the second largest flock of Long Tailed Tits that I have ever seen locally. Thirty seven were present amongst a mixed flock of more than seventy Tits. Perhaps some of these will end up in our garden this winter?

Kingfisher Surprise

August 27, 2016 at 6:42 pm

As a result of the flooding on Boxing Day last year two of my three regular Kingfisher sites have been washed away and with them the Kingfishers that had occupied these sites for more than thirty years. So it was to my third choice site, deep in the heart of Bowland, that I went this year for my photos.

As I sat in my hide in the river I was taken back to the very first Kingfisher I filmed in 1973 which was only a hundred yards or so from my present position. I was disturbed on that day by a pack of hounds that were working their way up the river searching for Otters! Thankfully Otter hounds have been banned years ago and today Otters and Kingfishers are more plentiful than they were in the halcyon days of yesteryear.

In the 43 years since those first Kingfishers I have spent more than a thousand hours in my hides taking photos and film. You might say that there is nothing new to film but you would be wrong. Every session in a hide could potentially produce unique pictures and an event occurred at this latest Kingfisher that I have never witnessed before.

As I sat waiting for the second brood of young to make their first flight from the tunnel two fledged young from the first brood re-appeared. They flew backwards and forwards to the tunnel entrance and pecked the earth around the hole as if they were helping the second brood to emerge. This lasted for an hour and I managed to obtain photos of them as they came within range of the camera.Click here
It made no difference to the latest young and they fledged the following day when I was on holiday!!

The Golden-Crested Wren

August 20, 2016 at 2:12 pm

GoldcrestMore than sixty years ago when I was learning about bird-watching from my father he used to mention this tiny bird which he called a Golden-Crested Wren. At the time my Observers Book of Birds made no mention of this bird and it was some years later when I had a more detailed bird-book that I discovered that the bird he praised so much was in fact a Goldcrest. It is our smallest bird and builds a delicate nest hanging under pine branches which it lines with feathers. It is a very rare moment to encounter Goldcrests lining their nests with feathers but a few weeks ago I was lucky and took some photos of this seldom seen event. Click here

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