Sprainting Together

November 9, 2019 at 5:19 pm



It is some years since I was able to follow a female Otter with her young but last week in the Sound of Islay I was treated to a good hour in their company.Female Otters regularly mark their territory by sprainting on rocks along the shore. Whilst I expected last weeks female to do this I did not expect her very large young to accompany her out of the water and spraint next to her. It provided me with some interesting photos and just added to the delights of following an Otter along a mile of coastline.  click here

Otter Magic

November 2, 2019 at 9:04 pm

We have just had the best ever Autumn week on Islay with days of sunshine and only one day of rain. It is difficult to know where to start but the encounter with four Otters in four hours is just what I wanted on digital film. Click here. To follow  next week are shots of Chough, Whooper Swans, Geese and 14 Eagle sightings in 7 days. It doesn’t get any better!

Autumn Surprise

October 26, 2019 at 4:21 pm

When you have been involved with wildlife all your life you are ready for surprises and one such event occurred this week. A neighbour phoned up on the 24th to advise me that on his garden pond were a pair of Mallards with six newly hatched ducklings! As Mallards usually breed in Springtime and the young are attended by the female alone I rushed around to his garden to witness this astonishing event and capture it on film.It will be weeks before the young can fly so let’s hope that the pond does not freeze over otherwise the young will fall easy prey for any passing fox.
More birds are now on the move with a Goosander appearing on the local canal and the first Jack Snipe showing on the 14th October with three more shortly after. click here

Autumn Arrives

October 20, 2019 at 4:56 pm

A little later than usual but yesterday I watched my first Redwings of Autumn as they devoured the abundance of berries. This year there are masses of Rowan and Hawthorne berries so there should be some good photo opportunities and we may even be treated to some Waxwings if there are few berries in Scandinavia.
Autumn Crocus is now in full flower and I have included some in the gallery along with my favourite Pennine view of the river Hodder at Whitewell in the Forest of Bowland. Click here

A Spanish Interlude

October 14, 2019 at 4:30 pm





Last week we had a photo of me within 600 miles of the North Pole and in complete contrast this week’s photo was taken yesterday, within 60 miles of the Mediterranean! I was on a short non-birding break to the Murcia region of Spain, but on this job you can never switch-off. In the gallery are photos of a Black Winged Stilt and a Swallow-tailed Butterfly taken with a small pocket sized camera as I travelled around from the mountains to the sea. There would be plenty of scope for some serious photography in Spain if only you could get your equipment through customs and then who would carry it in all that heat? Click here

Brexit Day

October 5, 2019 at 5:24 pm

This weeks blog photo is from the wilds of Spitsbergen, less than 600 miles from the North pole. It was taken on the day that the rest of Britain voted to leave the European Union. Our cruise ship is in the fiord below and I was posing for a publicity photograph to help sell Oceanwide Expeditions cruises in Spitsbergen. As we all know it was more than three years ago and since then Oceanwide have built a new ship and all their cruises are usually sell-outs. I would like to think that it was from the popularity of my photo but realistically I know that it is due to the dire state of wildlife in the Arctic as a result of global warming.
This weeks gallery photos are of a Polar Bear, with Ivory Gulls scavenging its prey – two of the icons of the Arctic. They were taken the day before the blog photo and I would like to think that this bear is still wandering around Spitsbergen, but is it? Click here