Buntings and Redpolls

April 30, 2017 at 7:59 pm

Reed Bunting
During the last two months there has been an increasing number of Reed Buntings and Redpolls coming to feed in the garden. A minimum of five male and two female Reed Buntings have been feeding together but the number of individual birds could well be into double figures. Redpolls have peaked at seven and have included a ringed bird. It would have been interesting to know where it was originally ringed but only part of the ring number could be seen. A pair of Siskins and more than a dozen Goldfinches added colour to the garden. The close proximity of the Golf Course has no doubt helped provide a safe haven for all these extra garden birds. Click here
Although still cold the sunshine has brought out more Orange Tip butterflies. I have never seen so much Hawthorne blossom in April!!

Garden Buzzards!

April 23, 2017 at 6:21 pm

Buzzard
Who would have thought that after nearly fifty years of filming birds that your best flight shots of buzzards would have been taken stood at the back door of your house. A couple of weeks ago I was returning from a session filming Waxwings when, as I entered the house with my camera gear, two Buzzards were descending overhead into a field nearby. I didn’t even have time to put the lens hood on the camera as I fired a short burst of shots.
This spring started very wet and mild which was perfect for Ear and Scarlet Elf Cup fungi. I have included photos of these in this weeks gallery.click here

Copulation

April 16, 2017 at 9:55 am

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For the female kingfisher copulation can be a dangerous event. The bill of the male is extremely pointed and could cause damage to both her feathers and her eyes. To protect her eyes a membrane closes over the eyes during copulation(as in this weeks blog photo). Whilst this works perfectly for her from the camera’s point of view the photos obtained with this membrane in place usually end up being deleted – and there can be a lot of them! As promised last week this weeks blog photo and gallery are just a few of the seventy odd taken during a seven second copulation.Click here

The Reward

April 8, 2017 at 7:09 pm

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This weeks photo is of a male Kingfisher presenting the female with a Stoneloach. If you look closely at her bill it is covered in earth. She has just spent ten minutes digging out their nest-chamber and as a reward the male has caught the fish for her. It is her reward for all the digging and his reward is copulation – see next week. Click here
The local woods are now resounding to the song of Chiff-chaffs and the first Willow Warblers. In contrast I had sight of my latest ever Jack Snipe on the 4th April.

Searching For Feathers

April 1, 2017 at 8:05 pm

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For forty seven of the last forty eight years I have´started the breeding season by filming Long Tailed Tits. This year was no exception and it is always a delight to be able to watch Long Tailed Tits at close quarters as they search out feathers for their nest. Great distances are covered as they gather up to two thousand in only a ten day period. They particularly like white feathers which mainly come from Wood Pigeons. So far during March I have only found half a dozen nests but looking back to 1986 I note that I had a record twenty six nests by the 31st – surely a record that is on the shelf forever! Click here
The warm weather, with southerly winds, of the last five days has brought an influx of Chiff-chaffs, with six singing in Hopwood woods on one morning. A quick visit to my Adder site on the 29th produced four male and two female Adders, enjoying the warm sunshine.

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