More Little Owls

August 18, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Whenever you visit the moorlands you never know what you are going to encounter and on many occasions you return having seen nothing more than a Meadow Pipit. However, on a recent visit I was in for a surprise. Not only did I find  one fledged Little Owl but in the space of a mile I came across three broods of fledged young  with a couple of adults. There may only have been a couple of young per pair but at least it has been a success story which is more than can be said for the Short Eared Owls. The periods of heavy rain have ensured that all four pairs that I found in May have produced no young this year. At least the Little Owls have been able to shelter in the dry-stone walls but for the Short Eared Owls there has been no such shelter. For photos of Little Owl young. click here

No Escape

August 9, 2019 at 6:29 pm

There is something quite special about filming Ospreys from close quarters as they fish for Trout in the Spey valley. Last week I spent two mornings before 5.00am awaiting the arrival of fishing Ospreys.The speed of their dive is such that the Osprey is completely immersed in the water during the dive and they seldom leave without a two pounds trout in their talons. One day I might be lucky enough to film them, before 5.00am, in sunlight but for now enjoy this weeks gallery. click here

Judgement Day

August 4, 2019 at 8:15 am

Twenty three days after hatching the young Kingfishers finally left the tunnel. Sods law would dictate that they fledged on a day of driving drizzle and high wind. Somehow I managed to keep the camera dry and at 8.00am I had photos of two and three of the young together. My dream of five of the young together on a branch will have to waite for another year!
This weeks gallery is of the young who all have a white egg tooth on the tip of their bill (which they use to break through the eggshell) and dull coral coloured feet. Click here

Halcyon Days

July 27, 2019 at 4:25 pm

Each summer for the last 47 years I have had the privilege and pleasure of filming breeding Kingfishers. I have sat covered up in the middle of some of the Pennines most beautiful streams awaiting the arrival of that halcyon bird ,the Kingfisher. It gives me the same excitement now as it did all those years ago but this year I knew i was not going to get disturbed by a pack of Otter hounds as I was in 1973!
The challenge now is to film the young as they fledge and before they are driven away by the male Kingfisher. He does this the same day that they leave the tunnel and as you have no idea when the eggs were laid you have to go every day and waite for that magical moment. This weeks gallery shows the adults but by next week I hope to have filmed the young. click here

Little Owl Success

July 20, 2019 at 2:59 pm

This year my local Little Owls have produced two young and one of these is this week’s blog photo. Global warming is not very kind to our Owls and regular periods of heavy rain can be fatal for for breeding Owls. Both pairs of Short Eared Owls that I was watching in the hills have failed and four pairs of Long Eared Owls have only fledged six young. The rains have also been unkind to two of the Kingfisher pairs that I watch with both nests flooded once again. More photos of the Little Owls are in the gallery.Click here

Winter Bonus

July 14, 2019 at 3:06 pm

In March one of the winter storms resulted in a collapse of the bank along a local stream. It resulted in the exposure of a ten foot high vertical sandy bank which was immediately discovered by Sand Martins upon their return in April. Now, three months on, twenty pairs of Sand Martins have reared two broods of young  resulting in more than one hundred young fledging from what was initially a disaster area. Let nature take its course comes to mind. click here