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Payback Time

August 13, 2023 at 7:29 pm

When you have spent thousands of hours per year for 60 years sat on fishing stools filming wildlife eventually there is bound to be a pay-back time. It happened the other week when I had a hip replacement operation and I am now convalescing. This weeks fox photos were taken from the bedroom window before Pauline spotted me and confiscated the camera – I should have been resting!! So after more than 800 continuous weekly blogs I now propose to suspend them until late September when I hope to be able to walk the hills again – and get my camera back! www.facebook.com/gordonyateswildlife

The Glorious 23rd May

August 5, 2023 at 7:17 pm

On the face of it the evening of the 23rdMay looked like any of the other twenty before it – sunny, warm, calm and perfect for a hunting male Long Eared Owl. I was set up under my camouflage cloth by 6.30pm and shortly after the male Long Eared Owl flew out of the forest and set off over the moor in search of Voles. All I had to do was await his return and hope that he flew past me on his way back to the nest where the female was waiting with four large young. What happened next made all those hours of waiting worth while!
At 7.30pm the female left the nest and alighted on top of the tallest pine, calling continuously for food.This was the moment I had been hoping for as I knew that if the male Owl came back now with a vole there would be a food-pass, perhaps within camera range. I only had to wait a couple of minutes before I spotted him coming off the moor, low over the ground, with his vole. I focused on him as he came closer but on which fence-post would the food-pass occur? She flew in to him, I guessed correct and in a second I had my ten photos that I had never seen on film before. It never happened again!!

Lunch Time

July 30, 2023 at 5:07 pm

In the Pennines nine out of ten items of prey caught by Long Eared Owls are Short Tailed Field Voles .Just occasionally a Rat is caught and provides a much more substantial

Long Eared or Short Eared ?

July 23, 2023 at 3:32 pm


Once again another Spring has passed with superb weather and endless hours spent filming the Pennines most exciting Owls – Long Eared and Short Eared – the good news is that both species have had successful breeding seasons this year.This weeks photos show several different fledged Long Eared and a Short Eared. Over the next few weeks I will include photos of different hunting male Long Eared Owls including a rarely seen food-pass between male and female Long Eared Owls.

The Highland Fling

July 16, 2023 at 8:33 pm

Two of Scotland’s rarest breeding water birds can be found on secluded lochs in the Highlands. Last week not only was I able to film a pair of Black Throated Divers feeding two young but the same morning I came across a pair of Slavonian grebes also with two young. Both species were filmed from the car on public roads and so a licence was not required.
While I was in the Highlands I have always wanted to find a plant called Twin Flower It grows in the Caledonian pine forests and last week was perfect timing as we found over a thousand in one secluded spot.

Islay MIscellany

July 9, 2023 at 7:41 pm

One of the attractions of Islay to the wildlife enthusiast is that you can never predict what wildlife  will present itself to you. One minute it is a gathering of Black Guillemots, a passing Hen Harrier carrying nesting material, groups of Roe Deer, but best of all a pair of Shelduck with 22 young. www.facebook.com/gordonyateswildlife