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Catching Crabs

February 25, 2024 at 3:45 pm

There are not many birds that look better in their winter plumage compared to their summer plumage but the drake Long Tailed Duck is one. Unfortunately you have to go to the very north of Scotland to see them in any numbers in winter. They normally feed in the open sea but when conditions are rough they retreat to one or two harbours where they can feed in calmer waters. Until last week I had never been lucky enough to time my visits with their harbour feeding but all that was to change. Three magnificent drakes provided me with the photos I could only previously dream of.     www.facebook.com/gordonyateswildlife

Arctic Visitors

February 17, 2024 at 3:01 pm

While high in the Cairngorm mountains last week I was able to film a flock of up to fifty Snow Buntings that were feeding in the snow.No small bird breeds closer to the North Pole than the Snow Bunting and we are lucky that in Winter some will migrate south to Britain. They make amazing subjects for the camera.

Road Kill

February 4, 2024 at 5:45 pm

When you are keyed in to wildlife you never know when a photo opportunity will arise.
Last week I was sat in my car outside a Corn Mill in Accrington awaiting for an employee to give me a bag of sunflower hearts that I had just paid for.On a spillage of grain by the car was a Wood Pigeon .Suddenly, in a split second, a female Sparrowhawk grabbed the Pigeon and commenced to pluck it. It paid no attention to me so I took some photos with my phone from less than five feet away!! You never have your proper camera when you need it!

Jack Frost

January 27, 2024 at 8:06 pm

It is easy to see why, looking at this weeks blog photo, the Jack Snipe is the most illusive Winter v visitor to the Pennines. Without frost and snow they are almost impossible to find but last weeks conditions were in my favour with snow followed by a min temp. of minus seven.I knew that any Jack Snipe present would be feeding along the edge of my local stream but would they fly off when our eyes met through the frost?
In a normal winter, on average, only one Snipe freezes and allows me to film it from as close as ten feet. What happened last week is almost impossible to believe when six Jack Snipe all froze where they were and allowed me to photograph them on a 400 yard stretch of the stream. In their eyes they were happy that they had not been found and I walked away having experienced an event that would be difficult ever to beat in the Pennines in Winter!

Garden Delights

January 21, 2024 at 1:42 pm

At long last we have had some classic winter weather with frost and snow to bring the wildlife into the garden. As a result Badger and Fox come daily together with 6 Bullfinches,10 Blackbirds, 8 Long Tailed Tits, 8 Goldfinches and even a Fieldfare – the first for years. www.facebook.com/gordonyateswildlife

Splash

January 14, 2024 at 6:00 pm

Once again, following the second hottest year ever recorded, we are reminded that the summer ice in the arctic may disappear within the next few decades due to global warming.It is only eight years ago that I took these unique shots, in Spitsbergen, of a female Polar Bear leading her three young across the pack-ice. If seeing a Polar Bear on the Arctic pack-ice is top of your bucket list then now is the time to go before it is too late.Whether you see one with three cubs is unlikely as the Captain of our ship informed me that in more than twenty years of sailing the Spitsbergen summer pack-ice he had never seen one with three cubs.I counted myself lucky to be the only passenger on board to film her as all the others were inside the boat enjoying their evening meal!! Can you believe it? www.facebook.com/gordonyateswildlife