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Copulation

May 20, 2024 at 4:41 pm

One result of spending six hours with a pair of Kingfishers is that in addition to unusual prey items there is always a chance of filming copulation. Kingfishers usually rear two broods of young per year so while the first brood are still in the nest-chamber the adults are already thinking about the second brood! Unfortunately their position was not good for the camera but I am sure that he was quite happy!!

Lamprey For Lunch

May 12, 2024 at 7:30 pm

I have been asked many times why, after fifty one previous years I find it exciting to film a breeding pair of Kingfishers again? My answer, of course, is that no two Kingfishers are the same and that something unpredictable might happen – three days ago it did! I had been watching the female Kingfisher for more than an hour when, suddenly, she flew high into the air and plunged into the stream. What she came out with has only been recorded occasionally before as food of the Kingfisher – it was a Lamprey!! She flew with it to a stone by the nest but then, with great difficulty, she swallowed it herself and I had never seen a Lamprey before!!

The Last Adders

May 5, 2024 at 8:35 pm

I fear that this last cold, wet Spring will be another nail in the coffin of my local Adders. Last week produced the first warm day which they require before emerging and basking in the sun. Despite a thorough search only one female was found and there were no moulted skins of males which they shed prior to breeding. However, the good news was that I found a young Adder, born last August, so hopefully all is not lost.It is sad though that only seven years ago I added a tick to my wildlife bucket list when I filmed two male Adders  ” Dancing” at this very same site. It is an event that very few wildlife enthusiasts ever see so I enclose some of those photos in the gallery as I am unlikely ever to see it again.That same day I had four courting Adders in a ball – enjoy – but don’t get too close!

Hunting Long Eared Owls

April 28, 2024 at 7:50 pm

On a visit into the hills during the week it was good to see hunting Long Eared Owls. The incessant rain will have had a serious impact upon them and even more impact on Short Eared Owls who have no way of hiding from the conditions. Time will tell whether they are able to rear young this Spring but lets hope so.

Garden Magic

April 21, 2024 at 2:06 pm

Is it the fact that we have not seen the Sparrowhawk for the last eight weeks or just the cold and wet weather that has produced a massive influx of birds feeding in the garden? Record counts of twelve Siskins and eight Bullfinches have added to the five Redpolls, four Reed Buntings, seventeen Goldfinches and even three Jays but the star bird has to be a female Brambling that has only just left for Scandinavia. All the photos shown have been taken in the last couple of weeks. www.facebook.com/gordonyateswildlife

Wet Wet Wet

April 14, 2024 at 1:55 pm

Three nights of pouring rain is all it would take to produce a starving Barn Owl.Unlike our other Owls the Barn Owl is unable to hunt in prolonged periods of rain, which is all we seem to get nowadays. To compensate it is forced to go looking for prey at dusk and dawn or even during the day. Lots of people rejoice in seeing a hunting Barn Owl but in truth this is a bird on the point of starvation that is forced to find prey when it is not raining – that’s not very often in recent times! I have spent months this last winter waiting and filming my local pair of Barn Owls. It is always a delight when they use an appropriately placed old stump!! www.facebook.com/gordonyateswildlife