Sand Martin’s Success

August 30, 2020 at 6:55 pm

The fabulous weather that we had during the beginning of lockdown came just as the first Sand Martins were arriving locally. A high sandy bank was dug on my local stream and was an instant attraction and by the end of the first period of lockdown fifty pairs had reared young in this bank. This weeks blog and gallery photos were taken during this period which produced an exceptional number of fledged young. Click here

Eating Egg – Shells

August 23, 2020 at 11:41 am

The moment a birds eggs hatch is a very dangerous time for lots of birds especially Hawks, Owls and Nightjars. Any egg-shells left around the nest would give the nest away to predators like Crows and Foxes. The incubating bird does not want to leave its newly emerged young so there is only one alternative – eat the egg-shells! Over the years I ┬áhave witnessed this event many times with Owls, Hen Harriers and even this weeks Nightjar disposing of the unwanted egg-shell. Click here to see the Gallery.

Awaiting The Guns

August 16, 2020 at 2:48 pm

Whilst on the high tops this week I came across this small party of Red Grouse. The date was the 10th August and I wonder now how many of this group are still alive after the commencement of shooting on the 12th.
Sadly some Gamekeepers clear out all forms of raptors from the moor to ensure a larger bag of Grouse when the shooting starts. Such is the persecution that breeding Hen Harriers are now down to less than a dozen pairs in England.These are the only ones left on moorland that should support more than 300 pairs. Something  has to be done to stop this slaughter.
This weeks gallery photos reminds us just how spectacular a bird the Hen Harrier is. Click here

Moorland Surprises

August 8, 2020 at 7:26 pm

During this shortened breeding season I have spent many hours in the hills, mainly waiting for Long Eared Owls to perform. In wildlife photography there are lots of surprise encounters while you are out in the wilds – all unplanned. This weeks Gallery is devoted to just such encounters. It includes a Skylark resting o a dry-stone wall showing us the length of its hind claw. A male Partridge escorts his female on an early morning feeding trip. A Curlew guarding its young with a Snipe on a dry-stone wall nearby. The piercing stare of a Little Owl and a stunning Fragrant Orchid are also included. Click here

Gone Fishing

August 1, 2020 at 7:41 pm

The easing of lock-down came just as all our Kingfishers were feeding their first broods of young.The exceptional weather that we had during lock-down ensured that very few, if any, lost their first broods to flooding which is more than can be said for the second broods. The pair from this weeks photos lost their second clutch of eggs as soon as incubation started when their tunnel was completely flooded. A sad end to many of our Kingfishers these days due to the torrential downpours and flooding that we tend to get nowadays. click here