October 17, 2020 at 8:52 pm

Who would have thought that I would ever spend an hour on a Cricket pitch in Yorkshire photographing a bird that I had never seen before but that is what happened last week. The spectacular bird involved was a Hoopoe, that should have been in Spain, but for some reason decided the grubs in a Yorkshire cricket pitch were more to its liking. It had been there a week before I decided to go and I would have stayed longer than an hour but social distancing was becoming a problem with more than fifty people on the pitch so I left. The Hoopoe must have felt the same for it also left the next day! It was certainly a spectacular subject and it must have been a bonus for the cricket club as it disposed of grubs at one a minute! click here

Pack Horse Splendour

October 11, 2020 at 1:20 pm

There is little doubt that the Pack Horse bridge at Carrbridge, in the Spey valley, is one of the finest in Scotland. I have always wanted to view it in its Autumn colours and last week it was exceptional. Built 304 years ago and almost washed away in 1829 it has stood the test of time and more recently the regular storms with global warming. It could never look more impressive than it did last week.
The Caledonian forests held Coal Tits, Crested Tits and Red Squirrels. Along the coast I was able to film a species that I had never filmed before when we came across Rock Pipits feeding amongst weeds in a harbour enclosure. Not quite as spectacular as the Wryneck of last week but a new photo species for me. click here

Another Wryneck

October 3, 2020 at 10:29 am

Its hard to believe but you wait 70 years to see your first Wryneck and in the space of a month two turn up in Lancashire! The second one was found on the moors to the east of Burnley and as I was impressed with the first one I decided to chance my luck with the second. Luck is the appropriate word for on my first visit I only had distant views of the Wryneck. So I trekked onto the moor a second time and at first had no better fortune. I was on the point of leaving and was actually walking along the path that surrounds the reservoir when, there it was, on the bank less than ten feet away! What followed next was a magical ten minutes filming and admiring the amazing plumage of this very rare bird. At times its cryptic plumage blended in with the ground cover and made it very hard to see.
Enjoy the gallery photos of what will probably be the Pennines best bird this winter. And, yes, if another one turns up I will definitely go to have a look!! click here

Heron’s Reflections

September 27, 2020 at 4:28 pm

During all the hot, sunny and calm weather of couple of weeks ago I visited some lakes in Yorkshire to film Herons with mirror reflections. I was a not disappointed and this weeks blog shows one with a small Pike in its bill. Whilst by the waterside I was also able to film some Yellow Wagtails that were migrating south. There were at least a dozen of them feeding amongst cattle and it was a real bonus as I have not seen Yellow Wagtails on my local patch for at least ten years. Click here

Spot The Moult

September 19, 2020 at 6:18 pm

This weeks blog photo is of a male Long Eared Owl still actively hunting to provide food for his now fully fledged young. At some point in time he has to moult all his flight feathers and if you look carefully at his fifth primary feathers, on both wings, they are only partly grown. It must be very difficult for him to go through a progressive moult and at the same time to be still providing food for his offspring. It can only be a matter of days now before the young Owls will be on their own and our male can have a more relaxing time – until next year that is ! click here

Heading South

September 13, 2020 at 1:03 pm

When Ospreys arrived in Britain this year it was late March and lockdown had just begun. It meant that they could settle down to breed in our countryside without disturbance from human beings. The result has been a record number of 300 pairs breeding this year and most have been successful. Ironically one of the unsuccessful ones was at Loch Garten where the first pair bred in 1954 and where no Ospreys returned to this year.
This weeks blog and gallery photos were taken on a magical day a few years ago when I filmed an Osprey’s nest for ten hours. Incredibly the male came every hour with fish compared to the following day when he only came twice – it was a long ten hour day! Click here