Sandpiper Surprise

February 21, 2021 at 6:32 pm

During the frosty and snowy weather of last week I had a nice surprise. I was checking for Jack Snipe along a local stream and disturbed a wading bird with a brilliant white rump. I knew immediately that this was the ultimate winter visitor and only the second that I had seen locally in more than 50years – it was a Green Sandpiper. It breeds in the forests of Lapland and is a very wary subject.
Gambling on it returning to the place where I found it I hid under a camouflage cloth and waited. Twenty minutes later it flew back in and in ten minutes I had my photos before it flew off, never to be seen again? to view gallery  visit.

Jack Snipe Number 153

February 14, 2021 at 4:15 pm

Generally this winter has been very poor for Winter visitors with one exception – Jack Snipe. I have several sites where I go to in the hope of finding a Jack Snipe and since the first one I found on the 9th October I have seen 152!! Sadly every one of those found has flown off underfoot and I have obtained no photographs. All that changed this week when I found Jack Snipe number 153. It froze and I obtained dreamed of photos of a Jack Snipe that still thought it was camouflaged – even in the snow!! click here

Best Ever Filming Day

February 7, 2021 at 7:01 pm

After 52years of filming wildlife I am often asked what is the best day I have ever had in the field. Its a difficult choice.
You would have thought that having filmed sixty one pairs of Hen Harriers at the nest it would have been been one of those – but it is not. Or was it the day I spent three hours at a Woodcocks nest followed by three hours at a Merlins nest then two hours with Tawny Owls – but its not even that.
The best day occurred relatively recently in 2014. During the morning I filmed my first ever Nightjar with young in south Derbyshire. I then came home, drove up to Bowland where I spent two hours at dusk filming a pair of Barn Owls that had six young on the ground in a barn. This weeks gallery photos shows the moment when the male Barn Owl passed prey to the female followed by a view of all six young – it doesn’t get any better than that!! click here

43rd Species

January 31, 2021 at 6:41 pm

During the last week we have had hard frost and snow which brought to our garden the 43rd bird species in the last fifty two years – a cock Pheasant. It walked into the garden and walked out most days and from where it emanated is not known. This week’s gallery includes plenty of birds from the garden  click here


January 24, 2021 at 8:00 pm

Most people on their lap-top have one of their favourite photos that are seldom seen by anyone else. I am guilty of this misdemeanour so this week’s blog photo of four young Barn Owls is what has graced my lap-top for the last five years.So why is it so special?
Firstly it was the only photo of all four young staring directly at the camera. Secondly was the date – the 21st September – our Wedding anniversary! It was the night that they were all due to fledge and I returned home just before mid-night with a big smile on my face! Some of the other photos of the young Barn Owls are in the Gallery.Click here

The Chase

January 17, 2021 at 4:27 pm

During my nine visits to the High Arctic I have often been asked about the life and death encounter that I had with the Polar Bear. What has never been mentioned is that I had a close encounter with a Musk Ox bull in the North East Greenland National Park – the most stunning Arctic habitat I have ever seen.
In summer north east Greenland is blessed with constant high pressure and the sun never sets. I was lucky enough to join an expedition to Vega Sound for three weeks -moving around by Twin Otter plane, zodiacs and camping in constant sunlight. I was out exploring the tundra nine hours every day and in those days(2005) taking cine-film plus the occasional still photos with a G9 compact camera.
I had discovered a breeding pair of Great Northern Divers on a large lake when, suddenly a large bull Musk Ox appeared and headed straight for me. He was not amused so I retreated up the slope with him in pursuit. In today’s blog photo you can see the lake and how far he followed me before giving up. I found out later that Musk Ox have a terrific turn of speed over fifty yards and can then hyperventilate and die!! Luckily none of this happened and I managed to take a quick photo before returning to the lake to retrieve my cine camera!
This weeks gallery includes the few photos I took of a memorable trip.Click here