Monday, 19 February 2018

February 2018 Muntjac buck at Langley Hill Winchcombe Gloucestershire

I went to photograph birds on my local patch today.  When I got there I noticed this Muntjac buck along the hedge row.  A slow walk along the hedge row and managed to get this image.  The Roe deer I see most days but these are something a bit different and make another interesting photographic subject.  When I get an image, I always make a point of doing some research on the species. This greatly increases my knowledge as I go along, and adds another dimension to my hobby.

Muntjac buck
I had to be patient and wait for the right head turn to improve the image!

Friday, 16 February 2018

February 2018 Brown Hare at rest in the cotwolds

This hare was running through the scrub and I saw him stop and settle down in his form.  It was a gentle quiet approach to get some images without disturbing him.  He was quite relaxed and was washing with his paws.  It almost looked like he was putting his paw up and saying "Hi" in the image below.

Hi  Brown Hare
Of course next month is the time for the Mad March Hares when the males chase the females around.  The boxing that is seen are the females fending off the males until they are ready to mate.  They are also very selective.  I am so looking forward to try and get some images of the behaviour this year.  Something to really look forward to.

Monday, 12 February 2018

February 2018 Always a great day when you see a Kingfisher

These birds always make your heart beat raise with excitement whenever you see one.  I caught up with this one in the local park at Pittville Cheltenham.  After spending some time at my usual place waiting with no luck, I decided to go and have a walk around.  This one was perched quite happily preening away and allowed me to approach reasonably closely.  What a bird.  They always make my day as they are such a beautiful bird.

Pure beauty
The image below was where the bird was preparing to bring up a pellet.  It created an interesting subject almost as if the bird was yawning.

Kingfisher open wide!

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

February 2018 A great morning in the early sunlight with the Penduline Tit

I returned to a well known site where the Penduline Tit has been reported for many weeks.  In the beginning after first being reported there were quite big crowds, all intent on getting the tick or an image.  The furore had died down and as I was going near by anyway, so I thought I would call in and  check it out again.  It was so nice to be there in the early light on my own.  The Penduline Tit also showed up almost immediately.  What a nice peaceful morning.  This is what it's all about.

Penduline Tit
I noticed that it was feeding on small grubs from within the reed head.  I found out through an expert that this is the Shy Cosmet Moth (Limnaecia phragmitella) larvae.
Natural environments are always so inter-connected.  Without the pond with the particular reed heads, there would be no moths present.  Without the moths no Penduline Tit.  They never just turn up and stay randomly.  Nature is just so fascinating and beautiful.

Friday, 2 February 2018

February 2018 About two hours with one of my top ten birds - The Great Grey Shrike

It doesn't always happen that you go out for a target species.  You get there and see it from your car as you arrive.  It then stays around for the next two hours.  Happy days.

A list bird the Great Grey Shrike
 It does make up for all the trips where you get nothing when this happens.  A totally thrilling morning waiting quietly for this Shrike to get nearer whilst watching its behaviour.  Its always on the lookout for prey opportunities.  What a charismatic bird!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

January 2018 Raptors on the look out at Slimbridge WWT

When you visit a Wetland there are nearly always a few raptors around on the look out for any opportunities.  They are always a welcome sight along with the wildfowl and waders.

Kestrel eyes sky ward.  You never know what's around

Common Buzzard

Monday, 29 January 2018

January 2018 Short Eared Owls in the Cotswold Hills

One of the most exciting bird watching experiences in my local area of the Cotswolds is watching the amazing and charismatic Short Eared Owls that come in during the winter months.  It is so exciting as they quarter the fields in search of voles.  I have to say that it draws you in, and on a clear night it is so difficult to resist going to see them.  I always have one eye on the weather forecast looking out for a clear sky in the late afternoon.

Short Eared Owl

Short Eared Owl
 Because they feed on very similar prey the kestrel is often in the same area.

Female Kestrel
Its always a really satisfying afternoon when you spend it in the company of these guys.