Thursday, 24 May 2018

May 2018 Charasmatic and exciting Sparrowhawks

I feel so lucky to have a pair of Sparrowhawks locally as they are such exciting birds to be around.  I always enjoy the spring and summer season watching them raise their young.  At the moment they are incubating their eggs and it seems that the female does most of this.  I always remember in my old bird book that Sparrowhawks lay their eggs in May.  All other birds seemed to me to say April/May.  This is an adaption so that when maximum food is needed there are plenty of young fledglings around for them.

Female sitting tight on the eggs
The Male is often seen around the nest site in tops of trees always vigilant and protective.

Male Sparrowhawk
In the image below the male launches himself from his regular perch to chase off a stray Jay that has entered his territory too close to the nest.
Full attach mode

Sunday, 20 May 2018

May Great Crested Grebes such beautiful birds to photograph

I love Great Crested Grebes as they are such really beautiful birds.  They give so many exciting opportunities to capture different action images.  They have a beautiful courtship and display where they perform the Weed Dance. They are also great fishers and often catch really large fish.  These were some images I captured a few years back at this time of the year.  They are so great parents and I love to see the young riding on their parents back when they are tired or feel like they need protection.
Proud parent

Feeling secure
I can't believe that I never processed these images until now.  Glad I found them and I am really pleased  to have captured these intimate moments.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

May 2018 Nuthatch great builders

I love to observe bird behaviour.  Back on the 1st April I took this image of a Nuthatch bringing mud back to a hole in a tree that was obviously too large an aperture.  Predators would have had a field day with the eggs or young easy to reach.  It was interesting to return six weeks later and see them bringing in food for their young.  The images below show the result of the work.  The hole has been filled in with mud that has dried.  There is now only enough room for a Nuthatch to squeeze through.
Great workmanship.

Beginning the engineering project 

6 weeks later hole filled with mud
I enjoyed seeing the results of their labours today.  A Grey Squirrel paid them a visit while I was there, but the foil worked perfectly.
Good luck to this pair, after all this work I hope they are successful and fledge their young.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

May 2018 Oyster catcher noisely looking after young

A few years back these birds were rarely seen in Gloucestershire.  They are now a regular feature at Slimbridge WWT.  I think they are a great feisty bird, full of character.  They are noisy and aggressive when protecting their young.  They call to them to lead them away from any danger and immediately chase off any ariel predator.

Protective parent
Chicks doing well
This pair had two chicks they were feeding and protecting.
They are beautiful birds and full of character!

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

May 2018 Catching up with some farmland birds

Farmland birds are always reported as one of the most declining types of birds.  I enjoyed an early morning drive around and managed to catch up with these three species.  They were all bringing in material back to nest sites.  At least they seem to be doing ok on my local patch.



Common Whitethroat
It was a really satisfying morning and I hope they all do well.  There is a long way to go to successfully raise their young.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

May 2018 Great to see local Barn Owls doing well

Its so great that local Barn Owls seem to be doing well around my local town at Winchcombe in Gloucestershire.  There are lots of people reporting them and they all seemed really thrilled.  I think they are birds that can create an interest in nature, with their beautiful charismatic hunting flight, low over the grassland.

Hunting flight
You have just got to love them.  Its always a great experience when you are in their presence.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

May 2018 Roe Deer on my local patch

I had seen Barn Owls on my local patch last night but the light was very poor.  There was a sunny hour in the forecast for this morning so I got up early to see if they were around early in the morning.  No luck with the Barn Owls but these two Roe Deer came along quietly.  Always great to see.

Roe Deer buck looking after his fur.
Roe Deer doe
These two are quite often seen together.  I had always thought that the bucks were solitary in nature.