Sunday, 22 October 2017

October 2017 On holidays in Majorca the beautiful S'albufera Parc Natural

This is my third visit to Majorca and one of the main reasons I go back so often is the beautiful S'albufera Park Natural.  I love this park which is the largest wetland in the Balearic Islands and it is quite magical.  There are a large number of species to be seen and they have great facilities with quite a number of hides and viewing platforms.

Flamingo

Kentish Plover

Night Heron

Osprey
 It was quite a surprise to see a couple of flamingos drop into the wetland.  I have never seen this species there before.  The Night Herons can often be seen in the vegetation down the main canal as you walk in.  Kentish Plovers are quite numerous.  I had heard that an Osprey had been seen on a few days but I had to wait until my fourth visit before I managed to catch up with it.  The whole scrape of birds took rapid flight and there was the great noise of wing beats spreading along the scrape.  This beautiful Osprey then landed on the post in front of the hide.  This was just so exciting made all the more special by having to wait for it.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

October 2017 Passage Ruff in the UK

These birds breed in northern Europe but we get them on passage as they go through the UK.  There are very few that breed in the UK about ten pairs.  I always enjoy seeing them on passage as they are quite exotic birds.

Ruff

Ruff



Tuesday, 3 October 2017

October 2017 Osprey before they leave for the winter

I had an early morning quick jaunt down into Wales this morning with a target of catching up with the charismatic Osprey before they leave for Africa for our winter.

Osprey

Osprey
 These really are thrilling to watch and I must spend more time with them next year.  I have a dilemma though, as I have a mental block when it comes to paying quite large amounts of money to photograph them from a hide as they dive into fish farm.  This seems to be the norm these days and perhaps I may have to just join them!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

October 2017 They have to take-off some time! - Kestrel

One thing that you can be certain of, if a bird is perched patiently at some time or other it must take off.  You would probably need a tripod to hold the camera on them long enough in some cases.  It often gives you the chance of different image.

Kestrel take-off

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

September 2017 Always a great afternoon with Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel & Red Kite

That was a really satisfying afternoon and great when you get these three marvellous species to entertain you.

Angel of the Cotswolds - Male Kestrel

Peregrine Falcon

Red Kite
What more could you want from a short few hours in the afternoon!

Friday, 15 September 2017

September 2017 Some of the local birds at Langley Hill

I had a great morning watching the local birds at Langley Hill this morning.  The conditions weren't brilliant so I am quite happy to get a few images.  At least I didn't have to get caught in any traffic queues!

Blue Tit

Coal Tit

Long Tailed Tit

Yellow hammer

Sunday, 10 September 2017

September 2017 Spotted Flycatcher before they leave our shores

This is the time of year when many of our breeding summer visitors to the UK leave us.  I always feel like I am going to miss them as they return to Africa for our winter.  Ah well hopefully we will soon start to see some of the winter thrushes visiting out shores Fieldfares and Redwings.  I will look forward to seeing Redstarts and Spotted Flycatchers next year and hope they have a safe journey across the Sahara.

Spotted Flycatcher
Have a safe journey, and I will look out for you next year!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

September 2017 A nice addition to my local patch a male redstart

I am getting quite a collection of species on my local patch and they are very special and are also very green as they require no travelling to see them.  This is a great addition at this time of year.  A male redstart along  the hedge where I have been watching a family of spotted flycatchers.  To me they behave quite similarly and wait on the foliage and dive on the ground to pick up insects.

Male Redstart

I am well pleased to welcome this addition to my patch.  What a beautiful bird.

Monday, 28 August 2017

August 2017 Snipe in close enjoying a juicy lunch.

Sometimes if you wait in a hide long enough you get lucky and what is normally a very shy bird comes in close and performs in front of you.  This snipe was amazing as it continued feeding within metres of the hide at Slimbridge WWT this morning.

Juicy Lunch

Keep your eye on the prize
It seemed quite oblivious to the camera shutter noise and just carried on feeding.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

August 2017 Roe Deer doing well.

I went for an early morning "Game Drive".  The Roe deer seem to be doing well and I saw two doe's with well grown young and also a group of 3 older doe's.  They are really peaceful animals and seem to be getting quite used to my Landover and that I mean them no harm.

Roe Deer
I really liked this image as she looked around before disappearing through the hedge.  Always a thrill to see and capture an image.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

August 2017 Great to see a family party of Spotted Flycathers today.

This is a bird that had gone missing from my local patch for a few years and I was beginning to feel like they were never going to return.  I had almost given up hope, and recall how common they were in my youth.  It is great to see a small family party of them today, and I have also read abut another group being reported locally.  Perhaps conditions have changed and they are now re-gaining numbers. I for one really hope so.

Spotted Flycatcher
 They are great to watch feeding.  They like to sit out on the upper and outer branches and often return to the same branch after the foray.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

August 2017 Two Wheatear passing through my local patch at Winchcombe UK

I am always amazed how regular birds are in their habits.  I am sure we had Wheatear last year at about the same time of year.  Now I have images with the dates I think it will be really interested to keep a record of when they arrive.  I will not be surprised if its within a few days each year.  I will definitely check next year.

Wheatear

Wheatear
I am always pleased to see them when they arrive and stay for a few days as they pass through.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

August 2017 I Spent some enjoyable time watching Peregrine Falcons.

These are so really special birds and I can never imagine not being excited in their presence.  I think you would have to be tired of life to not enjoy seeing them.  They definitely have an aura of confidence about them as if they know they are something great.

Peregrine Falcon



Monday, 14 August 2017

August 2017 Lots of Juvenile Buzzards calling for food on my patch in the Cotswold Hills UK

These young buzzards sit in trees calling and calling with their high pitched incessant cry's begging for food.  In the end they drop down on some small prey item and feed themselves.  It must be so difficult for the adults to ignore them and allow them to get their independence.

Juvenile buzzard

I particularly like the old branch that to me really enhances this image.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

August 2017 Enjoyed "Know your Sandpipers day" at Slimbridge WWT this morning.

I had a cracking day at Slimbridge this morning.  Sandpipers around the "Tack Piece" hides were the highlights.  Can you name them all?  Answers at the bottom!






Green Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Saturday, 5 August 2017

August 2017 Male kestrel from this morning on my local patch.

These really are one of my very favourite birds.  You always have to have a good look when you come across one.

Male Kestrel

Friday, 4 August 2017

August 2017 Roe Deer early morning, at Winchcombe in Gloucestershire

I think I have seen the full life cycle of these local Roe Deer as I witnessed the fawn when he was very young and suckling from his mother.  Now I see him left alone and fending for himself.  In the next field I witnessed the buck chasing the doe around, as the Roe Deer rut is in full swing from Mid July to Mid August in the Cotswolds.

This years fawn
It has grown to independence and it so nice to see this one away and surviving independently.
Meanwhile in the long grass in the next field the buck is busy putting all his energy into chasing and protecting the doe in his territory.

This is my territory 

The object of all the attention a beautiful doe

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

August 2017 A few before breakfast this morning at Winchcombe

I went out early this morning to have a look what was around.  It is always the best time.  These are few images from about half an hour out.

Wren

Whitethroat

Willow Warbler
I think it is always great to appreciate the small things that you see.

Monday, 31 July 2017

July 2017 We are so lucky to have these majestic birds a Slimbridge WWT - Common Cranes

These birds really are an amazing site as you see them flying across the scene at Slimbridge.  They are part of the Great Crane Project, and who could not appreciate being party to such a beautiful sight.

Awesome fly past

The birds below are showing the whiffling technique often used by geese to loose altitude quickly.

Common Cranes "whiffling"

These birds certainly add to a very special time at Slimbridge this morning.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

July 2017 Greenshank at Slimbridge WWT

I caught this elegant Greenshank wading through the algae bloom.  They are such elegant birds and I was so pleased to get some images.  The algae was so thick that it often had to flap its wings to help it move through it.

Wading through the thick algae

Sometimes using its wings to help
They are always welcome at Slimbridge WWT on the Severn estuary, as they travel on passage to and from their African wintering grounds.

Friday, 21 July 2017

July 2017 A couple of images from the hide whilst waiting for waders.

Sometimes it a good thing to be happy with images that were not your original target.  Both of these two were taken at Slimbridge whilst waiting for waders to get in range on the scrape.  The Black cap came in close by the Rushy Hide, and the Goldfinch alighted on the teasel whist I was waiting for the new Common Crane chick to appear.



 Yes happy with these two.  I did eventually get some images of the various waders at Slimbridge WWT in the end though.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

July 2017 Work putting up nest boxes paying dividends!

Last January I put up quite a few nest boxes on my small holding.  The ones I was most looking forward to seeing the results of were the Tawny Owl, Kestrel and Barn Owl boxes.  I was so excited and really pleased as I was checking the fences to see a Barn Owl peering out of one of the boxes.  This must be one of the most satisfying things you can do, giving something back for nature.

Putting the boxes up

What a result!
If ever you are contemplating putting up nest boxes I can thoroughly recommend it.  It is simply thrilling when you get some occupied.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

July 2017 White Throat posing nicely.

One thing I like about wildlife photography is that the little things now become more important.  I can really enjoy it when something like this Whitethroat pops out into the open.  It is not only the spectacular that catches my eye any more.

Whitethroat

Friday, 7 July 2017

July 2017 Red Kites around my Local Patch following the hay-making kit

To think that these birds were nearly extinct in the UK with only a handful of pairs hanging on in Mid Wales. I was so excited when I saw my first one in Wales and remember almost panicking when I could not find anywhere to stop the car I was so excited.  I also remember in my old bird book The Encyclopaedia of British Birds it stated: "Buzzards are found throughout the Cambrian Mountains and so is the rare Red Kite"  Now I took this shot while painting the garden furniture in my back garden in Winchcombe Gloucestershire.

Red Kite

I just cannot imagine not reaching for my camera though when they are around.  They are such great birds and I always remember the excitement of that first sighting.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

July 2017 It is so great to see Juvenile Peregrine Falcons fledged and on the wing

These are truly magnificent birds and it always so brilliant to see the young on the wing and gaining independence.  Of course they don't really achieve that until they can make their own kills, so it is still someway to go, and always a steep learning curve for them.  This one seems to have all the attributes so lets hope this one makes it, and adds to the population.


Juvenile Peregrine doing well





Saturday, 1 July 2017

July 2017 Nice to get a new bird for me on my local patch - Marsh Tit

Its great when something new turns up on you local patch.  This Marsh Tit came along.  I have often seen them in the Forest of Dean but never on my local patch at Winchcombe in Gloucestershire.  So its a patch tick great.

Marsh Tit

Marsh Tit
If you visit the same patch regularly its surprising how often something new comes along when you least expect it.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

June 2017 Great to see so many fledged juvenile birds on my local patch at Winchcombe in Gloucestershire.

I find it really heartening to see so many birds have fledged successfully on my local patch.  Sometimes when you go to a reserve you see so many of the young predated by gulls that you go away thinking that it is almost impossible that some chicks may survive at all.  Here are few images that I have taken over a short period of time.
All Juveniles:

Blue Tit

Dunnock

Great Tit

Robin

Common Whitethroat
It does make you feel so good.  Is it a good year with the warm dry weather or am I just imagining there are more around?