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?

Monday, 26 June 2017

June 2017 Male and female Bullfinch

I had these two beautiful visitors today on my smallholding in Winchcombe Gloucestershire.  The male is absolutely stunning but I also love the subtle colouring of the female.  I also love the way they tend to always go around together sticking loyally to each other.

Male Bullfinch

Female Bullfinch
Both birds equally beautiful in their own way and definitely one of the most beautiful resident birds in the UK.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

June 2017 Wader festival at Slimbridge WWT Gloucestershire

This is a great time of the year for Waders at Slimbridge.  There are returning species post breeding as well as many juveniles to be seen.

Redshank

Redshank

It is great to see that the Avocets that have recently colonised Slimbridge have many juveniles that are all different sizes and are doing well.

Driving off any intruders

Well grown chick

The Lapwings seem also doing well and avoiding predation, and its great to seem these juveniles wading around and feeding themselves.

Juvenile lapwing
Oyster Catcher
The Green Sandpipers also return from their breeding grounds to Slimbridge
Green Sandpiper

All in all it was a great visit to Slimbridge with all these Wader species being the highlights.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

June 2017 Beautiful Male Bullfinch

To me these are one of the most strikingly beautiful resident birds in the UK.  This male perched on a reed for a few seconds to give me time for a few images.  I always appreciate seeing them when they get in close.


Male Bullfinch


They nearly always go around in pairs and seem to always love sticking together.  Lovely birds.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

June 2017 Watching Little Egret fishing activity.

This Little Egret was trying a different fishing technique.  It would dash through the water quickly with its wings open and grab fish as they darted into view.  It would also shield the water with its wings. This was reminiscent of the Black Egret that I watched in Gambia which is really famous for this behaviour.

Little Egret interesting moves

Dash and grab

Quickly darting from side to side
This was a fascinated half hour and I have learned that sometimes catching interesting behaviour can add some interesting images to your collection, even if it is a bird you have photographed many times in portrait mode.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

June 2017 Great to catch up with a local Hoopoe today.

I have only ever seen Hoopoe's before on my holidays in Spain or France.  So when I heard of one being seen locally I had to take the chance and go and see if I could find it.  They are such brilliant birds probing into the grass with their long thin bill.  There are also so fantastic when seen in flight.

Juggling an insect
They look like large moths in flight and are really eye catching.  This was so worth the short trip and if it sticks around may have to go back and another go.  I want to get some images with its crest up but I think it was too windy today.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

June 2017 I managed to get reasonable shots of a Jay.

This is a bird that can be quite scatty and difficult to get near enough to get any decent images.  So I was really pleased when this one flew out into the open on to the grassy bank not too far away.  When you study them they are really quite beautiful with their pink colour and beautiful blue patches on their wings.  I also love their piercing blue eyes.

Jay in the open at last


Friday, 2 June 2017

June 2017 I have ever seen a Roe Deer doe with a fawn before, and now twice in two days!

This was a lucky spot as they were in deep grass on the edge of a barley field.  I saw the back of the mother first and kept still while looking through my lens, and this beautiful fawn appeared out of the vegetation.  It was great to share this intimate moment of motherly love from the doe.

Motherly love Roe Deer doe with fawn.
I just love these moments and they can set you up for the rest of the day.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

May 2017 A magical moment in the Cotwolds UK. A Roe Deer with a beautiful fawn.

I was up early for a drive round and had this magical encounter with a Roe Deer and her fawn.  I see the deer quite often but was so excited to see this beautiful fawn.  It was a heart stopping moment that I will always remember.

Staying close to mum

A bit wobbly but getting around well.