Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Water Pipit

Water Pipit 

I came across this water pipit a few weeks back in the high Alps at Col de la Columbiere where we were just above 1618 metres.

I've always seen them before in Cornwall at sea level.... quite literally on the sandy shoreline at Marazion.

Note the long claws locked around the stem of the plant!

Water Pipit_

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Foxes ..... near home!

A very slow shutter speed has created an impression of this fox running across a field.

I knew it was too dull to capture the photograph in crisp focus so I decided to go for the other approach. It always worked for the famous American photographer Art Wolfe so here's my attempt.

The two below are more traditional images taken in a freshly cut hay meadow before the farmer had collected in the hay.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Ring Ouzels ..... Lac de Roselend, French Alps.

Female Ring Ouzel carrying food

Still working through some of my images from the recent IFWP congress in the French Alps.

We spent quite a lot of time in a swampy area where ring ouzels were feeding and carrying food off to mobile young in a rocky scree.

It was pleasing to see them taking many of the large flies that seemed to like the taste of my Cornish flesh!

Female Ring Ouzel collecting food

Male Ring Ouzel

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Ants "farming" green aphids.

Ants and green aphids

An interesting image showing ants "farming" green aphids on a dock stem near Lac de Roselend in the French Alps.

I took this last week and have since read up a bit on the process and it seems it's not in the interest of the ants to eat the greenfly but better to feast on the sweet, sticky honeydew secreted by the aphids.

The ants are not happy just having the leftovers, but will gently massage the back and rear end of the aphid to make the aphid produce honeydew on tap. (Much as a farmer will milk a cow!).

Such is the 'relationship' between aphids and ants, that ants will even take the eggs of the aphids back underground to their own nests. Not to store for food, but to nurture them until hatched, whereupon they are taken back to a host plant - ready to start producing the much sought-after honeydew food for the ant colony.

My thanks to for their info.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

A Dolphin encounter this morning. 3rd July 2014.

Common Dolphin 

An early morning trip out to sea from home on the morning tide proved beneficial for myself and Will Delacour as we came across a pod of Common Dolphins just outside the mouth of the Camel Estuary.

There was a heavy swell as the wind had gone around to the South West making it very difficult to stand, hold on, and fire a camera.... hence the "delete" button was heavily used!

These images are not as good as on previous trips last summer but it is always a thrill to see Dolphins, especially just 15 minutes from home!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Wild Red Fox amongst the rocks of the French Alps.

Red Fox vixen

I just love the sense of space in this photograph.

As soon as I saw the vixen climb up to this vantage point I thought about the composition and how well she blended into the natural colours of the rocks.

It doesn't need to be a close-up image although a few others follow.......

This rounded off a very successful annual IFWP congress in the French Alps.

My personal thanks to all at ASCPF in France for their hosting of the congress!

Red Fox vixen

Red Fox vixen 

Red Fox vixen 

Red Fox vixen

Thursday, 12 June 2014

More Redstarts.... Bodmin Moor.

Male Redstart with Large Red Damselfly

I couldn't resist having another go with these fantastic Redstarts. I needed some better pictures of the male bird and I was in position and taking photos before 7 this morning.

The weather was great although by about 9:30 it was very hot in my old Daihatsu which I was using as a hide, even with all the windows open.

By then the light was getting a bit harsh so I called it a day at about 10 a.m.  Job done!

Saying that I would rather have had the bird perching on a more tasteful perch but this is as it was with this old fence support hanging just above the nest hole so I went with it and thought therefore it must be natural... if they chose it!

Oddly enough the female bird always used the foxglove stem on her way to the nest but the male never did.

There was also another male bird hanging around and making unwelcome advances on the female whenever our male was away foraging!

Male Redstart 

Male Redstart 

Female Redstart