Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Long-tailed Tits... it's a family affair!





I came across a family of Long tailed Tits all carrying food to a nest in a gorse bush at Breney Common Nature Reserve early this morning.

Unusually there were at least 5 birds all feeding the nestlings in their rather unique nest of moss, cobwebs and hair, decorated on the outside with lichen.

Whether this was a second brood or not, as they are known to nest early, it seemed possible that siblings from the first brood had been enlisted into feeding the next clutch.

If it works don't knock it!




Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Duck!

Female Shelduck chases a female Gadwall from it's new clutch of ducklings


A pair of Shelduck had just hatched 10 new ducklings and the parents were busily trying to keep them from being predated.

Another pair was down to a single surviving offspring having probably started with a simlar number to this brood.

Unfortunately I don't think that this female Gadwall is going to cause too much trouble to the ducklings as it's been a peregrine and a crow that have seen off most of the others!

Nevertheless the Shelduck chased it off on several occasions thus leaving all 10 ducklings in the custody of the drake bird and obviously more vulnerable to predation.

I did think however that it made and interesting photo all the same!

Friday, 22 May 2015

A day on Looe Island, Cornwall.

 We spent a day as guests on Looe Island off of South east Cornwall on Tuesday. The weather was showery with a cold North West wind but it was still a fantastic place to be.

Our aim was to count seals as part of our monthly programme but we also counted birds and insects as well.

Anyone wishing to go to Looe island then checkout the Cornwall Wildlife Trust website for details.

Here are a few of my images from the day.



Nesting Herring Gull
Grey Seal

Rock Pipit

Nesting Great Black backed Gull

Nesting Oystercatcher

Nesting Great Black backed Gull

Oystercatcher

Barrel Jellyfish washed up near the jetty.

Herring Gull


Great Black backed Gull

Nesting Shag

Nesting Fulmar

This Shag has taken over an abandoned Raven's nest

Nesting Cormorant

Nesting Herring Gull amongst the thrift.

Fox cub out exploring





I spotted some fox cubs and a vixen the night before whilst photographing barn owls so made an effort to get some photos of them last night.

They were foraging and playing in a freshly cut grass field but the wind was swirling my scent about a bit and it was difficult getting a good position. Lots of climbing over, under and through barbed wire, stinging nettles, bramble and blackthorn but I was pleased with the few shots I got of an individual cub out exploring.

One of the parents was at the far side of the field but instead of trying to catch food for it's litter preferred to lie down and sleep in the evening sun!






The adult was never far away!



Sunday, 17 May 2015

Marsh Tit in a hole!




This Marsh tit was nesting in a tiny hole in a rotten tree in the wet marshes of the River Camel.

The image below shows it carrying a faecal sac from the nest so it obviously had chicks in the nest. Always a joy to watch.




Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Male Barn Owl on the prowl.

Male Barn Owl


A fabulous evening with great light although a bit of a cold wind from the west-north-west.

This male barn owl was out hunting early. I arrived at 7:30 and he was quartering the fields then and I had a couple of good views of him as he flew around the edges of the pasture meadow.

Not my best pics but bodes well for the next few weeks if I can get out and spend the time with these birds.

 







Sunday, 10 May 2015

Coal Tits




A pair of Coal Tits were busy carrying food to their nestlings this morning on the outskirts of  Wadebridge.

They were nesting in a hole in an old stone wall and were bringing an assortment of prey to their chicks consisting of flies, ants, bees, green caterpillars and aphids.

Fortunately for me they were using a nearby hazel tree to perch in whilst en-route to the nest so I was able to take some photos without causing any disturbance.

My thanks to Ed Treverton for the "heads up" on this one!

Any gardener would be pleased to have these super little birds around as there'd be no need for any pesticides or insect repellant!