Sunday 24 July 2011

Barn Owls

I've been photographing at a barn owl site for several weeks now and have not blogged any photos until I knew that the young have succesfully fledged and are now free flying.

They managed to get 4 youngsters away and that must have been due to a plentiful supply of short tailed voles and common shrews which seemed to be the main prey items.

The birds were very late evening feeders which seems to suggest an abundance of prey but did present a few photographic challenges.

Many photos were high ISO or slow shutter speeds and at times I resorted to flash when I'd established the birds lack of concern for it.
In fact when there was no wind and all was quiet the slight noise of the image stabilising locking focus often prompted a stare more than anything else.

Here are a few images, the others can be viewed on my website by clicking here......

Barn Owlets await a feed

Male Barn owl with short tailed vole

Male Barn owl with short tailed vole

Saturday 23 July 2011


An hour or so out with the dogs in the lane behind my house yielded some good butterflies this morning. It was great weather and they were just warming up before spending the day on the wing.


Comma - underside showing white comma mark


Meadow brown



Holly blue

Sunday 17 July 2011


Having spent many hours sat in hides photographing kingfishers over recent years I was nevertheless excited at the prospect of watching a pair go through the process of digging a nesting burrow.

I took these shots from a fair distance to avoid disturbance a few weeks ago, but although I hold a schedule 1 licence for photographing kingfishers, I thought it too sensitive to post online until I knew the birds had successfully fledged.

I knew that these birds had already raised a family about 200 metres away during April and May as their first brood despite digging a burrow in a different place then.

It is almost instinctive that before they have their second brood they need to go through this digging process perhaps as a bond strengthening tool for their courtship.

They dug this second burrow to I guess about 1/2 a metre depth and then abondoned it in favour of laying again in the same burrow that they raised their first brood.

There are now 2 new and unused burrows that may offer opportunities for next season ...or even for a third brood!

Here are a few shots and a final distant shot of the female on the river. As the site was open and exposed I never spent any time photographing them there.

To view some of my previous kingfisher images please click here.

Male kingfisher at burrow

Male kingfisher at burrow

Male kingfisher at burrow

Male kingfisher leaving burrow

Male kingfisher leaving burrow

Female kingfisher perched.

Friday 15 July 2011

New woodpecker images posted on my website

I've just posted images from my season with the great spotted and the green woodpeckers onto my website at click here for the link.

Male great spotted woodpecker

Thursday 14 July 2011

Beautiful Demoiselles

A hot summers day here in Cornwall was welcomed by all the insects and they were on the wing enjoying life. Here are a few beautiful demoiselle damselfly's that I came across near to my home this afternoon.
All were taken hand held using a Tamron 90mm macro lens on my Nikon.

Male Beautiful demoiselle

Male Beautiful demoiselle

Male Beautiful demoiselle

Female Beautiful demoiselle

Female Beautiful demoiselle

Saturday 9 July 2011


A first effort of a pair of greenfinches feeding young in a nest right in the centre of town. Unusually the nest was quite open and all my photographs were taken using a remote control with me being some distance from the tree.
I know that nest photography is often frowned upon but I believe that if its done properly with no physical disturbance of around the nest area then its a great opportunity to learn so much about the intimate side of a species.
Below are a couple of shots of the male and female at the nest.

Male Greenfinch

Female Greenfinch

Tuesday 5 July 2011


A second trip to a friends garden had 5 badgers running around the lawn allowing a few shots with remotely fired flash although I only ever got 3 animals in a photo.



Badger having a scratch

Sunday 3 July 2011

Little Egret

A couple of action shots of a Little Egret taken at Ham Wall reserve on the Somerset levels yesterday.

Little Egret

Little Egret

Saturday 2 July 2011

Dragons & Damsels

An early start at 04:45 to get up to the Somerset levels at a good time. Fortunately it was an easy trip and a quick stop to photograph a roe deer in a maize field and we were there for about 07:00.
Birds were quietish and many were feeding their fledglings or guarding their nests.

I got some shots of mating blue tailed damselflies, a Four spot Chaser dragonfly and a distant shot (500mm lens) of a Brown Hawker, a dragonfly that isn't in our part of the country in Cornwall but seems to have a foothold on the levels.

Some bird pics will follow on a later post.

Blue tailed damselfiles mating.

Four spot chaser dragonfly

Brown Hawker dragonfly