Friday 29 June 2012

Brown bear - Finland

We spent all night last night in hides hoping to get a glimpse of a European brown bear.

We were in the hides before 6pm and didn't emerge until 07:00 this morning. It was reasonably comfortable although extremely cold as the temperature plummeted to 0C.

Iain and I shared one hide whilst Dibs and Delia took the other. Luckily for them they got great early views of a brown bear and even more exciting a wolverine on no less than 3 occasions during the night.

Fortunately for us we started getting distant views of a large male bear which found a baited carcass in a clearing in the Boreal forest. It proceeded to tear bits off this meat and take them off to the forest to digest.

We watched this bear for a long time between 01:00 and 03:45 when ordinarily it would be dark but at this latitude it stayed light for all the night until the sun shone again brightly at about 02:00 am.

I was forced to push the ISO quite severely but hope that the pictures look OK in their environment.

Be prepared to see some stunning photos from Dibs & Delia in the coming weeks.

Wild European brown bear - Finland.

Wild European brown bear - Finland.

Wild European brown bear - Finland.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Wild reindeer - Finland

Members of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Photographic Group travelled to Finland overnight yesterday for the IFWP annual congress at Kuhmo near the Finland - Russian border.

We arrived at Helsinki at 11 pm and flew on to Oulu on the Baltic coast arriving at 01:00 today. There was then a long leisurely drive across country looking for wildlife en-route.

Dibs spotted 2 moose lurking in the forest edge but they fled when we got the cameras out.

Fortunately Delia spotted a reindeer about 50 miles farther along the road and this one let us get some photos albeit through lots of tree trunks!

Hopefully there will be a few more blogs to come soon.

Wild reindeer

Wild reindeer

Wild reindeer

Thursday 21 June 2012

Sparrowhawks re-visited

Another window of photographic opportunity in the continuing wet spring and summer in Cornwall allowed me a couple of hours at my hide for the sparrowhawks.

I am now getting a lot higher and can view the nest site pretty much on the same level and can see that there are now only 2 surviving chicks being fed.

They seem to be feeding regularly so maybe the cold nights or dominant siblings have seen the demise of the others.

They didn't want any of the first prey item brought to the nest at 07:45, maybe they'd just eaten so the female took it away (it was already plucked by the male) and probably ate it herself or cached it.

When the male called again nearby at 09:00 she left the nest and quickly brought back another prey item and the chicks ate this when she fed them it in tiny morsels.

Female sparrowhawk and chicks

Female sparrowhawk and chick

Female sparrowhawk

Sunday 17 June 2012


I spent a few hours in a hide this morning near a sparrowhawk nest. We'd known about the nest for a while but were waiting for the young to be hatched before trying any photography.

Fortunately the female bird was totally disinterested in me from her lofty nest site and I took some shots from ground level.

This viewpoint was ok for photographing the adult but not easy to show the chicks so I'm hoping to get a higher viewpoint in the coming days (weather permitting!).

Female sparrowhawk

Female sparrowhawk

Female sparrowhawk feeding a chick

Thursday 14 June 2012

Cornish Choughs

I spent yesterday down at Lizard Point with Bob Sharples desperately trying to get some decent shots of the Choughs.

Alas all my flight shots that were sharp were against a bald white/grey sky but hey -ho it wasn't raining unlike the rest of the UK.

They do look like cardboard cutouts but I can assure you that it is the real sky as a backdrop... no photoshop...honest!

It was also good to meet Anthony Miners down there, whose blog I've been watching for quite a while.... good to meet you Anthony!

Chough in flight

Chough in flight

Chough in flight

Sunday 10 June 2012


Just a couple of shots of a female kingfisher carrying food to her nest.

This is their second attempt to nest as the first was abandoned due to high water levels and thick mud-laden waters.

Both birds are now feeding the young but it's not an ideal site for photography as it's amongst a lot of exposed tree roots where the bank is fast crumbling into the river.

These birds are classed as Schedule 1 breeding birds and I do hold a licence to photograph them at or near the nest site.

Female Kingfisher

Female Kingfisher

Friday 8 June 2012

Stinkhorn Fungi

I came across two of these common Stinkhorn Fungi last week whilst out walking and as they were close together and in very different stages of development/decay I thought it worth popping home to get my tripod and trying to get some decent shots with adequate depth of field.

One had lost the green slimy top and was no longer proving attractive to the local fly population whereas the other exuded an awful stink which is how I came to find them in the first place!

It is also fairly obvious how they come to have the scientific name of Phallus impudicus!

Stinkhorn Fungi

Stinkhorn Fungi

Stinkhorn Fungi

Stinkhorn Fungi