Monday, 15 July 2019

Barn Owl ringing this evening near Wadebridge. 15th July 2019.


Thinking a female on the left and 2 males.


We revisited the Barn Owl box that we checked exactly a month ago which at the time held 4 very small owlets and 2 unhatched eggs.

Fortunately there were 3 strong, healthy chicks in the box & my friend Pete Roseveare put rings on each of them.

At the last visit there were 16 uneaten voles in the box, now there are none. They are obviously growing fast and eating everything put in front of them!

Always a joy to see and a privilege to get so close to them.

As an aside we both hold Schedule 1 licences for Barn Owls at this site.


A smaller Male

the larger female.


Friday, 12 July 2019

A distant White-tailed Eagle. Tiszaalpar, Hungary. 11th July 2019.




I watched this White-tailed Eagle fly across the marshes and then circle before it crashed down on a fish in the shallows beside the reeds.

It stayed there a few moments before rising out of the water and carrying a fish off towards the far end of the lake.

Too far away for good photos but still a memorable event to watch!








Monday, 8 July 2019

Lesser Grey Shrike, Tiszaalpar, Hungary. 8th July 2019.




Lesser Grey Shrike.

One of my "target" species ticked off today on our Hungarian Photo trip to Tiszaalpar.

Cracking bird that was very active around the copse of trees we were photographing in.



Thursday, 4 July 2019

Predators of the Cornish coast. 3rd July 2019

Juvenile Peregrine


A couple of hours on the North Cornish cliffs and saw four of the main predators all in the air within minutes of each other. The Peregrine did give chase to the Kestrel, the Raven was part of a family of 4 juveniles & 2 adults and the Sparrowhawk was a complete surprise!


Kestrel

Raven

Sparrowhawk 

Sparrowhawk

Juvenile Peregrine

Juvenile Peregrine

Juvenile Peregrine

Peregrine

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Peregrine falcons in the evening sunshine. North Cornwall. 30th June 2019.


Pleased to see all 3 of the young Peregrine falcons on the wing over the dramatic Cornish cliffs this evening.






Saturday, 29 June 2019

Another visit to the Cornwall Beaver Project, June 26th 2019






I spent an enjoyable evening sat in a tranquil Cornish valley watching Beavers going about their daily lives as if they've never been gone from the Duchy.

In a short time they've transformed this valley by creating a super set of pools with dams and weirs that has attracted more than could have been expected so soon.

I sat and watched Emperor Dragonflies hawking for insects, a Grey Wagtail also looking to feed on the same insects and probably the dragonfly given half a chance!

Sparrowhawk & Jays, Swallows & House Martins were overhead before as dusk fell Bats swooped low over the water seeking their fill of the night flying creatures that these pools have now attracted.

But onto the Beavers.... Last years kits were active near to the lodge and it was great to see them do swallow-dives before disappearing into one of the underwater entrances to the lodge.

The matriarch put in an appearance, she can be identified by a rather mangled right ear lobe, but it was a fleeting view which adds to the hopes of our host Chris Jones, that she may be nursing a new litter of kits for this year.

I've had a great Spring & Summer wildlife watching this year and hope it continues the same way!

I also hope to get back to watch for a new generation of Beavers in the coming weeks.



The Matriarch








Thursday, 27 June 2019

Gannets...... Bass Rock, Scotland Thurs 20th June 2019.




A Gannet colony is one of the greatest places a bird lover and photographer can go to!

This was my 9th landing on Bass Rock  at the mouth of the Firth of Forth just off North Berwick and perhaps 20 miles from Edinburgh.

I first visited with Dave Thomas in 1984 and made several more landings in the late 80's and also in the 90's.

The place never ceases to amaze me with the colour, the noise and of course the smell!

Numbers have continued to increase and it is the largest Gannet colony in the world... in fact the Scientific name for the gannet is Sula bassana after this rocky outcrop which is actually an old volcanic plug.

There are supposed to be in excess of 150,000 birds but I have to admit I didn't stop to count them.

When we first came we could walk over the concrete path to the far side of the island where the Trinity House guys used to maintain the foghorn. Now everything is automated for the horn & the lighthouse and the gannets are now covering almost all of the rock.

There are now a handful of pairs nesting at St.Abbs head amongst the guillemot colony a few miles down the coast.

Here are a couple of short video clips, apologies for the wind noise !