Thursday 11 July 2024

Urban Kittiwakes in Bridlington Yorkshire June 2024.

 

I'm sure the presence of nesting Kittiwakes in a town centre like Bridlington isn't seen as a favourable asset by many people. But for us who had come up to Yorkshire from Cornwall to photograph seabirds it was all part of the wildlife experience. We are used to Herring Gulls nesting in our Cornish towns and are familiar with the downside of their mess, constant noise and the antics they get up to securing food and protecting their young.

I'd come across Kittiwakes nesting on buildings before up in Norway but aren't really aware of them doing so in Cornwall. I've also seen images of them on the Tyne and in the Newcastle area but it was the first time I'd photographed them in a truly urban situation.

Here are a few photos I took one evening around the town .....









In case you're forgetting what Kittiwakes look like when nesting in the truly wild environment here are a few images from both Yorkshire, Northumberland and back home in Cornwall.

Kittiwake on a Bempton ledge

Kittiwake colony on Bawden rocks, St.Agnes Cornwall

Kittiwake colony on Bawden rocks, St.Agnes Cornwall

Kittiwake pair on the Farne islands.

Kittiwake with 2 chicks on Inner Farne

Wednesday 5 June 2024

The many faces of White Storks in Poland May 2024

 


One of my favourite birds when in Europe is the White Stork!

Being able to see their huge nests in every village, every farm, on rooftops, electricity poles & telecomms mast is so pleasing. To think that people put themselves out to engage with these fantastic birds is fantastic. 

To the Polish people Storks are a symbol of good luck, their arrival in spring heralds the onset of spring which, after the long, dark Polish winter is no small thing!

So I've photographed these birds from many angles and in many poses. 

This was my second visit to Poland and I stressed to our guide that I wanted to return to the Pentowo Stork Village at Tykocin as I will always hold a special memory for the rather shaky tower that overlooked about 20 nests in a rejuvenated farm complex. This tower has fortunately been renovated and it felt safe and secure and yet still overlooked lots of nests, with over 20 being visible.

Tower viewing platform at Pentowo


View from the top


A classic village scene with storks nesting along the road

Storks nest on street light in centre of village 

 

In the Biebrza marshes area white storks were very common and we watched them in flight, resting & preening in the marshes and sat on or flying to numerous nests.

I don't think it'll be long before we regularly see wild White Storks in Cornwall as I know that they've recently bred in the county as part of a rewilding project. I look forward to that time!

Here are lots of images all taken during our Poland trip in May 2024. I hope you enjoy looking at them....

 


Incoming to the nest

Incoming to the nest

Just being greeted

Just being greeted





Nests on either end of an old barn

Storks in flight

Stork in flight






The church square in Tykocin

Lost in Tykocin

Monday 27 May 2024

European Bison & European Elk (Moose) in Poland, May 2024.

European Bison at sunrise

Our trip to Poland with friends from the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Photographic Group was a great success and I'm pleased with many photos.

I thought I'd share a few at a time as and when I get around to processing the many images.

A 4am.start was essential to find the European Bison or Wisent when it was out of the forest and grazing in the meadows at sunrise. The Bialowieza Forest straddles the Polish border with Belarus and this is where the bison are found. They are the largest animal that ever lived on the European continent but were hunted out by the end of first World War. They were re-introduced to the forest in 1929 and  now number over 1400 individuals.

We were lucky to find 3 bison grazing in the early morning light in a forest meadow near a village and had the opportunity to photograph them with long lenses from a safe distance.

Many thanks to Tomasz Jezierczuk from Wild Poland for his organisation and wildlife skills, much appreciated.








Our time spent in the Biebrza marshes also brought us into contact with another of Europe's large mammals the European Elk or Eurasian Moose, the largest of the deer family and second only in size to the bison.

Called Elk in Europe, it is in fact the same species as the North American Moose which I've had the pleasure of photographing many times in the US.

The wet marshes with Birch and Willow are the ideal elk habitat and we got lucky and watched them on 2 early morning drives out from our hotel.

The first time we saw a bull with small antlers in velvet and the second 2 youngsters, possibly siblings.

All photographs were taken either through the open door or window of the van or from the road with us hiding behind the van. Long lenses were used on both occasions.

Here are a few images....






Hopefully I'll get some more images posted again soon, with lots of birds to come!