Friday, 29 May 2020

Barn Owls, Wadebridge Cornwall 28th May 2020.



As the fabulous weather continues both male & female barn owls are out hunting with the female spending less time in the nestbox.

There are now 5 owlets as one was very small & rarely got a chance to get food as he was usually beaten to it by his larger siblings.
One other is a lot smaller than the other 4 but it's beginning to look like he may well make it if this good weather continues & both parents stay in good health.

Here are some more photos and also some screen grabs from the CCTV inside the nestbox.




This shows the size variation of the youngsters & the 6th one that sadly didn't make it in centre of frame.









Saturday, 23 May 2020

Barn Owls hunting. Cornwall 22nd May 2020.




After many hours I eventually managed to photograph both the male & the female Barn Owl out hunting last evening.
The female is much richer coloured on her back & wings and has speckles all over her underwings & breast. The male is more the classic "white owl" with a clean underside and much lighter back & wings.
Just love watching these fabulous birds!
#wildCornwall


These birds are feeding 6 owlets in a nestbox and as of today all 6 are surviving although 2 are very small.
The female is now taking a share of the hunting and last night didn't spend the night in the ever filling box. 

Here are several images from the evening as I took advantage of what sunlight there was. As dusk closed in they continued to hunt but the light levels eventually beat my camera's  settings!














 

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

More hunting Barn Owls locally. 18th May 2020.



The male owl was hunting when I arrived at 7:20 pm this evening.

Unbelievably he caught 3 voles in 20 minutes & took them to the nest. Sadly for me each was caught in a meadow where I wasn't set up with my camera!!!

It was fantastic evening light but as soon as it started to drop he then caught 2 voles right in front of me. Great to watch and he was ages on the ground dispatching the creature before taking off with the rodent in his beak before transferring it to his talons to fly the approx 300 metres back to the nest.



Monday, 18 May 2020

Barn Owls in North Cornwall 17th May 2020



I've watched this male Barn Owl hunting locally for several evenings and think I'm beginning to see a pattern as to where he hunts & the route he takes back to the nest where he has a female & 6 owlets that cover a vast size difference. 4 are really well grown now but 2 are still minute and they were all hatched within 1-2 days of each other.




Friday, 15 May 2020

Broad bodied Chaser dragonflies. Goss Moor 15th May 2020.

 

Male Broad bodied Chaser

My first dragonflies of the year today.
A male & a female Broad bodied Chaser trying to keep out of the cold wind.

A couple of hours spent on the Goss moor National nature reserve in Mid Cornwall looking for warblers, dragonflies & butterflies came up with these beauties.

Female Broad bodied Chaser



Friday, 3 April 2020

Great White Egret at Walmsley sanctuary, Wadebridge. 23rd March 2020.



The Great White Egret is not a common bird in Cornwall despite the fact that they now breed in nearby Somerset.
We hold out hopes that with this continued sucess on the Levels then it won't be too far down the line before they become a Cornish resident.

This was only my third sighting in the reserve and came on the day before the world went into "lockdown" to try to protect us against the Coronavirus that had become a global pandemic.

I took these shots just after closing all of the hides and had already been told not to advertise or promote any unusual bird sightings in case people decided to risk illness in favour of adding another "tick" to their bird records.

It's now almost a fortnight since this event so I feel that I've left it long enough for the bird to be long gone!

Here are a few of the photos I've been sitting on.



















Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Mute Swans courtship & mating. Wadebridge, Cornwall 23rd March 2020



 When I first saw this pair of swans they were well into their courtship so I didn't have time to change the big 500mm lens and just had to go with it and get some close ups.

It all started quite romantically & ended the same with just the actual mating process looking a bit violent but anyone who has seen a female mallard being seduced by about 10 drakes then this was quite placid!

They do seem to have very discoloured heads and necks possibly due to iron ore in the water, not sure, but we do see it commonly on swans and they seem to suffer no ill effects.