Archive for the 'wildlife' Category



05
May
22

Emperor

When my daughter came down to Norfolk last month we took her up onto the local heath to show her adders. During the time we were looking I hung up a pheromone to attract an Emperor Moth. I placed it on the front of the vehicle but nothing came to the lure.

Later that week I took a group to Scotland. One of the regular places we visit for various birds is the head of the Findhorn Valley. A wonderfully evocative place of steep valley sides and craggy mountains.

We’d not been there longer than 30 minutes when an Emperor Moth started flirting with the front of the vehicle. Given the car had been washed since the beginning of the week and the lure was over 5 years old I was amazed. I still had the lure in the car. When I opened it up we had five or six of these beautiful moths flying around. Before we knew where we were we were surrounded by photographers! One landed and I managed to get a shot of it.

03
May
22

Flowers

A walk at Wild Ken Hill among the Spring flowers. Shepherds Cress, Common Storksbill, Greater Stitchwort and Rhododendron.

28
Apr
22

A trembling foot

Sat in the Parrinder hide at Titchwell the other day I was photographing a pair of Little Ringed Plover. I noticed the male was ‘foot trembling’ whilst feeding. I have seen other waders, such as Lapwings, use this technique to presumably attract prey species to the surface but I’ve never seen it in use by a LRP before. BWP (Birds of the Western Palearctic) does not mention it either (as far as I can see). Here’s a short video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PN-Gh9–tk

25
Apr
22

Scotland

We had a great time in Scotland with an impressive tally of birds for the group. Specialities included. This was no doubt helped by the mild warm southerlies that brought on a spell of early migration. However, there was one bird that dominated the tour. At every single place we ventured from the vehicle this year we could hear and often see Siskin. They were everywhere!

17
Apr
22

Godwit

Some of the Black tailed Godwits visiting Cley at the moment are just stunning.

15
Apr
22

A Bird from Kent or a Kentish Plover

I was engaged doing something which must for the time being remain a mystery. However, the story will reveal itself in the fullness of time. Anyways, I was thinking I better get off home and do a little work before the tour to Scotland at the end of the week when a message popped up on my mobile phone. ‘Kentish Plover on Simmonds Scrape at Cley’

It’s been a good while since I saw the last one but I played it cool and had a vegan cake and an oat milk coffee at the reserve centre before walking out to the hide. Although a very smart male the bird might as have well been in Lincolnshire; it was miles away at the back of the scrape. I gave it the opportunity to move closer by waiting a couple of hours but it stubbornly stayed well out of range of the camera.

I sat in the sunshine outside and dealt with a few emails before intending to walk back to the car park. It was only when friend Trevor came out and said it had moved closer I put the plans to leave on hold. The Plover had indeed moved to the nearest sandy island. Although it was still aways-away I at least managed a record shot.

12
Apr
22

choughs

In Wales a couple of weeks ago the Chough were dancing in the wind over the cliffs and sea. Love the playfulness of these corvids.

08
Apr
22

Let’s just Gloss over that

When Bob told me he’d been photographing Glossy Ibis he said it was possible to get close. He talked in terms of the width of a living room. I was intrigued. I though it was worth investigating. He drew me a map. I needed it. The route to the bird was convoluted over rough ground and not at all easy carrying a 400mm 2.8 prime lens.

His directions were spot on. I no sooner arrived at the site and the bird was right where he said it would be. However, I couldn’t get close. The bird spooked at over 60m. Passing kayakers, dog walkers and nearby kite flyers were flushing the bird and it wouldn’t settle in my presence. I sat down, had a drink of water, and thought the situation through.

I zipped up my jacket so the white t shirt I was wearing wasn’t on show, walked away from the bird, around it, and approached with the light behind me so the sun wouldn’t flash on the lens. This paid dividends and thankfully the ‘motorway’ of morning dog walkers abated, the kayakers disappeared and the kite flyers got called in for lunch.

Reeds and vegetation were always an issue, but as I crouched on the river bank the bird made it’s way slowly to me. The light was excellent. For what is superficially a dull brown bird Glossy Ibis have a wonderfully coloured plumage.

05
Apr
22

Hare’s breadth

This little girl passed close by the other day. Tania said she looked as though she’d had her nose in her mums makeup bag!

02
Apr
22

Let’s go Fly a Kite

Tania had never been to Powys in Wales. Never seen a Kite feed. Last week, the weather was good so why wouldn’t we take a break in central Wales.

Once we (or rather one of us) had got over the temptation to photograph every lamb in Wales we made it to Gigrin.

Advertised as the world’s biggest bird table, Kite feeds are quite something. A site to watch open jawed as birds flock to be fed. A photographers delight.




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