Viewing entries tagged
Blue Tit

The Ground Moves

I’m not sure if these Fungi are just late / winter fungi or whether they’ve looked this way since the autumn, but they look in pristine condition. Photographing these late species reminds me of how little I actually know about Fungi..If anybody can recommend or even donate a good fungi ID book I’d be much appreciative as I do really enjoy them and I’m always looking to expand my nature knowledge.

It’s been mild but it only took 3 minutes for my gloveless hands to feel the numbing bite of this mornings -2c at Terpentwys Nature Reserve. I did note 6+ Crossbill calling and singing on the edge of the woodland right by the Car Park but I turned my attention to the ground, only really getting the camera out to photograph the emerging Lords & Ladies plants and the frozen rain from last night. I love the way Lords & Ladies unfolds from this spiral funnel and the photo below shows one of the leaves just about to break out of the funnel into those classic arrowhead shaped leaves. I also love the variety of leaf patterns, some showing dark spots and others completely spotless. Spring isn’t far away, but with upcoming snow forecast, I don’t think winter is quite giving up yet.

Feed The Birds

Wasn't long ago I was talking about Spring! With spring flowers in full bloom and lots of birds singing. Some pretty cold temperatures have been replaced with that however, followed by a Red Warning for wind and snow. Gusty cold conditions like this make it really tough for birds to survive. While some are extremely good at surviving in harsh conditions, others aren't, and they do perish as a result. Small birds like Coal Tits need to consume at-least 30% of their body weight per day in order to survive, some may need up to 100%!. Theres no better time to put high fat seeds, fat balls and meal worms out for your Garden Birds, as without it, they may struggle. 
The images below were taken yesterday at Ian Howell's Woodland Bird Hide. A fabulous hide with a great selection of species. The cold snap even brought in a Greenfinch which was a new species for the feeders. I wish I had a setup like this at home but I'll still continue to feed the birds, even if it's only Jackdaws and Black-headed Gulls that make the most of it. 

Forest of Dean

Day's trip at the Dean in some beautiful weather today. Spent most of the day at Cannop Ponds and the water was very busy. I spent a lot of time chatting to the locals too about wildlife. Met a guy called Ray Buckley also who is a local wildlife photographer, I've seen his photographs before online and he's captured some fantastic forest photos of the dear and wild boar. I've personally not seen one for a long time so was glad to be told of a place nearby where I might find some. I stumbled upon a loan pregnant female that was feeding on acorns in quite a busy area. She wasn't at all phased by people as you can see, the image was taken at 300mm and I found it hard to fit her all in half the time as she was too close. While chatting about her to the locals in the car park, I was approached by an angry man who went out of his way to shout at everyone for getting too close and that "wild boar are the worse thing to have ever happened to the forest". While I can understand his frustration and concern about the increasing numbers of wild boar, I didn't appreciate being shouted at from the off, without any reason to say such things, simply the fact that I was holding a camera, he Assumed I'd be getting too close. I suspect his anger is being aimed at photographers because of the few minority of photographers that have been visiting this area, feeding the wild boar in order to get closer shots. Personally I don't agree with feeding them as their tolerance to people will inevitably result in those individuals getting shot. It's certainly a controversial subject and I'm sure a wildlife TV series will be about soon about the ongoing problems that residence are having in the Forest of Dean. I hope you enjoy my photographs from today. 

Old Man Photography

For those expecting photos of old men, sorry to disappoint you. The only old man today was the person taking the photos, or at-least, that is how I feel currently with back problems. Despite that I tried my best today with good friend Ian Howells. Spent more time in the car today driving around to different locations but I'll let you decide if the results paid off. I'm pretty happy with some of the photos from today with some decent light for a change. 

Christmas Break

Hope you're all having a lovely Christmas! I certainly am, all things considering. (I won't go there).  Today, I visited my winter feeding station which is still going really well despite having spent very little time there. The species list is growing with new visitors every day. Today I had my first Nuthatch which took longer than I thought it would.. I've been having some surprise visitors too which I'm not going to reveal until I get a decent picture of them. Fingers crossed on that one!. For now, I'm still enjoying getting photographs of the beautiful common Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tits that are regulars all throughout the day. Here are some photos from today. 

Work, Weather and Health

People seemed to like my blog post about the Red Grouse & the BBNP last week so I thought I'd show you the final stages of the heather restoration progress. The picture below shows the next stage of filtration, in the basket you'll see the brash that we don't want and in front of the wood is the finer seed that will then need to be fully dried before being bagged and stored for future restoration. 

Today however we were building a bridge over a fanatic waterfall in.... any guesses where?... I only had my phone but tried my best to get a slow shutter photo without a tripod.  

I'll post up some more picture of the bridge once its finished tomorrow. We did run into a few problems, including a broken drill so we'll have to re-visit in the morning. 

Something to look forward to, I'll be starting a new winter feeding station like last year, but in a different location. I have a few birds in mind that I'd like to photograph but to be honest, I'll be happy enough to just get a Blue Tit in the lens. 

Reflecting on the day

Always up for trying new photography techniques and I've personally not tried this before but had a lot of fun today on a new reflection pool. These are just a select few of my favourites from today. I'll be digging into these files for a while having come home with over 1000 photographs. I'll distribute them throughout the year lol.