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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.

Work Goals

Geez! I'm absolutely shattered, the last couple weeks have been flat out in the lead up till Christmas with two assessments back to back. First, my B+E Trailer test which I was chuffed to pass and also I had my Chainsaw / Crosscutting assessment today, after a weeks crash course in Mid-Wales (Rhayadar) last week, which I also passed!. Fabulous part of Wales mind you! Red Kites everywhere, also saw a lot of Crossbill while felling with a Great Grey Shrike deep in the woodland too. Both physically and mentally draining however so ready for a 'relax' this Christmas. Doubt that'l happen but who knows! 


If you're following my flicker page  you'll see that I have been uploading a few pictures this month. I've started a winter feeding station at a remote location with a pop up hide set up, in the hope to get some of the more common species. I've noticed that wildlife photographers tend to neglect the common species of bird because either they find them boring or don't find them a challenge to photograph. I for one know how difficult it can be to get decent, natural images of these species so I'm going to try this winter to get some in the bag that I'm happy with. Here are a few so far. 

Frozen Frogspawn

With night temperatures dipping below freezing, our wildlife has to brace that extra bit harder. It's times like this that the feeding station becomes vital for a birds night survival, but what happens to the Frogs that have already began laying eggs? Well, as you can see, they do freeze if caught up in the top surface of the water. It's likely that the lower portion will still survive but this top layer, despite thawing later on that day, looks like it has been predated on too. 

Not sure what insect this is but it was walking on the ice with no care in the world.

Feeding station today had lots of activity, including a large female Sparrowhawk that for a minute looked like it was going to go for the male Pheasant but opted to carry on fly through. Even my heart was beating fast at that point! Can't image what the Blue Tits were feeling!. 

In other news, a record number of Water Rail at Green Pool today with 5 running around and 'sharming' like crazy. I wished I had my recording gear at hand at that point but perhaps I'll try that tomorrow evening in the hope they give off another good performance. Unfortunately, these Water Rail are pretty shy and were only visible when running between reed beds.  

Foggy Sunday

If you live in Pontypool, you certainly would have noticed the fog today! However, if you went up the mountain, it was a clear sunny day with blue skies! You never would have believed that unless you saw it for yourself but coming down from the mountain was like entering a cloud blanketing over Pontypool. 

Direct sun isn't the best for 'perch' photography though as it casts shadows and makes the birds look a little contrasty but either way, here are a few of my favourites from today. 

Was great to see that a few Butterflies and Dragonflies were making the most of this Autumn Sun! 

Calendar 2016?

It's coming to that time of year where I'm thinking about what pictures to put in next years Calendar. I only sent them out to family last year but considering the fantastic year I've had with my photography, I'm thinking of opening up the idea to everyone. If you yourself would like a Calendar featuring my best of 2015, please contact me and we'll sort it out ready for Christmas. 

Below are some from todays short session late evening in the Blaenserchan Valley