Sunday, 19 September 2010

Pembrokeshire birds of prey

I've just returned from a fabulous week at St David's in Wales. Even in September the Pembrokeshire coastline is alive with wildlife. The weather was pretty fantastic too although it was windy enough to blow over my tripod and damage the lens mount on my trusty 400mm lens. Fortunately the optics seem fine and the lens still focuses, but both it and the 7D will have to go in for repair at Fixation this week.

Also, fortunately that it happened the day after a close encounter with a peregrine, and not the day before! I'm loving the fact that I can just spin the dial to one of my custom modes and be all set up for flight shots!

St David's is well-placed for an exploration of the cliffs and the RSPB reserve on Ramsey Island. For anyone making the trek there I heartily recommend Amber Cottage as a base. I could not have asked for a better place from which to conduct operations!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Speckled Wood Butterfly

I don't know if it just that I am more aware of them now, or if they are making a comeback - but a couple of years ago I hadn't even heard of speckled wood butterflies. Now I see them quite often.

Speckled wood Butterfly

This is one I found whilst exploring Sheepwalk Lake in Shepperton - one of my nearest Surrey Wildlife Trust reserves. It was a bit quiet on Friday. Lots of tufted ducks, a couple of grebes and cormorants, thousands of water striders and judging by the bites I picked a fair smattering of mosquitoes too!

Also this weekend gave the Wildlife Photography Blog site a bit of a face lift!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

The needy sparrowhawk

Yesterday as I was wandering round the woodland gardens I could hear a bird repeatedly making a keening sound. I was pretty sure that it was a young bird of prey, but the area it was coming from was quite dense woodland so I thought it unlikely I'd find it. After about half an hour, though I realised I was getting close so I had a good look up in the trees and spotted what was clearly a female sparrowhawk in the top. As a I watched another came in and the two flew off together. After a scuffle one of the two settled on a dead tree in full view of me and I managed a couple of shots.


I'm pretty sure that this bird is young one, and the other bird I saw was either an adult trying to move it on - or possibly a parent that it was mobbing for food. Either way it kept up its calling pretty continuously call for well over an hour.