Wednesday 30 August 2023

Changing faces

The various poses of young Long-eared Owls in south Lincolnshire, June 2023.

Monday 28 August 2023

Nutty neighbours

Whilst staying in Norway, we had two young Red Squirrels visit the garden. They were fearless and full of character and a joy to watch and photograph. 

Wednesday 23 August 2023

Adult Long-eared Owl

During the early summer I enjoyed some sensational experiences with the local Long-eared Owls. The youngsters were, of course, the stars but some evenings they gave way to the adults. One such night, this adult was on one of the youngster's favourite spots. The light was low in the undergrowth, but such a fantastic opportunity to see an adult, at close quarters, in the open. 

Sunday 20 August 2023

Local Otter family

I haven't seen this family since June and my goodness the youngsters have grown. They are close to full adult size but still very 'needy' and sticking very close to mum. When the mother spotted us yesterday, she led her young straight towards us, completely fearless and so inquisitive. 

Today, I was standing in the reeds and a couple of dog walkers passed by and the mother led her young straight to my feet. I dare not move but incredible experience. 

I'm looking forward to more of the same in the next few weeks; a classic period for encounters!

Thursday 17 August 2023

'Northern' Eurasian Nuthatch

I've always loved watching Nuthatch. As youngsters, our parents, would take my sister and I to Sandringham, on the way to the coast, for a picnic in the woods. Here we baited the felled stumps with bread, cheese and crisps and would wait! And for me the Nuthatch was always the most impressive and prized visitor, even out-trumping the noisy Jay and brief but great, Great-spotted Woodpeckers. 

I still have vivid memories of the Nuthatch visiting these stumps and being in awe. I also remember when I was very young, our October half term holiday to a Ripon caravan park, in Yorkshire, and the Nuthatch gripping the feeders outside our window, in the snow(!). 

Nuthatch was also one of the first species I properly got to grips with, when I got my first prime lens in 2005. My Canon 20D and Sigma 500mm, were my start kit and I really enjoying photographing Nuthatch in Cambridgeshire that winter. 

Last week, in Norway, I could hear Nuthatch regularly from 'our house'. It wasn't until the last few days of our stay that they finally gave themselves up for photos and pre-longed, fantastic views. This rather splendid northern subspecies, with it's cold white underparts, compared to the buff-ness of the British subspecies, was a joy to watch at such close quarters. 

Wednesday 16 August 2023

Storm Hans

Young Red Squirrel ('Rodrigo') enjoying a bite to eat near Sandefjord in Norway, during Storm Hans, last week. 

You might think we were a little unlucky to have a week in Norway, when the worst rain hit the country, for 25 years.... but in reality we had an incredible time. It was a true family holiday but these regular visitors to the garden, whilst I enjoyed my early morning coffee, were an absolute joy.  

Sunday 13 August 2023

Juvenile Mediterranean Gull

Nice to be back on patch after a week relaxing, with family, in Norway. Mike Weedon found this splendid looking juvenile Med Gull this morning. It remained for me to visit this afternoon.

Wednesday 2 August 2023

Owlet sibblings

'Tufty' and 'Floofy' would spend most of their days asleep, not far from each other. Occasionally they would stir and become Inquisitive balls of fluff. Sometimes, such as here they would join each other, to enjoy a bit of mutual preening (something I have seen young Peregrines do often as well) as well as little play fighting and biting. I like to think that these young Long-eared Owls were studying me as well, through all their comedy head bopping.