Greater Spotted Woodpeckers

Greater spotted woodpeckers look so smart in their black and white and red uniforms, always a pleasure to see and even better to find a nest that I could get photograph to without disturbing the parents at all.
woodpecker nest
One the lookout,          Gong in                           Changover!

The chicks take between 20 and 24 days after hatching to leave the nest so there was plenty of time to watch as things developed.
woodpecker feeding chick
The chick makes an appearence.
male woodpecker
The male had worked so hard he lost his tail. Well, it could be that, who knows?
Iwoodpecker with its tongue out
Woodpeckers have long tongues to get at grubs…No offence taken!

Scotland, The Highlands

We couldn’t have picked a more challenging few days to visit the Highlands with winds so strong it was hard to stand up and lots of snow,  well I did say I wanted snow and in the end, it was a case of be careful what you wish for!

Fron a hide deep in the caledonian pines the red squirrels braved the wind.
red sqirrel

I’ve always wanted to see crested tits whose range finishes far north of us.  pretty little things that were very happy to come down for a peanut.

crested tit

Then the snow, everywhere was a scene from Narnia, both the branches and trunks of the trees were white  because of the wind, Absolutely beautiful!

These red deer didn’t seem to mind the snow in their ears.

red deer in snow

Red grouse, rain and snow gets very diferent results photographically, maybe one in the sun could be a job for next time! perhaps that would be a little more relaxing, the birds themselves seemed very obliging -almost posing.

red grouse scotland

The mountain hare in pretty dificult conditions, horizontal snow storm , gale force winds,  with all credit to Marcus Conway for getting us up there to see them.
mountain hare
The teamand Richard Burton for taking the shot of us heading back.(I’m the one in the middle,)

There’s just one thing I’d like to add, I spent a few days in Edinburgh being a tourist,  I would love to see is the northern lights which didn’t happen but I did see these nacreous clouds – pretty special!

nacreous clouds edinburgh

 

Birds of prey in Czech Republic

This is only part of my itinerary around Prague, the city itself and a detour to Bavaria were equally exciting but I have to start somewhere.
Falconer at work.

falconer

This trip was a lot of fun, poor light and for the photographers among you, you know that is challenging to say the least, especially when taking birds in flight, but the setting was absolutely wonderful and a lot of good subjects.

red tailed hawk

A red tailed hawk flying on the edge of the forest:

arboreal owl

The prettiest little arboreal owl about the same size as a starling.

great grey owl

One of my favourite owls, a great grey:

eagle owl

The setting is just right for this this eagle owl.

prague sunset

A few images of Prague, the city is so beautiful:

prague clock

prague music

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Beautiful Day at the Lizard Point

What glorious weather! far too nice to miss an opportunity to go out with the camera, so Lizard point seemed a good idea,
The choughs were around their new nesting site near the light housecornish chough

This years male didn’t seem to mind sharing his rock with a gang of jackdawscornish chough lizard point

A beautiful view of a raven, they nest near by and could be a threat to the chough chicks, but all five made it through this year

raven lizard point

A seal swimming in to feed the pup she had hidden among the rocks,

seal lizard point

As if this wasn’t enough – a sparrowhawk just to finish a splendid day!sparrowhawk lizard point

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Goldcrests Fledging.

Just sometimes , out in the right place at the right time,  I’m  lucky enough to see something realy magical. Today was one of those days, I was quite disappointed to have missed the bluetits fledge from a nest I was watching and wandered back through the graveyard, always a good place for wildlife, then I heard a commotion high in a tree,  it  was worth tracking down,  it turned out to be these little things!

golcrest chicks 3

goldcrests fledging. 2

Goldcrest chicks testing their wings,  Mum  on the nearby stone shouting at them to fly.

All of a sudden they all seemed to decide to go at once and I was surrounded by chirping chicks. Goldcrests are our smallest birds and these were tiny! Fabulous! I took as many  shots as I could very quickly and left.

I didn’t think it was a good idea to stay no matter how much I wanted to,  mum would be in control of the situation but not with me around.

goldcrest chicks

goldcrest chick 4

one at least had made it to the tree and I’m sure they all made it in the end.

goldcrest

I do love spring!

badgers!

I’ve been so lucky, a friend took me out to see these guys, they put on quite a show and hung around for quite a while, not as shy as I expected, both  paents and cubs seemed fine  as long as there were peanuts .

badgers2

badgers1

Swans at Tehidy Wood

Tehidy Wood is a truely wonderful place, many of my paintings start from photos taken here,

I was watching a swan with only two cygnets, not a good sign,
but then I saw a small face,

swan

swan1

Back seat driving?

swan2

Then mum lost patience with it all, opened her wings and dumped the whole lot into the water!

alls well

Now that’s a happy ending.

Rat Fishing

While watching a shoal of fish yesterday look who turned up! I’d never seen this before but he was obviously well practiced, he came back time and time again. As far as I can tell there sre no other reports of rats fishing.

A couple of minutes later a water rail– a good afternoon!