Monday, 23 December 2013


Just like to thank everyone whose looked at my blog over the last 12 months and to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

I'm looking forward to doing it all again next year. You all have a good one.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013


Well I haven't been out lately with the camera, and with  the weather being so gloomy and with Christmas coming I've been doing the family thing:- house work Christmas shopping etc etc. I've been keeping my feeders well stocked up with food in the hope that my local birds will come in more regularly for me to do a bit of photography from the comfort of the house but with it now being in December and still very mild there hasn't been that much activity at them.

So looking at other blogs and websites I follow I see that making your own calendar seems to be pretty popular amongst us amateur  photographers so I thought I'd give it a go. After looking at a few how to do video's on you tube I soon got my calendar design and pictures sorted. So here's the 12 pictures plus cover for my calendar 2014, I can't promise you a partridge in a pear tree but there's a nice selection.

front cover



Sorry I'm not selling any (not that anyone would want one) the ink and them things to hold it all together costs a bloody fortune, all done just for fun and to grace my little birdy computer room. 

Monday, 18 November 2013


Because of the Autumn bounty we've had this year (wild berry's, nuts, seeds and other fruit) a lot of birds I think have stayed away from feeders especially mine. But this weekend they seemed to be back in force, could be that they sense the so called cold snap we're supposed to having this week or a lot of the natural food source's have now started depleting. Anyway good chance for me to get the camera out and photograph some of my old favourites.

Here's the pick of the bunch:-  





the nutty's were searching the nestboxes 

coal tit


 Let's see what this cold snap brings in.

Saturday, 16 November 2013


Whilst walking on the wet area above my house to my surprise I flushed a few Snipe, they would be that close to me before they would take off they nearly flew up my trouser leg. The Snipe are so well camouflaged that you honestly cant see them unless you nearly stand on them where they take off nearly under your feet giving off a sharp call. I tried to photograph them but there was no chance they're either to fast or at my tender age now of half century I'm far to slow.
Here's a pic of a Snipe that I borrowed so you know what they look like.

Also while trudging along in the mud I came across this strange looking fungi there were only two of them near a small pond. So I took a couple of pics and asked a friend what he thought it was and was it rare.

my strange fungi

the fungi were at the edge of this small pond

He named it as a "Splendid Waxcap" and said I should get in touch with the Gwent Wildlife Trust saying that it could be quite a rare find.
So I emailed them and had a very nice reply off a Laura Dell who said they identified it as the Scarlet Hood and also put me on to this website where it gives you loads of information on mushrooms and fungi.
She also said that having waxcaps on grassland means it is of good quality and excellent for wildflowers. Fat chance of that as the farmer that owns the fields including the one with the Snipe and waxcaps on uses them to graze his sheep and cows.
Thought I'd also post about an incident that happened a couple of weeks ago where I was watching tele and heard something hit our patio window. I thought it was a leaf that had blown against the window as it wasn't that much of a noise just a small tap like sound. When I investigated to my surprise lead at the foot of the door was a Goldcrest. The poor thing was dead the impact of it hitting the window must have killed it outright. That's the first time anything has flown into any of our windows but makes me think perhaps I need to put some raptor stickers on them (sure the wife would love that) or close the curtains as the reflection of the outside world in the glass makes the birds think there's nothing there. Anyway it was a sad sight.

this is the poor goldcrest that sadly flew into the window

I leave this post now (it's been a long one) with some of my autumnal pictures I've recently taken enjoy!

there's a rainbow in there somewhere.

Friday, 15 November 2013


Stephen Carter has checked on the young Barn Owls twice since the last time I posted about them both times obviously under schedule 1 licence.
The both visits were made with his ringing guru Denis Jackson (who is also a schedule 1 licence owner) when they arrived at the nest site one of the owlets had gone, but gone where? they searched the barn and surrounding vicinity no sign, and there were also no sign that it was attacked or killed. The young Owl was apparently to undeveloped to have left the nest on it's own accord with it still having lots of down on it's body instead of feathers. Steve seems to think that perhaps it fell from the nest site and was predated upon by a fox and carried away.
Anyway with one healthy chick still in the nest Steve and Denis set about ringing the chick so they could leave the site as soon as possible to leave the birds in peace.

the last remaining chick out of a clutch of 9 eggs.

Steve rings the last remaining owlet
 A return visit by Steve and Denis a week or so later revealed sadly that the last Owlet had also gone, but like it's sibling where had it gone? I hope that they both left the nest and are hiding out somewhere still being looked after by the parents. But like I said about the disappearance of the first chick they could be to young to be out of the nest and with this cold rainy weather we've been having could the parent birds find enough food for them to survive. All in all it's a bit of a mystery. 

Thanks once again to Stephen Carter for the pic of the owl and thanks to Denis Jackson for the pic of Steve cheers guys.

Monday, 4 November 2013


This Kestrel was hunting near the house today and came close enough for me to grab an image or three. This female has been around the area for a good few weeks and is a welcome sight.(The male has less mottling and has a blueish grey head and tail.) now, now that's enough of the technical shite.
The nickname windhover obviously comes from the birds ability to hover effortlessly whilst hunting for small mammals. They are seen mostly by motorway drivers as they hunt the undisturbed verges, but they are not as common as they once were.


the windhover

falco tinnunculus

You Spring/Autumnwatch viewers would know that the Kestrel is declining after being at one time our most common day flying bird of prey, and the show are asking for us keen birders to send in our sightings to help with a Kestrel survey they're doing so I'd better get on and do it.  

Saturday, 2 November 2013


Above our house there are a few berry trees and whilst driving past them this week I saw a Fieldfare this bird is a winter migrant from Scandinavia and so must have only arrived here over the last couple of weeks.  So this morning I got my camera and drove up near the berry tree and waited, in only a couple of minutes the Fieldfares as well as other birds started to arrive. Managed a few half decent pic's but couldn't get any with the birds not in amongst the twigs well no decent one's anyway.




turdus pilaris
There were also other thrush's attracted by the berry's, this Mistle Thrush and female Blackbird were having a berry feast in-between being chased off by the dominant Fieldfare

mistle thrush

 Was hoping for a few Redwing (another winter thrush) but none were seen. I hope they do turn up would love to get an image of one.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013


Wildlife and bird conservationist Stephen Carter has been over the nest site twice since I last posted about the Barn Owls.
On his first visit the Owlets were very shy trying to hide in the corner from him but he did get a good image of one of them. They were both very healthy with a good supply of food around them, you can also see some of the unhatched eggs of the original clutch of 9.

the chicks trying to hide in the corner with some of the unhatched eggs.

barn owl chick (very cute)
He's been over again recently to check on them and due to the torrential rain and high winds we've had recently he feared the worst.
 But against the odds the barn owl chicks had grown quite a bit, were very healthy and also had a large larder of voles so the adult birds must be brilliant parents. They look more like Barn owls now and should hopefully leave the nest in about 3/4 weeks time.

Barnie chicks doing well despite the stormy weather they've had to put up with.
  Thanks again must go to schedule 1 licence owner Stephen Carter for supplying me with these photo's and the information. This is the only known site for breeding Barn owls in my area so we need more nest boxes put up and sites like this one to expand it's population.