Tuesday, 19 June 2018

June 2018 Avocets doing well at Slimbridge WWT

It seems hard to believe that Avocets are a relatively recent addition as a Gloucestershire bird at Slimbridge WWT.  They seem so reliable now each summer in quite large numbers.  At first they seemed to keep a great distance from the hides, and I can remember thinking I hope they come closer so I could get some images.  Now they seem to wade right past on a regular basis.  I for one love them.

A nice juicy find

Keep searching

Time for a stretch
They really are elegant birds to watch!

Monday, 4 June 2018

June 2018 Catch up with the Cranes at Slimbridge WWT

I think the Great Crane Project re-introducing Common Cranes to the west of England is such an inspiring positive project.  These are truly awesome birds when you seem them.  To me they add an extra dimension to a visit to Slimbridge WWT.  I know I would really miss them if they were not around on a visit.  Fingers crossed for the 3 young chicks from 2 pairs visible from the Rushy and South Lake hides.  Really hoping the make it.

Waiting for a meal

Two dutiful parents
What a project, great work!

Saturday, 2 June 2018

May 2018 Kestrel performing in the strong wind

Kestrels seem to really relish windy days.  Their method of flight and hunting seem so efficient and they seem to get energy from it.  They are such a great sight to spend some time watching.

Male Kestrel

Banking sharply.
I love nature and this is my type of air display.  Sorry R.A.F.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

May 2018 Charasmatic and exciting Sparrowhawks

I feel so lucky to have a pair of Sparrowhawks locally as they are such exciting birds to be around.  I always enjoy the spring and summer season watching them raise their young.  At the moment they are incubating their eggs and it seems that the female does most of this.  I always remember in my old bird book that Sparrowhawks lay their eggs in May.  All other birds seemed to me to say April/May.  This is an adaption so that when maximum food is needed there are plenty of young fledglings around for them.

Female sitting tight on the eggs
The Male is often seen around the nest site in tops of trees always vigilant and protective.

Male Sparrowhawk
In the image below the male launches himself from his regular perch to chase off a stray Jay that has entered his territory too close to the nest.
Full attach mode

Sunday, 20 May 2018

May Great Crested Grebes such beautiful birds to photograph

I love Great Crested Grebes as they are such really beautiful birds.  They give so many exciting opportunities to capture different action images.  They have a beautiful courtship and display where they perform the Weed Dance. They are also great fishers and often catch really large fish.  These were some images I captured a few years back at this time of the year.  They are so great parents and I love to see the young riding on their parents back when they are tired or feel like they need protection.
Proud parent

Feeling secure
I can't believe that I never processed these images until now.  Glad I found them and I am really pleased  to have captured these intimate moments.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

May 2018 Nuthatch great builders

I love to observe bird behaviour.  Back on the 1st April I took this image of a Nuthatch bringing mud back to a hole in a tree that was obviously too large an aperture.  Predators would have had a field day with the eggs or young easy to reach.  It was interesting to return six weeks later and see them bringing in food for their young.  The images below show the result of the work.  The hole has been filled in with mud that has dried.  There is now only enough room for a Nuthatch to squeeze through.
Great workmanship.

Beginning the engineering project 

6 weeks later hole filled with mud
I enjoyed seeing the results of their labours today.  A Grey Squirrel paid them a visit while I was there, but the foil worked perfectly.
Good luck to this pair, after all this work I hope they are successful and fledge their young.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

May 2018 Oyster catcher noisely looking after young

A few years back these birds were rarely seen in Gloucestershire.  They are now a regular feature at Slimbridge WWT.  I think they are a great feisty bird, full of character.  They are noisy and aggressive when protecting their young.  They call to them to lead them away from any danger and immediately chase off any ariel predator.

Protective parent
Chicks doing well
This pair had two chicks they were feeding and protecting.
They are beautiful birds and full of character!