Bathing birds

The recent weeks have been unusually kind to us in terms of weather, in fact ever since lockdown we have had pretty much consistent sunshine which has made the whole ordeal much more tolerable. I expect we would be feeling much more glum by now if we had been stuck indoors each day! On my…

The secret lives of sparrows

Wednesday 22nd April: Isolation Day 31 During my daily ‘exercise’ (or rather, sitting down with camera poised), my aim over the past week has been to capture the daily antics of a rather overlooked bird, the humble house sparrow. Not spectacularly coloured or great songsters but fascinating in their own right, they have always one…

Wildfowl Wednesday

Wednesday 8th April: Isolation Day 17 We are now mid way through our third week of social distancing and fortunately I am still finding ways to keep occupied and stay in touch with nature in between working from home. The government guidance means no more photo trips away from home so I am spending all…

Spring Equinox

Today marks the spring equinox, the start of astrological Spring. As we bid farewell to the cold, dark days of winter and welcome instead the warmth and colours of the new season, we also bid a fond farewell to the starlings. The murmurations of starlings here in Aberystwyth have entertained and enthralled us all winter…

The chase

Despite a drizzly morning and a thorough soaking, nothing could dampen this male pigeon’s spirits today. He and his mate provided me with great entertainment as he pursued her in circles like a hyperactive wind up toy. Whilst he clearly had just one thing on his mind, his mate was less than enamoured and gave…

All in the timing

It’s been a long time since I photographed the starlings here in Aberystwyth but today I finally dusted off the old 17-55mm kit lens, wrapped up in a hat and gloves and headed out to capture the action. Starlings are found in Aberystwyth all year round, but each winter the numbers increase dramatically as our…

Feeling the heat

The weather here on the welsh coast really does go from one extreme to another. After unseasonably chilly temperatures and what felt like endless rain for much of June, we are now being blasted by Saharan winds. As the temperature soared to 25 degrees today, I sought refuge in a shady spot beside the harbour…

The darker side of ducks

For all creatures no matter how great or small, their primary aim in life is to survive long enough to reproduce and pass on their genes to the next generation. This instinct can result in some startling behaviour as demonstrated with the local mallard population here in Aberystwyth. Mallards are very common birds and often…

Nature’s architects: Part 2

Today my plan was to capture some close up shots as the house martins gather nesting materials down on the ground. Each year I eagerly await the arrival of these birds and these opportunity to improve on last years photographs. House martins return to the patch here in Aberystwyth each year, after a long migration from…

Nature’s architects: Part 1

Spring is a busy time of year for Britain’s birds as they begin to construct their nests ready to safely incubate their eggs and rear their chicks in the weeks to come. It often isn’t hard to find signs of nesting activity and once you start looking you can spot birds gathering nesting materials everywhere….

Splish splash

We are experiencing a rare treat in the UK at the moment… a bank holiday weekend with gorgeous weather as opposed to the usually dreary drizzle! Here a feral pigeon is beating the heat by bathing in the shallow water at the harbour edge. This individual is a youngster as it has yet to grow…

Bird Behaviour: Food sharing

Many species of bird will share food with each other, a behaviour known as allo-feeding. This most commonly occurs between parents feeding their chicks however it is also seen among adults, particularly during the breeding season and as part of courtship behaviour. But why should a bird waste energy feeding it’s partner who is more…