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…

The chase

The mallard ducks’ elaborate courtship displays may now be coming to an end, but the drama is far from over! As the females prepare to lay their eggs in the coming weeks, the males are fiercely protective of their partners, keen to ensure that he alone mates with her and fathers her offspring. This pair…

Among the brambles

Beside the harbour edge, atop a small grassy mound is a dense patch of brambles and bushes, home to a small flock of house sparrows. They can often be heard chirping noisily from within and emerge frequently to forage among the branches and to bathe in the water below. I have tried and failed to…

Love is in the air

Although capable of breeding year round (provided they can find enough food) the harbour pigeons have waited for the welcome return of warmer weather before beginning their breeding efforts. Now this spring is well underway, the quiet morning air is regularly filled with the sounds of the male pigeons soft cooing calls as they strut…

Patrolling pipit

Rock pipits are a common sight on UK coastline, particularly around rocky beaches. These small birds are part of the Motacillidae¬†family which also includes other species of pipit and the wagtails. Rock pipits are streaky brown/grey in appearance and have distinctive long hind claws as seen here. These birds are insectivores, their long thin beaks…