Fight or flight

It’s now mid May and for many birds the breeding season is now in full swing. Down in the harbour waters of ‘the Gap’ the mallard ducks have already begun to pair up, however as is common among many duck species, males outnumber females quite considerably. For those that are unsuccessful in winning a mate…

Under attack

Watching the Aberystwyth starlings during lockdown is quickly becoming a regular part of my daily routine and certainly the highlight of this rather bleak winter. I love both the predictability and unpredictably of their behaviour. Every evening without fail between October and March they congregate here in our little seaside town and gather in the…

A pier with a view!

A few evenings ago I wanted to capture the nightly starling spectacle here in Aberystwyth a little differently. Rather than observing from my usual seafront vantage point, on this occasion I hoped to capture a unique perspective right from the heart of the action. Thanks to the assistance of Hannah and the Royal Pier bar…

A parting gift

There is definitely a chilly autumnal feeling in the air lately. With shortening hours of daylight and dropping temperatures it will soon be time for the Aberystwyth house martins to leave us once again. This summer has passed in what feels like the blink of an eye and these birds’ familiar staccato calls will soon…

Monday motivation

There’s nothing like capturing an image you have wanted to achieve all year, to provide a bit of Monday Motivation! I’ve spent a lot of time watching the house sparrows this summer, and seen my fair share of courtship and mating behaviour, but capturing that crucial moment has always proved illusive. The birds are often…

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…

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…

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…

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…