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…

Spring fever

As spring fever grips the country, here in Aberystwyth the mallard population have kicked off their breeding season with a bout of enthusiastic courtship displays. The purpose of such behaviour is for the males to demonstrate their health and desirability as a mate, and for the females to choose the best fathers for their offspring….

The thaw

Another winter’s day and another glorious frosty morning! I had hoped to capture some photographs of the birds among the frost, something I have attempted and failed at several times before. Unfortunately, as is often the case in wildlife photography, my plans did not quite work out once again! It wasn’t until the sun was…

Reflection

It has been a rather dreary January, with seemingly endless damp and drizzle punctuated with the just the odd day of winter sunshine here or there. After a positive start with a beautiful frost to capture, there hasn’t been a huge amount to photograph. I must admit I have been feeling a little uninspired and…

Capturing the moment

For our familiar mallard ducks the breeding season starts early, long before the welcome warmth of spring arrives to take the chill off the land. As early as October they begin to pair up, the males displaying enthusiastically despite the driving rain and freezing winds. Today on a relatively warm and sunny day in February…

Bird behaviour: Anting

It was a quiet day today with little bird activity to photograph, I was ready to call it a day when a Rook appeared and landed on the harbour wall nearby. It immediately took an interest in a particular spot and began acting rather strangely, dragging its wings against the ground and then turning to…

Bad feather day

After my failure to capture photographs of the young Jackdaw a few weeks ago, today my luck had turned and I was able to capture some more successful photographs as the corvid family foraged in and around the harbour slipway under the pleasant morning sunshine. The adults were busy searching for their breakfast among the…

Cygnet at 3 months

Our mute swan cygnet is now around three and a half months old, and is unrecognisable from the tiny, vulnerable ball of grey down that first emerged from the nest back in May. It never ceases to amaze me just how quickly they grow and the time has passed in what feels like the blink…

Eclipse plumage

In the blink of an eye, our summer appears to be over, the hot dry weather making way for the cooler temperatures and moody autumn skies. With the departure of summer the breeding season is now over for most birds, this years young already raised to independence, and attention once again falls to the adults…

Stuck in the mud

Photography isn’t always glamorous, in fact if you are a nature enthusiast as I am you will often find yourself sat out in very comfortable situations whether it be freezing cold temperatures, traipsing through mud or knee deep in nettles. Today was one such day as I explored the tidal mud flat down in the…

A wild Jackdaw chase

For several weeks now I have been following a flock of Jackdaws who regularly visit the area around the harbour in search of food. Although these birds are always a favourite of mine, I am particularly interested in them at this time of year as this is the time when their youngsters fledge and join…

At home with a House Martin

As a wildlife lover and cat owner, the summer is always a time of conflict and sadness, as inevitably my cat will bring in her share of newly fledged, vulnerable little birds, the majority of which, despite my best efforts to save them, don’t survive the shock or injuries sustained. It is estimated that cats…