New arrivals

With autumn just around the corner and the mallard drakes of Aberystwyth harbour already moulting into their eclipse plumage signalling the end of the breeding season, it looked as though I had missed the opportunity to meet any ducklings this year. It was therefore a very pleasant surprise last week to stumble across a brand…

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…

Sighting: Black Headed Gull (first winter)

My blog has been rather neglected in recent weeks, with lots of half written adventures and a pile of unedited photos still waiting to be looked at. Today I resisted the urge to head out under yet another brilliant blue sky and instead finally sort through several weeks of accumulated images… It was back at…

Decimation

A visit to one of my favourite local ‘patches’ earlier this week did not bring me the joy I had hoped for, in fact quite the opposite. On arrival I discovered to my shock and horror that the hedgerow running the length of the stream at Plascrug ditch has been decimated! Where once there was…

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…

Birds in flight – Pigeons

Who needs feet when you have wings to fly’ – Frida Kahlo Despite a rather hazy start and less than promising forecast today turned out to be quite an unexpectedly glorious day! I spent the morning on my local patch but with little activity at ground level I turned my attention skywards, using the opportunity…

Rush hour

Another superb evening to catch up with our famous Aberystwyth starlings as an overcast sky cleared just in time to produce a rather lovely sunset. I opted to use my wide angle lens again today and this turned out to be a wise decision as the starlings appeared from all different directions making it difficult…

2020 Highlights – Nature Therapy

Whilst 2020 was not the year any of us would have wished for, despite the anxiety and the uncertainty there were a few positives about the periods of lockdown as we were no longer able to mix with friends and family and do many of the things we once took for granted. I like many…

Forecast: Cloudy with a chance of starlings

With much of the UK enjoying a little snow this week, here in Aberystwyth there was, as usual not a flake to be seen! Whilst there was no flurry of snowflakes to enjoy, yesterday evening we were treated instead to a blizzard of birds, as the local starlings made their nightly commute to the pier…

It’s that time of year again…

It was almost a year ago that I stood in this very spot, photographing the annual starling spectacle here in Aberystwyth and what a difference a year can make! Whilst the annual cycles of nature change very little, unfortunately our human world is now a very different place with a global pandemic filling all our…

Sighting: Grey Phalarope

Sadly there was no sign of the elusive otter at Tanybwlch beach this morning. Instead a tiny Grey Phalarope was causing quite the stir, attracting a small but enthusiastic crowd of local birdwatchers armed with scopes, binoculars and some rather impressive camera gear! Whilst it may not have looked particularly out of place, this bird…

Transition period

As we wave goodbye to summer and the cooler days of autumn draw in, many birds appear to disappear and the skies fall silent. The reason for the sudden absence is that many of our birds are now keeping a low profile, hiding away whilst they go through their annual moult and grow new feathers…