The secret lives of sparrows

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 of my favourites British birds and…

Capturing the moment

I almost didn’t go and watch the starlings this evening, after a gorgeous morning of bright blue skies the clouds had rolled in ruining what I had hoped might be a glorious sunset… Keen not to be just a ‘fair weather’ photographer I headed out with low expectations. Given the somewhat underwhelming numbers seen at…

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….

The drought continues

Another week and still there is no let up in the suffocating heat, and rain remains a distant memory here in Aberystwyth. The grass overlooking the harbour outside has been scorched and bleached a harsh shade of yellow by the burning sun and drought. The baked banks overlooking the water created a new backdrop on…

A furry find

It was a relatively quiet day today, with deep blue sky and dazzling sunshine but little in the way of bird activity or things to photograph. I was getting ready to call it a day and head home when a Jackdaw landing in the grass a short distance away caught my attention. It immediately began…

Freshly cut grass

It’s rather fortunate timing that I took the time to capture some images of the wildflowers a few days ago, as stepping outside this morning I was rather saddened to see the grass had all be neatly mowed, and most of the flowers tossed into a bin with the grass cuttings. Whilst the grassy area…

‘Teenagers’

Every evening at low tide a chattering, whirring flock of Starlings descend down onto the mud flats into the harbour to forage for tasty insects and invertebrates exposed by the retreating water. A few evenings ago the flock were joined by their newly fledged youngsters and I set out to photograph them. The fledglings are…

Circle of life: Part II

My joy at discovering the Mute Swan cygnets a few days ago has now turned to sadness. Unfortunately when I caught up with the family again a few days ago it appears that two of the three cygnets have died. Like most baby birds cygnets are extremely vulnerable, particularly in the first few days and…

Circle of life

Finally, after months of impatient waiting the mute swan cygnets have arrived! After witnessing the adult mute swans mating in the harbour some months ago I have been eagerly waiting for the opportunity to photograph this year’s babies. There were just three cygnets feeding with the parents, which seems like quite a small brood with…

Beaks full of mud

The start of the summer season heralds the return of the house martins to their breeding grounds here in Britain. Here in Aberystwyth I am lucky enough to live next to the harbour which is a favourite breeding spot used year by the martins each year. I only have to step outside my door to…

Two’s company

The european robin is known for being a fairly curious & tame. They are known as ‘gardeners friends’, hovering close by waiting for soil to be disturbed so that they can forage for worms with ease. Some robins can even become so trusting as to feed straight from a person’s hand. Today I had a…

Mating Chaffinches

Whilst the sun may not have been shining today this didn’t seem to have dampened the spirits of the local bird life during a brief visit to an area known as ‘the ditch’.  Read more about this habitat here. All around birds were busy singing, courting & collecting nesting materials in preparation for the breeding…