Corvid not covid

Sunday March 29th: Isolation Day 6 Almost a week into our new life of uncertainty and restriction and the boredom and monotony is beginning to set in. Fortunately the sun is still shining enabling me to get out briefly each day for my daily dose of nature therapy. Whilst being limited to just one small…

New beginnings

Having lived beside Aberystwyth harbour for over 4 years ago now, I have come to know its avian residents rather well, witnessing their trials of life, love and death on my own doorstep. In this time I have also seen the arrival of many new babies, from the adorable swan cygnets to the noisy, squabbling…

‘Jack, jack!’

Wildlife photography can often be a very lonely occupation and one requiring vast amounts of patience. I have spent countless hours sitting alone (often in some very uncomfortable spots) just watching and waiting for that next close encounter or interesting piece of behaviour to occur. More often than not I am left disappointed as things…

Happy Valentine’s Day

Did you know jackdaws are one of the few birds which truly mate for life? Jackdaws form pairs as young birds and will then remain together for all of their lives in a partnership sometimes referred to as a ‘marriage’. The couple will travel and feed together, and both birds are responsible for raising their…

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…

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…

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…

Express yourself

Noisy, animated, intelligent and occasionally quarrelsome jackdaws are real characters of the bird world, making their presence felt wherever they go with their distinct ‘chack’ call which cuts through the air.   The Jackdaws’ bright blue eyes are particularly striking and looking into them you really feel as though you are being watched by a…

A bird in the hand

Rooks are certainly not the most beautiful of birds. A black angular body and bare, scaly face with sharp beak give them a rather sinister, reptilian appearance. They do also have a unwelcome reputation due to their habit of eating other birds’ eggs and nestlings. Nevertheless I have always found these birds fascinating and charming,…

Jackdaw juvenile

Today was my first encounter with a charming juvenile Jackdaw who had appeared in the flock who regular patrol the harbour edges for food. It appeared to have fledged very recently and was smaller and more delicately built than the adults, the young also have bright blue eyes (which change to brown and then finally…

Resourceful Jackdaws

With Spring now well under way the local birds have turned their attention to breeding. Whilst the mallards and swans get amorous down on the water the Jackdaws have been busy collecting stick and twigs with which they will construct a nest. Jackdaw nests are surprisingly large and usually built in tree cavities, on buildings…