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…

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…

Spot the difference

What a difference a year can make…After a distinct lack of ladybirds last year, this year these beautiful little bugs are back and appear to be thriving! Quite what caused the disappearance last year I’m not sure, perhaps it was the cold snap caused by the ‘beast from the east’ which wiped out many hibernating…

Love is in the air

Although capable of breeding year round (provided they can find enough food) the harbour pigeons have waited for the welcome return of warmer weather before beginning their breeding efforts. Now this spring is well underway, the quiet morning air is regularly filled with the sounds of the male pigeons soft cooing calls as they strut…

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…

Love birds

Rather surprisingly, Pigeons are one of the few species of birds who are truly monogamous, often forming lifelong pairs. Unlike most wild birds they are also capable of reproducing all year round, provided conditions are favourable and their is enough food for the adults and chicks. With the sun shining I have been spending a…

Three’s company

With Autumn now in full swing, mallards are turning their attention to finding a mate for the breeding season ahead. Whilst these ducks are usually monogamous, it would appear the mallards here in Aberystwyth have decided to do things a little differently. One particular female appears to have paired up with two males, something almost…

Marauding Mallards

With the Mallard breeding season in full swing it appears that most of the birds have already formed their pairs and begun to disperse and nest out of harms way. A few solitary birds remain and gather in small flocks consisting of unattached drakes, eager to mate with any stray females who might cross their…

Swan courtship

This morning I experienced one of those “right place, right time” moments. No sooner had I got down into the harbour with my camera, did I find the resident pair of Mute Swans acting unusually. They were swimming in very close contact and dipping their heads into the water and preening their wing feathers in…

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…