A parting gift

There is definitely a chilly autumnal feeling in the air lately. With shortening hours of daylight and dropping temperatures it will soon be time for the Aberystwyth house martins to leave us once again. This summer has passed in what feels like the blink of an eye and these birds’ familiar staccato calls will soon…

Opportunists

The humble house sparrow may not be the most glamorous of our garden birds, lacking the showy colours of the blue tit or the twinkling song of the goldfinch, but nevertheless they have a beauty and charm all of their own. Several weeks ago, during a spot of lunch at a peaceful riverside cafe we…

Nature’s architects: Part 2

Today my plan was to capture some close up shots as the house martins gather nesting materials down on the ground. Each year I eagerly await the arrival of these birds and these opportunity to improve on last years photographs. House martins return to the patch here in Aberystwyth each year, after a long migration from…

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….

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…

Better late than never

The House Martins have returned to the UK, having spent the winter in the warmer climate of the African continent. Each year these birds return to the same nesting sites in a fantastic feat of navigation, travelling thousands of miles over land and sea. Here in Aberystwyth, as in much of Britain, the arrival of…

Nest building

Spring is a busy time for birds with those having made it through the harsh winter now turning their attention to finding mates, building a nest and raising the next generation. Living on the edge of the tidal mudflat provides a great opportunity to watch all kinds of birds gather nesting materials from the flotsam…

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…

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…