Sighting: Golden Ringed Dragonfly

Having spent some 6 years now living beside the harbour ‘gap’ in Aberystwyth I feel I have come to know the area and it’s inhabitants rather well. Even so there is still the occasional new sighting to surprise me. Whilst the delicate damselflies are a relatively common sight during the heat of the summer I…

Sighting: Ashy Mining Bee

We might still be limited to just a few walks outside a day but nature continues to provide plenty of distraction and beautiful things to to observe. There is even the odd surprise such as this lovely and unusual looking bee encountered recently. Do not adjust your screen, there’s no clever photoshop trickery here, this…

Life in miniature

Whilst most of my photography focuses on bird life, I also enjoy capturing some of the smaller inhabitants of the natural world, the insects and invertebrates, which are currently thriving in this extended period of hot weather. It can be difficult to appreciate the beauty of insects at a glance and so I like to…

Sighting: Ringed Plover

Winter always attracts waders back to the coast and here in Aberystwyth the low tide mud flats are a magnet for a variety of these birds. Most commonly seen are the turnstones named for their behaviour of turning over rocks to look for invertebrates beneath. Also a fairly regular sight are the purple sandpipers, although I am…

Hard times for wildfowl

It appears the breeding season hasn’t yet come to an end for at least one of our local mallard females as she surprised me last week by turning up with four fluffy ducklings in her wake. The youngsters could not have hatched more than a day or so ago as most, if not all still…

‘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…

Sighting: Wheatear

A new bird sighting for me today and quite unexpected. A lovely morning in the harbour soaking up the sun was made all the more enjoyable by the arrival of a pair of these stunning Wheatears as they chased each other around the stationary boats. These birds are related to robins and are summer migrants to…

Sighting: Leucistic Blackbird

I came across this handsome male blackbird quite by accident in town a few days ago, I just happened to have my camera on me at the time. Unfortunately I was only able to capture one photo before other pedestrians sent him scattering. As you can see he has a patch of pure white feathers…

Sighting: Black Redstart

After several failed attempts I finally found one of the two black redstarts that have been spotted here in Aberystwyth. For some reason the birds have chosen to set up residence on the Old College building, one of the university properties on the promenade. Even now, when the building is covered in scaffolding and undergoing…