Thursday, 27 April 2017

South coast today

The south coast was the order of the day again today to avoid the cold northerly winds once again,  My day started with a pair of Roe Deer at longrock on the way to check out Marazion Marsh, Their summer coats were beginning to take shape now and they were looking good in the morning sunshine
At the marsh the resident Grey Heron were busy catching fish for their pair of chicks but I fear for the smaller chick which is looking frail and possibly not getting its share of the catch
By contrast the warrens rabbits have been breeding "like rabbits" and the dozens of young bunnies out this morning were a delight to watch,

Farther east along the coast I watched this Little Egret above take four good sized Tompot Blennies and Shanies from a relatively small rock pool in less than thirty minutes,  What an amazing hunter they are and not surprizing that they have become so successful within the UK
 Today we finish with a shot of one of our local Kestrels as she takes a short break from incubating her latest clutch of eggs

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Cornish All Sorts

It was a good day for walking the south coast with cold but light northeasterly winds being tempered by plenty of sunshine.  I had not just one but two pods of Bottlenose dolphins pass by heading east towards Porthleven  just one hundred yards from the shore with eight and six animals respectively in the pods, Later in the day the two pods had joined up and passed again heading west towards Perranouthnoe

My next encounter was a pair of Chough where the male was regularly feeding the female and later I watched their behaviour as they fussed and preened each other showing  a very good bond,  Lets hope they produce another fine clutch of fledglings again this year,

At the bottom of the cliffs a pair of Heron Gulls were mating amid the low tide cord weed which produced an good contrast to their bright plumage

This  lovely male Linnet was in fine tune and singing its heart out among the flowering Gorse bushes

This female Kestrel is not one that I am used to working with but as I took a few shots it swooped into a granite outcrop in an awkward position and had to work hard to correct its flight path on leaving but it came away with yet another common lizard prey in its beak

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Sunrise at Marazion Marsh

When I arrived at Marazion marsh the sun was just climbing up over the horizon, A lazy morning mist filtered through the reed beds, There was little to no wind so the still waters of the marsh produced perfect reflections to the still sleeping resident Mute Swans illustrated below,

A Grey Heron flew in and after warming up in the early sun it was time to provide Breakfast for two Hungry chicks on a reed nest at the west end of the marsh,

The rabbits along the warren began to emerge from there burrows and the sun light filtered nicely through their translucent  pink ears

The resident swan had been woken by a pair of incoming noisy Canada geese that just had to be evicted immediately

The stone wall snails all along the marsh boundary were all quietly rushing back into rock crevices to avoid the harsh rays as the sun climbed higher,

A young lady ventured out onto the adjacent beach on a pony as I was leaving,  It obviously didn't like the wave action of the sea and it was interesting to watch the rider patiently trying to coax the pony into the shallows, No joy !

Focus on a buck Roe Deer

Focus on a Buck Roe Deer,
This morning was a far brighter morning than yesterday so I called in at Longrock deer field on my way to Marazion marsh for a change of scene,  There were seven deer out grazing on the lush grass,  One buck and six does that all looked fine with the early morning glow shining on their coats,  After taking a few shots I moved on to the marsh to watch the sun rise over the reed beds with lazy morning mist filtering through them forming a lovely setting perhaps for an Otter to swim or a Purple Heron to fly over but not this morning,  I whiled away an hour or so working on amongst other things young bunnies and wall snails ( check out the following blog ) then returned past the deer field again on my way back to my car in glorious sunshine,  The fine young buck featured below was still out grazing in the field close to Newtown lane hedgerow so I reset my kit and snapped away recording its movements for around thirty minutes,

It was grazing while working its way towards me looking very nice with its fur covered new horns and most of its summer coat nearly complete

I smiled when as I took my first frame as he looked up and stamped his feet at the sound of my shutter firing but he could not see me behind the hedgerow

He settled back to grazing and I took the rest of these images in sequence with passing cars so as not to disturb him further and eventually headed for home leaving him in peace

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Grey Day Blues,

Grey Day Blues,

Following what had been a beautiful clear sky last night,  The clouds rolled in from the north this morning killing off what could have been a cracking sunrise, So as I arrived at our local Roe deer location at Longrock early AM the light levels were going down instead of up and the only way to achieve reasonable shutter speeds on the deer was at the cost of high ISO levels of 6400,  Two Roe deer in the field were about two thirds of the way through moulting their winter coat but still looked quite pleasing,  The first deer looked up at the sound of my shutter firing a single shot but stood her ground but the second one was away still chewing a mouthful of grass,  her withdraw spooked the first deer which ran off after the second so that was the end of today's deer shoot !


I decided to withdraw as well and went off to try check out our south coast kestrels, The female was sitting tight on her clutch of six eggs which can look lovely at sunrise which is the only time that the sun is at the right angle to shine into the nest,  but not so today,  It was all looking a bit grey in there but I waited for around an hour for the female to lift off of the eggs to make sure that all was well and grabbed the high ISO images below before heading off  home for some high ISO breakfast,

Thursday, 20 April 2017

North coast Peregrine

North cliffs Peregrine,

Having taken my wife to college on a lovely bright spring morning on Wednesday I found myself with a few hours to kill prior to pick -up time so I headed north for a walk along the dramatic North Cliffs,  Being always on the look-out for wildlife I do occasionally get a sighting or two of the Peregrine and Kestrel that thrive along this coast, and this was my lucky day as the first thing a saw when I looked down over the cliffs was this male Peregrine looking back at me from an outcrop about thirty metres down a sheer drop to the sea,  The downward angle to the bird precluded the use of a tripod to work on it so it was hand held only which bearing in mind that I was right on the cliff edge, I often find that the lens movement can upset my own sense of balance so I only took three multi shutter releases and moved on along the coast enjoying my walk,  I finally downloaded the results last night and was delighted with each of the exposures below,

Cornish Kestrels Mating Part 22

Cornish Kestrels Mating,

When it comes to mating kestrel images I believe that today presented me with the finest opportunity I have had to work with a pair of birds that due to their behaviour patterns over three hours during the morning enabled me to predict where their next mating would probably take place during the afternoon,  I relocated my kit and waited for the moment,  The female kestrel was already present so I was able to pre-set my camera angle and composition by locking my lens onto her via my gimbal and also pre-set all camera settings including focus and remote shutter release,  What seemed like a long 50 minutes later the male arrived with prey,  She was already calling to mate so the male quickly stashed his lizard in some vegetation and in his hurry to mate made a very tight turn and crash landed on the females back and as you can see by the first image below, It looked somewhat clumsy,

But he soon gained some composure to continue what  tends to look like a difficult balancing act to complete anyway

It was interesting to watch the male continuously adjusting his balance by dramatic wing coordination

I am not sure but the mating sequence often seems to terminate at the time that the female looks back upwards towards the male

The male dismounts and returns to the hunt perhaps forgetting the lizard that he had brought in earlier but maybe the female has spotted it anyway

I  returned home a happy chappy and so pleased to capture a full frame front on mating sequence where the composition contains an unbroken clear sky backdrop creating good contrast to the birds that are well lit by sunlight from a shadow free direction and it has only taken seven years to achieve it !