Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Raven's defending their own

While walking on the south coast this morning I witnesses a very vocal battle royal going on between a Raven and a Buzzard and they were not pulling any punches.

The raven was soon joined by its mate and this large pair of birds were giving the retreating Buzzard quite a bad time to the extent that it had to turn on the ravens with fully stretched talons at which time the Ravens back off enough for the Buzzard to eventually make an exit.

And the reason for all of the hullabaloo was soon divulged by the female raven which on descending from the frey flew straight to its nest site on a cliff face.

Within the nest were a trio of fine looking fledglings two of which were already exercising and stretching their wings.

The over-shadowed nest site was a challenge and a bit like   " Photographing a black cat in a coal shed " so contrast on the chic photography is almost non existent but it was good to see that they all looked OK and their feisty parents look well capable of keeping it that way

I noticed before leaving this site today that the buzzard and its mate are building their own nest on the cliffs within a hundred metres of the ravens so fear that today's fracas will not be the last one between these territorial birds so I just might be reporting on their behaviour again in the near future

Monday, 23 April 2018

Cuckoo Crazy

Peter Tonkin and I returned to our Cuckoo location this morning hoping to capture more images but even though we heard the Cuckoo many times we never had a visit to our expected tree perch in three and a half hours.

I had to do a detour to pick up my camera in a difficult to reach location so peter carried on back to the car park with his kit.  As I retrieved my camera I heard the Cuckoo calling from a distinct location and decided to take my chances and follow the calls for half a mile through rough gorse and heather.

As I reached it 'Sod's law prevailed and the Cuckoo saw me first and left me standing as he flew off in the direction I had come from to land in the tree where we had just spent the morning waiting for him,

I decided to sit and wait in the middle of a rough grass field leaving the trees and hedgerows clear for the Cuckoo if it returned and return it did around forty five minutes later to perch in a tree line seventy five metres from me.

When it had settled and started calling I started taking shots without the benefit of any cover and judged the birds reaction as I inched my way forward stopping as required until I was less than twenty metres in front of it to produce the portfolio of images posted below.   Happy Day !!

Peregrine aerial prey hand-over

A few days ago I had the good fortune to capture an aerial prey hand over between a pair of Peregrine,  In the first shot above the smaller male bird has dropped prey which the female grabbed within  her large talons before it had fallen a metre,

The female then flew in my direction and landed on a favoured plucking ledge to dispatch the remnants of a luckless pigeon.

The Male bird had already taken his share of the prey before handing it over so he left the female to finish off the rest.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Marazion Marsh at sunrise

The sunrise over Marazion sets the scene for all the Marsh residents to shine yesterday morning:

A Grey Heron is silhouetted as it fishes in delicate pink waters

A pregnant doe Roe deer feeds on lush grasses at the rear of the marsh.

The resident Male Mute Swan starts his morning patrols

A  hunting Buzzard flies in at low level watching out for young rabbits

Frogs in the marsh margins also form part of its diet.

A Male Grey Heron is still collecting reeds for its nest in a tree above the swan's nest

But the female on the nest is looking for fish not sticks and very quickly lets him know.

And the final delight is a young bunny fresh out of its burrow to see what the warren has to offer today !

The Sun, The Moon and the Stars

At the end of a full on but very enjoyable day yesterday I went to Wheal Owles at Botallack with Bob Sharples to catch the sunset and clear night skies over the classic coastal mine engine house.

We arrived in time to catch the sun dipping to the horizon which turned the engine house and coast line into a dramatic silhouette.

We then spent some time setting up the engine house stack to line through with the pole star and as darkness fell we played around with various forms of internal lighting to highlight the entrance and windows.

With cameras and lighting set up we then settled down to complete 180 x 30sec exposures to create a stacked star trail in post production later.

As we were leaving around midnight the crescent moon was dropping in the sky behind the mine with Wheal Edward adding its presence in the background to complete the scene.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Our First Cuckoo of 2018

Having heard that this years cuckoo had started to show in Cornwall,  This afternoon Peter Tonkin and I returned to a sight where we achieved some good Cuckoo sightings last year and sure enough within twenty minutes we heard our first call

Within the hour a bird flew into an old known feeding post with a juicy caterpillar,  It then sat and watched us for ten minutes before moving on again leaving us with hopefully our first of many sets set of Cuckoo images for this year.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Purple Heron at Marazion Marsh

Marazion Marsh had one of its rarer visitors in the late afternoon sunshine yesterday,  It was a large mature purple Heron that  moved about in the treeline adjacent to the railway line for quite a while before dropping down into maze of reed beds never to be seen again..........

The distance across the reserve to these trees is a challenge for any focal length of lens so the quality of images captured is not the best  but it is always good to see such a fine example of this rare Marsh visitor.

Jackdaws around their nest,

The fine weather saw me off on an early start looking for local illusive Otter at Marazion marsh,but no show,  I moved on along the coast and settled down close to a pair of Jackdaws that had set up their nest within a dark crack in the cliff rock face,

I recorded their comings and goings as they lined their hidden nest with vegetation and feathers etc and it was nice to watch the way that the pair did everything together including their agile and some times acrobatic flight formations as they returned to the nest site,

I intend to return here at a later date when they should hopefully have a couple of fledglings to watch  on the excellent ledge that is formed just out from the dramatic looking crack that forms the entrance to their nest.