Monday, 29 May 2017

Longrock Roe Deer

With three Doe Roe Deer showing well for an hour or so at Longrock this morning it was good to see them joined by a fine mature Buck following the lose of a local buck to road kill just last week,  The weather conditions were overcast and quite drab but when the deer present themselves so well you just have to do the best you can and accept a little grain !

Friday, 26 May 2017

Peregrine Strike

Today I was out enjoying our rugged coastline along with a couple of members of the notorious Cornish Camo Club, We witnessed a Peregrine give chase to an unfortunate unidentified bird that passed by the cliffs that she was perched on, 

The chase went on for half a mile along the coastline and we thought that was to be the end of our sighting but the birds turned around over a beach and came racing back in our direction where the peregrine made a dramatic kill amid  an explosion of lost prey feathers right in front of our viewpoint,

As we watched this brutal act of nature open mouthed the peregrine started to eat her prey on the  wing but with such a large prey item she finally flew to a rock crevice and stashed her prey  presumably to consume later as she then returned to another vantage point on the cliffs close by

What an amazing bird of prey !

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Cornish Kestrels part 26

Close focus on the Female,

Yesterday was a good day for the Kestrels with last years young birds interacting with our pair on several occasions, prey exchanges were a bit confusing at times with the younger birds trying to muscle in on the prey but our female retained order making sure that it only went where it was intended,  She was showing well and provided me with plenty of close focus opportunities several of which are posted below,

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Breakfast is served

I visited the Hide at Ryans field early AM yesterday morning to check out the Pair of Robins nesting close to the front of the hide,  As all robins they are a very productive pair and I must say that I was impressed by the meaty Breakfast menu that they provided for their chicks,

First up was half of a juicy wriggling worm

Followed by a compot of fresh flies

Main course consisted of some tasty grubs, more flies and a large moth

And if they still had room for more,  Desert came by way of a delicate little grass hopper

What a way to start your Day!   I think I will stick to cereals

Cornish Kestrels Part 25

Kestrel Portraits
I was hoping to see some evidence of Chicks perhaps today or some time before the end of the week but  much time spent with the kestrels showed them following the same male to female prey hand-overs and general behaviour as usual,  I used my time trying to find access for an upward angle that also afforded some dark negative space as a backdrop for a few portraits of this amazing pair of birds and was quite pleased with the results posted below,

The first and last images are the relaxed female and the middle two are our flighty male,  The female is far more used to life around her nest site and was always going to present the best portraits,

Monday, 22 May 2017

Road Kill Roe Deer

Early on Sunday morning I spent some time at Longrock watching one of the local Buck Roe Deer doing the rounds on the look-out for resident Does, so sightings are quite by chance and appreciated when they do occur,  This particular encounter only lasted as long as it took the buck to walk the hedgerow to one corner of the field where it effortlessly cleared the hedgerow and wire fence to disappear into the adjoining woodland.

Early on Monday morning I saw this Buck again but this time I was far from Happy to see it for as drove down the A394 towards Longrock early AM  I caught sight of it lying dead at the roadside,  On inspection it had obviously been the victim of a road traffic accident, probably having strayed on to the road during the night while moving from one area to another,  You cannot fence such animals in but I was upset to see such a fine example of our local wildlife that I had worked with the previous day fall victim to such an end,  I lifted the deer off of the road and laid it to rest in some long roadside grasses so as to avoid any further damage or unwanted attention,  I guess natural predators will do the rest.

Roadside image taken by Peter Tonkin

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Cornish Kestrel part 24

Vole prey hand-0ver,

Our kestrels have settled into a routine of incubation on the part of the female and prey supply to the female by the male on a regular basis,  In the image below the male returns skilfully displaying his prey as he lands,

 The female takes the offering and departs immediately to consume it on her own
 The male watches her depart then flies off to find his own dinner

This pattern of behaviour will continue until the chicks hatch any day now freeing up both birds to share in hunting and feeding the new arrivals,

Friday, 19 May 2017

Peregrine in flight

Our Cornish coast be it North or south are well blessed with many pairs of Peregrine, all have carved themselves territorial rights to some of the finest coastline in Cornwall while taking advantage of the most rugged vertical cliff faces on which they thrive.  The images below are random flight shots that I have captured during countless happy hours spent at many of these locations

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Longrock Roe Deer at sunrise

With a clear early morning sky and sunrise at 5.30am it had to be a good morning to check out our local Roe Deer at Longrock,  I arrived just as the first rays of sunlight spread over the far side of the field and a fine doe jumped out from the woodland cover,

Once the female started moving around to feed on the grasses and hedgerow I could clearly see  from the image below that she was heavily pregnant and should be ready to give birth in the next couple of weeks

I watched her grazing for a while and could see her eyes and ears pick up as she heard something moving farther along the woodland hedgerow and a few minutes later out popped one of her last years kits,
All of our Roe Deer now have fine new summer coats that look lovely in the morning sunshine and my parting shot was taken as the mother moved along the field to rejoin her offspring

I came away leaving them to enjoy their morning and drove home contemplating the delights that I had experienced in previous years when the new kids finally arrive.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Stithians today

I spent most of my day at Stithians reservoir southern cut-off,  A day that started  foggy, wet and grey and a challenge for telephoto photography  that gradually improved to good spells of sunshine towards the evening, my first subject on arrival was a Grey Heron predating on Frogs and Stickleback and  my auto-focus refused to work in the mist, rain and light levels so manual focus was the order of the day for my first few subjects a few of which are posted below,

The old saying good weather for ducks seemed to apply and this one below appeared to be quite happy,

But the same could not be said for the retched looking resident Jay below which was soaked to the skin

By contrast the local Little Grebes seemed to just shake it off

and carried on with their busy nest building exercise,

As the hours passed the day got steadily brighter and smaller birds began to arrive at the feeder station including this contrasty looking Reed Bunting,

Next up was this delicate little Willow Warbler which I was pleased to catch on the wing and No it was not taken on manual focus!

The local Great Spotted Woodpecker had been missing all day but showed up for a portrait shot just before I went home

As I walked back to my car I could see a distant fox out on the prowl on the hills behind the southern cut off which told me along with my growling stomach that it was time I was home for my dinner!