Saturday, 30 September 2017

The Monarch of West Penwith

Its not every day that you encounter one of the greats of  the  UK's wild animals down here in West Cornwall, but this morning I found myself looking up at the antlers of a seven to eight foot Red Deer Stag just on the opposite side of a Cornish wall about eight metres from me and was I impressed,  You bet I was!  For this first shot I had to hurriedly remove my 1.4 converter from my 500mm lens and back off around 20 metres to achieve the composition for the image posted below.

This fine animal showed no fear or any sign of moving away so I gradually moved in closer taking the next four images as I did so.

But there was more to come ; as another younger stag entered onto the scene to provide me with the portrait in the next image below.

The two stags moved in close together and eventually started to rut with each other providing me with some fine interaction images.

This was followed by the larger older male thrashing his antlers about in some vegetation before they both sat down in the field looking very relaxed,

These two fine stags were still sat there watching me as I retreated from their territory and I happened to look back up to the field opening that I had just left only to see a lovely pair of young Roe Deer stood there silhouetted against the skyline,   What a wonderful Morning !!!

My appreciation and thanks to John St Ledger for telling me of his Red Deer sighting yesterday.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Alls well that ends well

I arrived at the Longrock Deer fields a little early so I decided to have a nice cup of tea before starting,  I had left my flask at home,   So I decided to assemble my kit prior to moving in to position,  My 500mm lens tripod mount  had stripped its mounting  plate screws,   I crossed the road thinking that I could manage hand holding just in time to watch four doe Roe Deer rear ends disappearing into a misty hollow never to be seen again,  I decided to wait and see if the mist cleared when out of the gloom came a fine young Roe Deer buck that also seemed to be looking for the doe,

The buck walked on towards me and as the mist rolled away and light levels began to improve it started to feed from the lush meadow grasses  but not without my shutter noise catching his attention

I took a few more single shots anyway thinking that he would not be around for long

As the buck turned away from me I could see by his rear posture that his testosterone levels were running high which was a good sign as mating shots were just what I am looking for at the moment

So watch this space through the next couple of weeks for possible Roe Deer mating images subject to me successfully repairing my lens mounting bracket  Hand holding a 500mm prime lens is just not for me !!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Raining at Ryan's field

By the time I got to Ryan's field this morning I was feeling a bit like a drowned rat but little did I know that I was about to photograph one,  Once in the shelter of the hide I settled down to watch the familiar sight of a Little Egret patrolling along the shoreline towards the hide as it fished,  On reaching the small pool in front of the hide it dashed across the muddy bank and attacked an out of sight brown rat in the hidden hedgerow,  Following some high pitched squealing the Egret reappeared in the water with the now very muddy rat firmly held in its peak and as you might see by the sequence of images below it just dropped the rat into the water and as soon as the rat moved the Egret grabbed it again and now it was clean!  A few short upward movements of its head and the Egret was able to swallow the rat the last of which can be seen as a bit of a lump in the Egrets throat and then it was gone,

I might have been feeling a bit like a drowned rat on my arrival but at least nothing had tried to eat me for dinner,  I decided to go home and get into some dry clothes well my luck held out !!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Mount in the mist

I arrived at the deer fields of Longrock a little to early at 5.45,  It was not even dawn let alone sunrise but I could just make out the shape of a Roe deer within fifteen metres of my usual hedgerow shooting point so I decided to give it a go,  I selected manual focus { auto focus would not fix it } Set my aperture to f5.6,  Shutter speed to 1/13th and Auto ISO to a max of ISO6400 before moving into place,  I took my first shot as it was feeding,  The second shot below shows it raising it head to the sound of the first image and the third was a complete blur as it took off for cover, but I was pleased with the performance of my Nikon D4S in low light levels where I could only just make out the dark outline of the subject,

At sunrise I moved onto the sea front along the side of Marazion marsh where the early morning mist looked magical as it swirled around St Michael's Mount

On the marsh the young swan was vigorously testing it s wings

The Young Grey Heron was not to impressed and just yawned!

And the Rabbits were still having a head to head about starting a new litter so   Nothing new there then !

Monday, 25 September 2017

Ruan Lanihorne

I went to pastures new early AM today looking for the Purple Heron which has been regularly reported on the CBSPS sightings page over the last week or so,  On arrival I went straight into a first for this year with a juvenile male Fallow Deer feeding along the river banks, excellent!  It took me a while to spot the Purple Heron which never came clear of the long grasses and reeds so it became a game of hide and seek for a couple of hours but I did eventually get some reasonably clear shots and finished up with a couple of shots of  the Heron predating on a probable Palmate Newt,  Canada Geese flew over in abundance including one totally white individual which I was surprised to see and to slow to get my lens on to it,  I finished my morning off with a few shots of a Kingfisher before it finally flew off up the river to complete what had been a very interesting morning at a very pleasant estuary setting,

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Marazion Marsh Wildlife

I took advantage of a calm wind free morning to check out the wildlife along the front of Marazion Marsh,  A young Heron was foraging through recently cut reeds for just about anything that moved, A gaggle of six Little Egrets had set up preening parlour just off of the water's edge which created some interesting reflections, A young swan hurried by looking out for the adult birds, One of the ever present Stonechats stopped to give me the once over,  A pair of the warrens rabbits looked intent on starting another litter and the only non resident a late migrating Wheatear put on a great show on how to catch all manner of flying insects from which I created I montage of its activities in the last image posted

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Working the browse line

At sunrise I came across a pair of doe Roe Deer working the browse line in the fields at Longrock,  Light levels were quite good and the wind was in my favour so I settled behind the hedgerow out of sight of the deer

They worked their way along the opposite hedgerow as I carefully exposed single images of their progress to keep shutter noise to a minimum

Eventually one of the deer moved out into the field getting closer to me and a few minutes later it was joined by the second doe

As they moved closer the inevitable happened,  I usually try to time my shutter firing as road traffic passes which the deer ignore and this drowns out the shutter noise but being an early weekend morning I did not often have that opportunity and the deer both picked up on the sound of my single shutter firing
And that was the end of my shoot, They were off and You don't very often get a second chance with Roe Deer!

Friday, 22 September 2017

Tehidy's Wildlife

I spent some time at Tehidy country park with my wife heather today and we were surprised to note that one of the resident female Squirrels was either pregnant or suckling a litter,  I believe that Squirrels normally raise their two litters from January to February and again during June to July following a six week gestation period so we wondered if the abundance of food hand-outs from visitors was spurring the females to produce a third litter ??



The resident Male Swan was still busy strutting his stuff as was the case on our last visit, This with a view to dominating any possible contenders to his territory while by contrast the females were taking a leisurely bath and using their own heads as a substitute loofah

All the bird life at Tehidy is far more approachable than normal with birds such as Jay and Chaffinch being far easier to work with and the likes of Great Tits, Robins and indeed Crows will take offerings straight from your hand