Sunday, December 16, 2012

Jay meets Jedward

Look at my crest!



I caught a Jay in the garden this afternoon. They are gorgeous birds at any range, but when you're right up-close there's another dimension to them. As well as the dazzling azure blue of the coverts, there are tiny, hidden-away traces on the secondaries and the top of the tail.

Added to the constant, ear-splitting screeching and fierce biting and pecking, it's a feast for the senses. Just as well they don't smell nasty too.

photos taken with iPhone 4S

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Mr Pointy-beak

Goldfinch from above

Here's a close-up view of a Goldfinch that you don't normally see. The long, pointy bill is ideal for tweezering out seeds from teasel heads. The dark nasal hairs at the base of the bill, and the red extending behind the eye, show that it's a male.

photos taken with iPhone 4S

Saturday, November 03, 2012

The eyes have it


I went to a friend's garden to try doing some ringing there for the first time. We didn't expect this - a male Sparrowhawk - to be the first bird in the net!

photo taken with iPhone 4S

Monday, September 17, 2012

All creatures great and small

Tiny froglet
Tiny froglet
Badger tracks
Badger tracks
Leafcutter bee at work
Leafcutter bee at work
Comma butterfly
Manx Loghtan sheep
Manx Loghtans just after shearing
Goodbye, my woolly friends
Looking fleecier... just before leaving The Lodge
photos taken with iPhone 4S

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Large, medium and small

Here are three birds I met recently.

Woodpigeon (600g)
I caught this Woodpigeon by accident. I decided to try putting up my recently purchased nets to break them in a bit (they are always a bit weird when you use them for the first time), so put one up in the garden in a really obvious position. But it seems this bird wasn't paying attention to where it was going...

Nightingale (21g)
Here's a Nightingale we caught during Constant Effort Site ringing at Paxton Pits.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (21g)

And here's a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (a juvenile female) caught in Sussex. I didn't get to handle it, but what a remarkable bird!

photos taken with iPhone 4S

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Gulls, gulls, gulls

I've been up north to Lancashire and Cumbria to help with some gull fieldwork. We're trying to work out what's happening to the declining populations of Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Walney Island gull colony
Gull colony at Walney Island
Walney Island gull colony
Looking for nests
Hatching gull chicks
These ones are a bit young :o)
Gull chicks
And so are these...
Walney Island lighthouse
Walney Lighthouse
Herring Gull chick
Ah! A gull that's the right size for ringing
Langden valley
Up in the hills
Monitoring gull breeding colony
Feels odd to see 'seagulls' breeding on a moor top
Clouds on the hill
Yes, we got rained on. A lot.
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Gull #666...
photos taken with iPhone 4S

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday's moths

Team Hawkmoth
Meet the hawkmoths! Left to right: Pine, Elephant, Eyed and Poplar
True Lover's Knot
True Lover's Knot
Green Silver-lines
Green Silver-lines
Green Silver-lines
Nice to catch a green moth
Peppered Moth
Peppered Moth
The Shears

Full moth list follows, if you enjoy that kind of thing...