Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Pond again

In view of the changing weather conditions today I ventured no further than the village pond. As usual there was lots going on, mainly mallards and canada geese with the odd gull here and there. I sat in the car with my camera on the window ledge when this black-headed gull decided to pose for me just a few yards from the car.
This mallard duckling seemed to be on its own unperturbed by all that was going on around it. I 've seen  many of this size taken by gulls, herons and crows as a meal. I don't think it will be around in the morning.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017


In a bit of a twist
On the way to check on the peregrines I passed our local pond and found that the heron had returned after an absence of several months.
The pond is now dominated by several pairs of canada geese which seem to annoy him somewhat and he spent a lot of his time shouting at them. The geese had young and as a heron is rather partial to a gosling for his supper he might have been trying to scare the parents off.
Occasionally a fish caught his eye which changed his tune a bit.
After an unsuccesful dip he climbed back up to his perch and shook the water off.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Peregrines at dinner

 This is the male bringing home a wood pigeon for dinner. The male has more darker tips to its feathers in the upper chest region than the female.
 I had decided to leave them alone for a while but I could not resist the opportunity today to get in close. It certainly paid off. Lots of activity but I still don't know if they are going to produce this year or not.
 Wood pigeon was on the menu today. This is the female.
 The male took a piece and sat some distance away to enjoy it by himself.
 The female had the lions share and was closer to me often looking at me but taking no notice.
This all happened in about ten minutes after which I had got all the photo's I needed so I left them to enjoy their meal.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Local walk

Red legged partridge is a bird that I rarely saw but since moving into the country it is more commonly seen than a house sparrow, in fact I havn't seen a house sparrow  in my village for months but a partridge I see every day.
I only went for a short walk from my house and as I was taking a photograph of the partridge a peregrine flew over my head and I was more than 5 miles from the nest site which I had decided to give it a miss this evening and go in the opposite direction.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Barn owl

I paid my regular trip to the peregrines, still hoping to see some sign of nesting. I had my multi lens set-up on the camera and had just started to pack it all away as the light was fading when I saw way over the other side of the marsh a barn owl emerge from the trees. I laid the camera on the roof of the car and took several shots thinking that I would be very lucky if  any of them were any good. 250m away and this is the best of them so tomorrow I shall be going prepared. From the spot where I park the car in the past 12 months I have seen marsh harrier, red kite, buzzard, kestrel, short-eared owl, now barn owl and of course the peregrines. What more could I want?

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Peregrine update.

I have been experimenting with my Sony A77 with various settings. It has a built-in 2 time coverter to which I have added a 1.4  converter on a 3/4 lens and on a full frame camera it works out at something like 40 times magnification. These shots are the result. The camera laid on the roof of my car propped up on my binoculars. The bird was over 200m away.
This is the female which I understand is a young inexperienced bird and it is likely to have abandoned the nest because of the many corvids interfering. We shall just have to wait and see.
In the meantime I will make regular checks on them and keep my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

First visitor

Whilst waiting for a bit of action from the peregrines I spotted in the corner of my eye, flitting about in the brambles, my first willow warbler of the year.
The peregrines are still hanging about. They have been mating on several occasions over the past few weeks and still no sign of having chosen a nest site. The female hangs about all day while the male brings her the food.
When she flies it is no longer than a few seconds in the air often coming back to the same spot. Other peregrines in the area are sitting on eggs but not this pair.

Mike Attwood - Photographer

About Me

My photo
Evacuated during the second world war to a village in Yorkshire where I lived in the home of a good photographer for more than five years who taught me the basics and a great deal about nature. Well past retirement age I have been a wildlife photographer for more than 30 years. Red Kites have been my speciality for much of this period. I did spend several years snapping wheelchair athletes and organizing the British Road Race Championship. In the year 2000 I was awarded a distinction by the Royal Photographic Society for my portfolio on wheelchair athletes. Most of my pics are digital, using Sony cameras and Sigma lenses. I used to spend many weeks each year with friends in Wales which is close to the Elan Valleys where I got many of my raptor pics. I now get these pictures more closely to home, specially red kites and peregrines. I support my pension by selling my pics, cards, coasters, fridge magnets and key rings etc. at craft fairs, something I wish I had done much earlier in life. I give illustrated talks to clubs and societies on wildlife and other branches of photography that I have been involved in.