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Friday, 19 October 2018

After much digging.......

After much digging over the past 12 months I have have finally decided the demise of the small birds where I live is due to air polution. I live in one of the worst places in the U.K. The village is plagued by the amount of traffic passing through and because of the layout it is slow and often stationary filling the air with burnt exhaust gases.
We no longer have house sparrows, very few garden birds, the visiting swifts failed to nest this year. Only the larger birds such as these cormorants, corvids and of course ferral pidgeons dominate the air space. The food in my feeders  is often thrown away without being touched. The local RSPB reserve are suffering too although they don't seem to recognise the situation. The feeders have been removed because it was noticed that some of the finches were sick and there was a fear of it spreading. Now the healthy birds are suffering because of lack of food.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

At last

Spotted Flycatcher
Its about 2 years since I began to notice the demise of the small birds in the area in which I live. I have spent many months searching for a spot where I can find a subject to photograph with little success until today. I found a little used pulic footpath behind a pub. I hadn't walked more than 200 yards along this path when I was greeted by the chirping of small birds. A family of spotted flycatchers. Unfortuneatly this was the best shot I could get as they were the other side of the river and a couple of canoes went past and scared them away.
I am still at a loss as to what is happening, could be something the local farmers are using on the fields but more likely air polution, my area is well known for the high levels of CO2.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Back to blogging

 Having had a couple of setbacks over the past month I didn't get up to much. For medical reasons I was stopped from driving which to my way of life is a must. Having a full blown check-up 3 days before my 81st I got an excellent medical report which meant I could drive again so I celebrated with a trip down to the New Forest for a few days with my family. One would think that it would be the perfect place for a wildlife photographer, no such luck, I have more wildlife in my back garden than I found down there. The only pictures I took were in a hawk conservency.
Returning home after a very enjoyable few days I took a trip down the road to see if the peregrines were OK. There they were quite content surveying their patch with full tummies no doubt.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Friends

Its a couple of weeks now since the hogs massacre next door. It took several days for the remaining hedgehogs to pluck up courage to call in for their evening meal, but eventually one did, the strange thing is that it only comes if the fox is there..
The hedgehog must feel safe in the company of the fox.
The hog is a youngster and it looks as though it has lost the rest of its family, perhaps it has adoted the fox as its new family. The fox I call broken tail and it has been around for nearly 3 years. They are good friends and often eat from the same dish.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Devastation

 When we moved into our bungalow in the village almost 3 years ago it took a lot of hard work and several months making the garden into something respectable. During this time I set out my infra-red cameras to see if there was anything interesting going on after dark. Beside the foxes there were as many as 5 hedgehogs which I beleive was a Mum and her family so a little food was put out each night. Hogs visited every night right through the winter months even popped in for Christmas dinner.
A week ago our neighbours garden which was in a bit of a sorry state was attacked by a man with a strimmer with devastating results. The hogs have now stopped coming, I thought they must have been frightened off until yesterday when I found the remains of Mum with terrible wounds across her back. I now have just one hog which sneaks in after midnight. As you can see its a junior and as far as I can make out its the only one left out of the family.

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.