A quick update

Hello everyone,

 

Just a quick update from me. As some of you will know I have been rather busy this summer with my fieldwork for my dissertation. Unfortunately that means I haven’t had a chance to update as many of the pages as I would like. Hopefully I will have some time soon to catch up. Till then if there are any particular images you are after or any feedback you wish to give feel free to drop me an email

puffin ballet

Dancersend

Yesterday I visited Dancersend BBOWT Reserve, Buckinghamshire. I had visited this reserve once before last year and was keen to go back again this year however I never got around to it when all the orchids were in flower. I asked Mick Jones, a warden at the reserve for his advice about what there was to see at the reserve  at this time of year and he kindly gave me lots of information about what to look for and where. Mick’s blog is a great resource highlighting the wonderful work that goes on at Dancersend.

 

Using this advice I managed to track down some Chiltern Gentians, my target species for the day. This lovely wildflower has a limited distribution in Britain, only being found in and around the Chilterns. It is larger than the more common Autumn Gentian and happens to be the County flower for Buckinghamshire, where I live.

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The weather was rather bleak yesterday so I couldn’t find many invertebrates however I did manage to record seven species of butterfly, not bad considering the time of year. I also managed to find six species of gall on a single oak tree; the knopper gall, the marble gall, the common spangled gall, the silk button gall, the cupped spangle gall and finally the cola nut gall. I was also on the look out for late flying pollinators. I even managed to find a new species for me, the bog hoverfly (Sericomyia silentis)

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Due to the weather there was also a lovely dew, this had the effect of creating droplets in spiders webs which always catches my eye and is a highlight of Autumn for me.

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Other than the Chiltern Gentians I found another fifty or so wildflower species. Here are some of my favourites;

 

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Milkwort

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Eyebright

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Wild mignonette

Thanks for reading

Puffins Galore

This weekend I went to Skomer, an island off the Welsh coast. This island is home to roughly 6000 breeding pairs of puffins which were bringing in sand eels to their chicks. Here are some photos I took over the weekend of the puffins.

Puffin Ballet

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

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Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

Puffin

As always all images must not be used without my permission

Southern Spain

As some of you many know I recently went to the South of Spain on a university field trip. As this trip wasn’t a holiday it was a module in which I was examined I didn’t have much time to spend on my photography but never the less here are some of my photos.

White stork

Stonechat

Solitary bee

Bee

Yellow Legged Gulls

White Stork

Bald Ibis

Cattle Egrets

Solitary Bee

Kentish Plover

Tenebrionidae Beetles

Tiger Beetle

Painted Lady

Sand Covered Bee

Ichneumon wasp

Solitary Bee

Stonechat

Captive wildlife;

Iberian Lynx (Captive)

Alaska Tundra Wolf Female

Iberian Wolf (Captive)

Iberian Wolf (Captive)

Landscapes:

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View from Ronda

View from Ronda

View from Ronda

Here is a list of the birds I encountered that I had never seen before;

Cattle egret, White stork, Bald ibis, Griffon vulture, Black kite, Kentish plover, Yellow legged gull, Bee-eater, Crested lark, Chough, Spotless starling , Sardinian warbler, Zitting cisticola, Woodchat shrike

Although the weather was dire at the beginning of the week by the end it was sunglasses weather. Thanks for reading

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My Garden Bird Project

Recently I have been focusing on species that people can find in their gardens or in a local park, primarily because I feel they are an easily accessible group of birds but also a group that can often be ignored.

I have chosen to show here one picture of each of these garden birds but there are plenty more available here.

Blackbirds

Friendly Blackbird

Blue Tits

Blue Tit

Coal Tits

Coal Tit

Collared Doves

Collared Dove

Dunnocks

Dunnock

Goldfinches

Goldfinch

Great Tits

Great Tit 2

House Sparrows

House Sparrow

Robins

Robin

Starlings

Starling

Wood Pigeons

Wood Pigeon

Wrens

Wren

Today’s Photos

The lakes;

College Lake

Singing Robin

Swan Song

Pied Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Blue Tit

Blue Tit

Wildlife Moments Of 2012

Here are my top wildlife moments of 2012, they are in no particular order.

Hare Closeup

I was sat in a hide watching and waiting for the distance birdlife to come closer when suddenly I see two hares bounding around the field chasing eachother, they were so caught up in the moment that one didn’t realise it was now right by the hide, giving me fantastic views.

Brown Hare

Deer Bellowing At Richmond Park

I went to Richmond Park in London with Mike Taylor to see the Red Deer Rut, although they were not rutting yet they were still bellowing and allowed for some  closeup photos. More can be seen here

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Red Squirrels on Brownsea Island

I went with Darrell Jordan to Brownsea Island to see Red Squirrels. We got lucky and had perfect light and amazing views of the squirrels allowing for lots of photos to be taken. What more could you want. More photos from the trip here

Brownsea Island Red Squirrel

The Local Waxwings

As most people will know this year has been a great year for waxwings, a colourful migrant that comes over to Britain in order to feed on berries. Some of these colourful birds turned up on the local industrial estate so I went to photograph them with Danny and Fiona . They allowed for views from about 6ft away at some points which was fantastic. More here

Waxwing

Peregrines Breeding Locally

I was very pleased to find out that not only were peregrine falcons now being seen regularly on the local council building but were also breeding and had two offspring that managed to fledge. This was a phenomenal bird to have 10 minutes walk away and hopefully they will nest again next year.

Peregrine

Kestrel Hovering Overhead

One surprise encounter this year was a kestrel hovering above me and looking straight at me.

Kestrel Encounter

Working With The National Trust

This year  I worked on a project photographing the wildlife on Coombe Hill, a local area of chalkland owned by the National Trust. This was great fun and helped me discover wildlife I had previously overlooked. You can see the blog post from the National Trust on my photography here

Marbled White Butterfly

Slow worms

This year I found a local population of slow worms, a species I had never seen before. It gave me a chance to contribute local reptile records and get photos of a new species to me.

Slow worm

Discovering The World Of Solitary Bees

One of the best discoveries for me this year was discovering the world of solitary bees, little did I know that as well as bumblebees and honey bees in the UK there is 250 solitary bee species which arguably do more pollination that honey bees yet face similar threats. I was lucky enough to have 5 or so species nesting in the garden and hope more take up residence next year.

Solitary Bee

Cormorants Catching Fish

This year I encountered some cormorants fighting over huge perch in this case and pike in others!, an amazing thing to encounter. Lots of photos of this can be seen here

Cormorant

Great Crested Grebe Courtship

This year was the first year that I have seen the amazing Great Crested Grebe courtship dance. An amazing thing to see in the flesh. More here

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Robin Close Ups

This year I have built up some amazing relationships with robins allowing me to get close up photos of them. More here

Robin

Winning A Local Photographic Competition

My final highlight had to be winning the Princes Risborough Photographic Society annual competition with this photo.

Richmond Park

Thank you for following my photos this year, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and New Year. Merry Christmas,

Ryan