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With plenty of time during lockdown I gave the ‘nature pond’ a bit of a tidy up. The pond was originally built by my dad about fourteen years ago and it has stood the test of time. With the liner leaking and becoming cracked after years of use it was time for a revamp. Originally it had a pump fed stream but I have guessed that that is where the water had been escaping from. This wasn’t ideal at the best of times and with the water being constantly pumped out the pond kept on emptying. As you can see the pond looked very good for wildlife back when it was first built.  My plan was to use some of the ferns that were around the garden to plant up the edges and breaking up the border. With the garden having had quite the change over the past two years

So in the last blog post you saw how I, or rather my Dad, built a nest box for a Little owl. Now the box has been sitting around in the garden shed for a few weeks so with a break in the weather I headed out to install it on some local farmland with the help of my trusty assistant, my girlfriend ! Originally the box was a plain beige so I decided to give it a paint job. The dark brown colour would help it blend in with the tree trunk and not make it too to unwelcome inhabitants such as Grey squirrels. As well as painting the box I also screwed some thick tree bark to the front to make it look a bit more natural and to make the entrance hole feel more like a hollowed out tunnel on a tree.  After ‘doing up’ the nest

As some of you know from my last few blog posts, I have been given permission to record and photograph the wildlife on a local farm. This patch of land is home to a whole host of residents from Roe deer to Little Owls. With this in mind I wanted to put up some nest boxes and top of my agenda was to create nest boxes for the resident Little owls. Now with the help of my Dad we managed to get the first prototype built. Here’s how we went about it. First steps were to measure out the sections we needed to build each panel. We followed Bob Sheppard’s Little owl design as it was recommended by the BTO. We used standard plywood but I would recommend marine plywood if you can afford to. With the help of our four-legged helper, Scruffy, we were all set to go and

It was as if someone had turned on a snow switch. The day before I had been out photographing lichens on a sunny winters day and then the next morning we the same ground was covered in snow.  Snow is always a treat for any photographer and although we had experienced a small snow shower a few weeks ago that experience was a lot shorter with the snow melting in a matter of minutes. This time around the ground was covered in a good few inches of snow and I was raring to get out and take some photographs.  First thing was to head up to some private land I have access  to set up a long and low hide. With snow being such a rarity down south I wanted to make the most of the opportunity. The low angle of the hide opening meant that I would be able

After having not been up to much photography due to other commitments, not to mention the Coronavirus lockdown here in the UK, it was nice to get out with the camera. Heading out to spend the day with my old man we went to Climpton Beach. I was raring to go with my Manfrotto ND filters to shoot some slow exposures. After having not shot a lot I was excited to show some new images. Arriving at low tide we walked up and down to seek out a few decent looking spots. First place that looked promising were the jagged rocks that were slowly being drowned by the incoming tide. It was a great place to start and good getting to grips with the filters and fine tuning the settings. As the tide was slowly making it’s way up the beach my attention turned to the groynes which were also

Today was another early start as the weather improved vastly. Scooting across the lake we took in the glorious sunrise falling on the lake, with clouds acting like vast smoke clouds above the mountains it really was a view we could never get bored of seeing each morning. As usual we started off searching for the Loon family who didn’t disappoint as usual. With the sun still hidden by the small bay of large coniferous trees one of the adult loons fished ravenously as the sun slowly creeped over the canopy. With the sun cutting through the Loons where lite up and revealed one of the chicks tucked into the feathers on the back of one of the adults. For the chick is must have been a very relaxing morning with breakfast in bed. Throughout the morning the adults continued to fish and the chicks ,try as they might, had

After a hearty breakfast we decided that we would take a more leisurely approach to the morning. The reed beds were our main target to see what other species could be found around the lake. Cruising along silently through the lily infested waterway we made our way deeper into the reeds. The warm morning sun bought out all manner of biting insects but the thought of finding new species drove us on. As we slowed we saw something the size of a bumble bee buzzing around along the tops of the reeds. On closer inspection we saw that it was a Rufous Hummingbird. Perched on a nearby shrub bush we edged closer to get close enough to get into a good position for photos. As the bird turned towards the light the plumage lit up like a Christmas tree. The dull green colouration transformed into a dazzling display of reds

It’s been a while since I last wrote on here and with the coronavirus epidemic hitting the public hard I figured I would give writing a go again. We will continue from where I left off and will recount my time spent with some very talented friends; Ashleigh Scully, Connor Stefanison, Jess Findlay and of course Gerry Scully. We started a little later in the day, around 6am, due to low cloud blocking the otherwise painterly sunrise. A nice surprise for me was that the temperatures were not as cold as usual, that is until we found ourselves zipping across the late. It was on the boats that you really felt the biting cold as the cool morning air whipped across our faces, something which definitely woke you up if you weren’t already ! Slowing down we cruised into a quiet corner of a still bay which provided the perfect

BEEP BEEP BEEP ! Not what you want to hear at 4am in the morning, especially after two hours of “sleep”. But the possibilities of what was to come that day lifted my sleepy body out of bed. Essentials packed and the call from Connor that the boats were ready I headed out to be greeted by what has got to be the best view I’ve ever had. Mist rolling over the lake and the Rocky mountains peaking over the horizon, today had to be a good day. First stop was the Loons. We were really hoping to capture the chicks taking a ride on the parents back and the guys had the perfect spot in mind. As we zoomed across the lake like a James Bond movie the engines slowed and slowly appearing out of the mist where two dark shapes. The thing about Loons is that you will