Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Adders in Allerthorpe

Whilst watching adders on Allerthorpe Common recently, I discovered that they eat lizards.Click here to read about my encounter in the Ryedale Gazette & Herald.

BBC Countryfile Feature Me!

I've edited down the Countryfile feature so now if you click on the arrow you just get the section with me in it!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

London's Grebes

There was plenty of other wildlife in Regents Park. The little grebe below came by and I got a few standard shots. But then I moved nearer the bank where there were some daffodils reflected in the water. This gave the colour to these more unusual shots. I took an exposure reading of the largest part of the grebe and under-exposed the rest of the photo to add to the effect. A great crested grebe then came by. It was a beautiful male, but it was catching small fish and when it dove it travelled a long way so it was difficult to predict where it would reappear.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Herons in Regents Park, London

In the countryside herons are amongst the most wary of birds so I took advantage of a weekend trip to see friends in London to visit the heronry in Regents Park.
I took some strips of pheasant, partridge and pig kidneys with me and it wasn't long before the herons were queuing up for the scraps.

At one point I had 15 herons standing in line!

I have never been so close to wild herons before.

The males' bills go red during the mating season.

It really is incredible to see how they have adapted to this urban environment.

This one was playing catch even though the park was very crowded.

And these two were fighting over the remaining scraps.

This one was catching the last sun rays of the afternoon.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

TV Appearance!

If you missed us on Countryfile this Sunday then click here.

You have to scroll to the end of the programme - I was the last feature.

But it is worth watching the whole show because it featured so many special places in the Yorkshire Wolds, including Flamborough Head and the bird colony at Bempton Cliffs.

It was such fun filming with the team - think I'll miss my acting role!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Listen out for me on BBC Radio Humberside.

I'm going to be on BBC Radio Humberside tomorrow morning. I'm going to be interviewed by Ruth Barcroft, pictured below, for Saturday Breakfast Show's 'Learn Something New' slot.
Ruth wants me to talk about how I take my wildlife photographs and to advise people on how to get up close to the shiest of creatures.

Frog Frolic at Fotherdale

We moved to Fotherdale Farm in 1998 and one of the first things I did was build a pond.Now we have a very healthy frog and toad population. The other day I counted 80 as they were spawning.

As you approach the pond they tend to disappear under the water. But if you lie down they soon reappear.

Plus getting a low perspective makes for better photographs. In this one you can see the yellow flag irises reflected in the water.You can tell the difference between frogs and toads by their size, by the fact that toads walk and frogs hop and are generally more streamlined. Also toads are warty and have slit eyes.March is the mating season for both species and it can seem a bit frenzied. Here two frogs are mating.

But here there seems to be a bit of confusion! This toad is getting over friendly with a frog.

And this toad is in a frog sandwich!!!