Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The local stomping grounds...

Have a look at some of the comments on this page...I thought it was a comedy site at first but apparently there actually been serious...Predators are a key sign to an all round healthy ecosystem...simple science...full stop
http://songbirds-slaughter.org.uk/

Vital petition for the good fighting the evil...if it was a film we would probably win but reality is very different...keep on fighting.
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/46473

Possible Deer cull?...A few hundred years back the British countryside would have had a good balance with the top predators Wolf and Lynx controlling Deer stocks whos grazing pressure has a huge impact on regeneration of wild areas. Humans removed those predators making them extinct in Britain therefore creating unbalance which needs to be counteracted for conservation reasons. 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21688447

Staying local last week to cover a few sites as the weather deteriorated with the winds getting up with strong easterly's generating speed hurling through the valley. I found shelter from the wind down at the river Gelt photographing Dippers and observing their general behavior at this time of year. I am keen to build a portfolio of the species this season which I will attempt to continue back up on Mull.

Here is a couple more shots of Garys from the week previous. View his photography page here http://500px.com/GaryStorey



My house under the stars...great photo by Gary Storey
Myself with a shooting star far left and a satellite more central...

A small number of Adders found on the fell side in the early season. A nice close up here but I was using a borrowed 500mm lens so no chance of a strike thankfully. Again a species which I will attempt to concentrate more on as the season unfolds. 



Female Adder showing her stunning markings, eye and arrow shaped head

Grey Wag on the Gelt...

Dipper...


While waiting for Dippers I took a few shots of the fast flowing Gelt in low light...
Did an annual nest box check down in the wood with Dad making sure they were all in a fit state and cleaned out ready for the breeding season. Mainly Tit nests and a couple of Pied-Flys in the boxes we checked. Two Buzzard nests down from falling trees with a couple more looking in good shape. One box had see-come to Woodpecker damage. 

A lot of the boxes had been made by prisoners at the Durham jail and Dad suggested a genius idea to let the prisoners roam the woods to see what good they did by building the boxes...as the striped convicts disappear into the wilderness never to be seen again. If you see a black and white animal in the woods remember it might not be a Badger it could be an escaped prisoner checking on his boxes.

I asked dad if the term doing a bit of bird came from building nest boxes in prison...not a bad shout...anyone know the answer?

We covered about 15-20 boxes before heading for home as we came across a dead Badger which was clean of evidence. We came across a fence and there was a stile about 10 yards away and instead of using it dad decided to use his hammer to dismantle the fence by pulling the post nails out and stepping over it...he failed in his attempt and used the style anyway. A good experience and learned a lot from dad...wildlife related not the other nonsense that he was spouting out! 


Looks like the work of a Woodpecker opening up the entrance hole...



Dead Badger in the wood...clean with no clues to death


Thanks for looking...I will soon be back on Mull working as a guide for Sea Life Surveys doing boat excursions around the rich Hebridean waters...If you want to book a trip or are interested here is the web site http://sealifesurveys.com/

Cheers

5 comments:

  1. Great column. You sound exactly like someone I'd love to know. Keep celebrating you. The world needs a lot more people just like you. Thanks for your honesty.
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