Thursday, 23 May 2013

Feather Fascination.

       Around 8,000 pairs of gannets return every year to RSPB Bempton near Flamborough on the East Coast.Gannets mate for life.They are renowned for their faithfulness,usually returning to the same nesting site with the same partner.

     I was thrilled to see this young gannet with its feather present ready to take to its intended.Young gannets are often seen presenting each other with flowers and feathers.

     For a few moments i watched as it ruffled up its own feathers carefully still clutching the present.Obviously this gannet wanted to look its best on presenting the gift.

                      Another gannet sneaks behind to watch the action.

         Not wanting to waste any more time it flies off to present its gift.

      We returned the next day to the same spot on the cliffs.The weather conditions had changed dramatically.I found it difficult to hold my camera against the wind.However the gannets were enjoying a spot of formation flying.

       Whenever it got very gusty they simply put up their tail feathers.What a brilliant rudder.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

East Coast Barn Owl Encounter.

Looking pleased here as we were tipped off today as to where the barn owl would be hunting.

First task was to try and conceal myself by trying to break up my outline with camouflage.

It was breathtaking as the barn owl started to fly towards me and start hunting on the banking.It looks as if they can feel the wind under their wings.

Hunting was the one thing on this barn owl's mind.After a few minutes it moved on to other fields.

Waiting patiently, it returned about an hour later.This time it seemed intent on finding a suitable post to spy its prey from.

Exceptional hearing is the barn owl's most important hunting tool.One ear is slightly higher than the other.So the owl can calculate the exact position of the sound source. A single barn owl, on average, captures 2,000 mice and voles  every year.

It's heart shaped face and snowy white underparts are stunning to observe.It was recently voted Britain's favourite farmland bird.It lives for around 4 years.It's presence is heard by screeching,hissing,yapping and snoring.

After watching for about 15 minutes where it was post hopping, it launched off into a nearby dell which was quite woody.I felt this background gave it a mystical quality.