Not Just Any Duck

Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) are often taken for granted, but I hadn’t seen one for quite sometime. So when I came across several males and females on the local canal they were a pure delight to see as they paddled across the still waters with autumn reflections.

Toad In The Planter

This was quite a pleasant surprise. I have been seeing frogs in the garden all year, and this was my first toad this morning. It was only a young one, but beautifully coloured, perched almost on the edge of one of my planters. Double-click to zoom in closer.

Caught Napping

Greenfinch (Chloris chloris) – I caught this one intially taking a few sips of water from my birdbath. I was looking through my patio window, and thought to myself I bet I won’t have time to swap over lenses, will I? I had my macro lens on, and I half expected the bird to fly,… Read More Caught Napping

I can See You

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) – In a large field close to the river these birds hide in the tall grasses. I have seen them a few times now, and one can easily pass them by without knowing – unless you stray too near them, and then they take flight on their wide arching wings. This… Read More I can See You

Becoming

Common Frog (Rana temporaria) – I found this one hiding under a rock near the garden pond. It was smaller than my little fingernail. As you can see it still has its tail, but its limbs are developing, and it can hop a short distance, although a little clumsily. Early days yet.

Snake Drama

Grass Snake (Natrix helvetica) – Strolling along the canal, the light ever changing as slate grey clouds block the sun, threatening rain again, and seeing me with my camera, a friendly fisherman calls out, “There’s a frog being eaten by a snake over there!” I pass under a nearby canal bridge built during the Industrial… Read More Snake Drama

Amazing Builders

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) – On a stroll along the local canal I spotted the nest first and the bird second on the opposite side of the bank. I was taken by the construction of woven stems which form this nest, and how it was built on a section of submerged tree. There are jokes about ‘birdbrain’… Read More Amazing Builders

Growing Bigger

Common Frog (Rana temporaria) – I can’t believe what a frenzy of activity is going on in the garden pond at the moment. It is teeming with tadpoles and all of them are scraping algae from the rocks, so much so some of them are virtually picked clean. They have grown so much bigger, too.… Read More Growing Bigger

Teeming Tadpoles

The tadpoles are growing fast feeding on the algae in the garden pond. Double-click image for a closer look. © Peter Hillman ♦ 8th April 2020 ♦ Rear garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200

Frogs Are Coming

Common Frog (Rana temporaria) – This is an early stage tadpole, and I appear to have zillions of these teeming in my small garden pond at the moment. Note the branch-like appendages either side of the head … these are external gills, which as the tadpole develops will become wrapped in a pocket of skin… Read More Frogs Are Coming

Turnstone

Also called the Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres), this was another first for me. There were many of these little birds on the seashore bulldozing the seaweed out of their way with their heads in search of invertebrates hiding underneath it. Feel free to click the images to enlarge and click again to get even closer… Read More Turnstone

Getting Bigger

I have noticed how big the young frogs are now growing in the garden pond. I spied four of them amongst the Water Mint and pond weed poking their heads out the water. Feel free to click the images to enlarge and click again to get even closer … © Pete Hillman August 2019

Staying Alive

I wondered where all my tadpoles had gone. Spotted a couple of little juvenile frogs today hiding under a piece of bark in my back yard. Below how it began life feeding on algae in the pond into the carnivorous creature above. It is one way to keep the slugs down. Nature is trully a… Read More Staying Alive

On The Bird Feeder

The garden bird feeder is quite busy at the moment. These Blue Tits Cyanistes caeruleus are certainly taking advantage of it and they are welcome too. May 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Watching The Geese

I think this goose was actually watching me! It was a beautiful start to the day again down by the lake. An easier day beckoned after walking up and down Walla Crag the day before, so what better way to spend but down by the shimmering waters of Derwentwater. The Greylag geese were certainly enjoying… Read More Watching The Geese

A Proud And Beautiful Family

Afloat in the water heading with purpose to the bank … Single file in a line they go … Finding lush green to feed upon. Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer Canada Goose Branta canadensis adults and goslings, May 2018, the pond, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, England. © Pete Hillman