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.
An immature Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus). Lots of these around, and they appear to have become quite used to people.
Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) feeding on Sycamore ‘helicopter’ seeds.
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
x5 images. Double click to enlarge. Lifting a piece of bark in a garden border, the last thing I expected to find was a delightful Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris). It remained where it was, frozen to the spot. I hadn’t got my camera, so I gently placed the bark back and went into the house to… Read More What Lies Under A Piece of Bark
x4 images. Double click to enlarge. Back in February I noticed the frogs had did their thing and laid eggs in small clumps initially. Then as the days passed the pond was quite full of eggs! And there appeared to be no stopping them. I spotted around 3 frogs amidst the plant growth and frogspawn,… Read More The Frogs Are Back!
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.
I caught this one on my back decking peering in through my patio window before it decided to jump on top of the fence.
Around teatime today around a dozen Goldfinches flocked around my bird feeder, something I have never seen before, as I normally get 2 or 3 of them visit. This young one decided to have a look at my pond and came face-to-stony-face with this fellow. In the end it must have thought all was okay… Read More Not Sure About This Guy?
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
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
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.
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
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
Common Frog (Rana temporaria) – At 12 mm(1/2 in) long, I just about spotted this little froglet in the garden pond. How quickly it has grown. I spied its younger siblings still with their tails, feeding on algae beneath the water, but this one will now be carniverous as it ventures out onto land for… Read More Venturing Onto Land
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
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
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
Now … where did I put that cheese? Ah-ha … I have sniffed it and now I spy it! Yum-yum in my tum … … but I think I prefer the seed the feathered things drop from above …. squeak! Here I have tried to capture a few moments in the life of a House… Read More Something Cheesy
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
When the tide goes out to reveal shallow pools and masses of clumped seaweed it is time for the waders to come and feed. This Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) does an odd little dance to agitate the water to stir up small fish and invertebrates on which it feeds. Feel free to click the images… Read More When The Tide Goes Out
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
Another one from the pond found under a piece of bark. July 2019, rear garden, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.
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
Blackbird singing out the day from a lofty perch …
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.
Back in March I discovered clumps of frogspawn in my garden pond which was built 3 years ago in the spring of 2016. You can imagine my excitement as this was the first time I might have my first tadpole nursery! Before I knew it the tadpoles were appearing, and as they grew I noticed… Read More Underwater Grazing
Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) juvenille, Shanklin Beach, Isle of White, England, August 2018 © Pete Hillman.
I believe these are Shanny (Lipophrys pholis), also called Blenny. As the tide pulled out it left these crystal clear pools of water and in them they teemed with these young fish which moved nimbly through the shallow water. They are so well adapted to their environment you would hardly notice them until they moved.… Read More Spot The Little Fishy
… with the green waste recycling bin. Whenever I wheel my green waste bin I am now cautious. For the little frogs and toads take to hiding under a little recess beneath the bin during the day, and if I don’t tilt the bin forward I would most likely squish them, or drag them with… Read More Froggy Has A Close Call
This evening I heard a bang whilst watching some tv. It sounded like a bird had hit the patio window, and when I went to investigate I found this little fella lying sprawled on the decking. I feared the worst, but it had its head held up and looked dazed. I kept my distance for… Read More A Happy Ending
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
The other night I caught a couple of frogs in and around the garden pond. With temperatures in the high twenties amd touching thirty who can blame them? 🙂 Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer Common Frog Rana temporaria, , July 2018, rear garden pond, Staffordshire, England. ©… Read More Frogs Partying In The Night Pool
The crow black dropped his sack at my dusty feet As the sun beat down on the dying ground even the desert had to shy away A single hooded eye that told no lie pierced my very soul! And a cracked voice spoke a riddle to evoke from the haze of a distant dream “Catch… Read More Catching The Moon
It is as the title states but after the event. This fairly large toad was found in one of my garden watering cans, and I can only guess it hopped in there when the can was on its side at some stage. Thankfully it was released unharmed near my garden pond where it hopped away… Read More Toad In A Watering Can
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
Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis, June 2018, local field, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman. Sigma 18-300mm lens.
Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer I always hear these birds on my walks through the local fields or the woods, but rarely see them. On the two occasions I have seen them they have flapped out of nowhere before my eyes and have scared me half to… Read More Pleasant Pheasant
I had been watching this Song Thrush Turdus philomelos making its way along the bank of the river hunting and looking for worms and grubs for a while until it flew up into a tree with its beak quite full of dinner. May 2018, banks of the River Severn, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, England. © Pete Hillman… Read More The Bird’s Got The Worm
Canada Goose Branta canadensis chick, May 2018, local canal, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman. Sigma 18-300mm lens.