Wednesday, 1 July 2015


I would've posted this yesterday but thanks to one or more of my greyhounds that  chewed up my CF card reader which meant downloading via a USB cable direct from the camera, 375 images in 3 hours, jeez. I wouldn't have minded but I knew a high percentage would be deleted. Oh well.
It was an exciting start to the day at the Sandmartins colony and some questions answered. As I arrived I could see most of the flock circling and calling in front of one of the holes. I couldn't figure what was going on, no predators that I could see, I placed my bike down and started to get my camera out. Suddenly out of one of the holes a Stoat ran out and in a flash scaled the sheer vertical face of the sandbank as if it was flat, it tried taking two Sandmartins but dropped one...
Out of all the nesting holes I'd thought this particular hole was one of the safest from the clever Stoat, gutted by equally impressed with the Stoats agility, I think the Sandmartins are well used to the threats which was equally demonstrated once I had placed the dead Sandmartin away from the colony. A Sparrowhawk came flying through after the Sandmartins it was aiming for the nesting holes wings swept back before it clocked me and pulled up, circled and flew away. First sighting of the bird in ages so was quite happy just to see it

Sandmartin image wise it was a struggle there was some juveniles taking their first flights somewhat nervously flitting around close to their nests. Juvenile Sandmartin
The rest are adults in order of favourite to least favourite

 More work required for "backgrounds" I think.

It was getting hot so I took myself and the bike up to the Doug's Cave to cool down
Managed to get a strongly side lit Green Woodpecker flying onto the telegraph pole. It was being chased about by a Buzzard.
The Little Owl was in it's oak, every time the Buzzard flew past the tree it would alarm call.


  1. Douglas, perhaps you should try giving those hounds a bit more food?

    Shame about the Stoat taking the Martins.. I guess it'll be back to systematically raid all the other nests too, still, that's all part of nature, I suppose?
    Another selection of excellent flight shots, especially the last one of the Buzzard.
    Is that a new steed you've got there, very nice....and I bet you lined those wheels up specially for the photo, just like a real photographer?!...[;o)

    1. More food! The spoilt buggers had special "doggy" ice cream today, it is a shame but it left one alive juvenile in the hole and the other holes they've seemed to have fledged. The new steed is pretty good to be honest and unlike the old one when I stop pedalling it free rolls for ages, I honestly didn't notice the wheels aligned lol

  2. Great stuff Doug, I know I repeat myself but your images and narratives are so very complimentary, keep it up !.

    1. Thanks John for the kind and supportive words.

  3. Wonderful flight shots Phil. Pity about the Stoat stealing the Martins but as Tevor say, that is nature. That is am excellent Buzzard shot.

    1. Cheers Margaret, it is nature's way. The quarry is such a huge variety of habitats it's always going to have moments of confrontation.