Tag Archives: feeding

Wasp Hunting Grilled Chicken

I was listening to an episode of The Infinite Monkey Cage that was discussing wasps versus bees.  As part of the conversation, one of the contributors mentioned that wasps like sweet things early in the season when they are feeding their young but, later in the year, they are only feeding themselves and they want protein (or the other way around if I have remembered incorrectly). I didn’t know anything about this before but then, shortly afterwards, we were sitting out on the deck after dinner and a wasp landed on a plate and then flew off with a chunk of chicken.  This chunk was almost as big as it was.

A week later, we were back out on the deck and, with dinner done, a wasp came back to check out the leftovers.  This time I was ready with my phone.  Sure enough, it landed on my plate, checked out a piece of corn and then homed in on some chicken.  A few bites later, it had extracted its meal and got airborne and away.  I had my video proof, so I was happy.  It came back for a second piece a little while later, so I guess it was storing food for later.

Otter Carnage

Friday evening after work, the sun was out and, with the time having changed, it wasn’t getting dark too early.  I decided to have a stroll down at Juanita Bay Park before going home.  Of course, the camera came with me.  Things were pretty quiet, and I was taking a few photos but decided it was time to head home.  As I turned to walk back, I saw a friend of mine, Lee, walking towards me.  I was about to greet him when he started running towards me and called out “otters”!

I turned around a pair of otters were swimming across the bay towards us.  They came towards the little island area and climbed out on to the shore.  It is a bit difficult to get a shot there, but I managed a few.  They moved along the shore and then back into the water.  They headed out to the middle of the bay.  Clearly, they were planning on hunting so we gave them a little time.  A short while later, one appeared on the surface with what looked like a fish.

Often, when the otters have a catch, they go to a buoy to eat it but, this time, they seemed to be heading back our way.  I was hoping that they would come up on the beach to eat.  Amazingly, that’s exactly what they did.  However, it wasn’t a fish that they had caught.  It was a duck of some sort.  One of them had caught it and it didn’t seem interested in sharing too much.  It proceeded to chomp down on its meal.

The sound of a otter’s teeth crunching the skull of a duck was hard to miss as it made it’s way through its meal.  The second otter was keen to share but the first one would the carcass up and turn around to try and avoid the interloper.  This was repeated several times.  In due course, it decided it was done and just left the remains.  I suspect some bits just aren’t that tasty.  While I did get stills, the eating process was far more interesting as video, so I shot more of that.  The feathers everywhere looked quite funny as they got stuck on the otter’s head while it ripped into the body.

Duck Arses

(British spelling for this title!). Really no deep insight from today’s post.  I was photographing the wildlife at Juanita Bay and a bunch of the ducks were busy feeding.  They would take it in turns as they dipped their heads underwater and stuck their tails up in the air.  Then, at one point, they all went under together.  Is it a good use of my time to be watching ducks sticking their arses in the air?

Ducks Fighting The Current

The River Itchen runs through the center of Winchester and, just downstream of the old mill building, the water is very shallow.  The river bed provides a good location for a lot of weed to grow and the ducks seemed to enjoy feeding on this weed.  However, it did require a fair amount of effort on their parts as the current was flowing fast in the shallow areas.  It was fun watching them either paddling furiously or bracing against the river bed while dipping their heads under water to feed.  The water would sometimes roll up across their backs while they fought to stay in place.  After watching this for a while, guess what I chose to have for dinner!

Slapped Around The Head But Still Swallowed

When watching the herons hunting in Juanita Bay, you never know exactly what they are going to catch.  Something like a stickleback will be a relatively easy thing for them to swallow once they have caught it.  On one occasion, though, a heron caught something a little longer.  I am not good with different fish so can’t tell you what it was but it had a long body and a tail with some power.  The heron had the front of the fish in its beak but the back end was still flailing around.  The heron was hoping to win the battle but the fish made sure to give it some healthy whacks around the head before it finally succumbed.

Killdeer Versus The Worm

While I was down at Juanita Bay one weekend, a killdeer was hanging out on a muddy flat near me. It was busy extracting worms from the mud to snack on.  The worms were not totally onboard with this plan and they were doing their best to stay in the mud.  Some times the killdeer won the struggle and sometimes the worm did!

Hummingbirds On Real Plants

I have taken a ton of photos of the hummingbirds that come to our feeders in the back yard.  However, a cooler shot is one that involves real plants rather than a metal feeder.  We have hanging baskets which have sometimes provided food for the little critters but the majority of the flowers in our baskets this year do not seem to have interested them.  Only one of the flowers seems to get some of them to feed and it is a narrow trumpet shaped flower that seems to thrive on the far side of the basket away from me and the light.

Of course, the sun does move so, with a little patience and forethought, it is possible to get in position and try to stay very still so as not to scare away the blighters.  I have had some backlit results but they aren’t very appealing photos.  They are better than nothing but getting on the right side of things is the goal and one I have finally managed to achieve.  If I could get better angles, that would improve things but there are a good start.  Now to spend more time waiting for them and try to avoid freaking out the neighbors in the meantime.

Robin Versus Worm

Robins are such a common bird, I guess they don’t get a lot of attention.  This one seemed to have found itself a meal with a substantial looking worm.  However, it seemed unsure what to do with it.  It kept picking the worm up and then dropping it again.  Do robins have to eat worms in small pieces or was it just playing with its food?  Anyone know the details of their feeding habits?

Wolf Feeding Time

Trying to see the wolves at a zoo is not always an easy task.  They tend to like to find a place to relax that is out of sight so, unless they are active, you might struggle to even see them.  We got lucky on our last visit to Woodland Park Zoo as we came past the wolf enclosure (the second time as it happened) just at the time they were being fed.

I’m not certain what they were being fed but it looked like rodents of some sort.  They would toss the food to the wolves and they would grab something and then head off somewhere away from the others to eat in peace.  That included one that came our way.  It was making quick work of its snack.  The sound of the food being bitten through was slightly unnerving but, thankfully, the pictures don’t convey that so you only have to look at the outline of whatever it was they were eating!

Hummers on Real Flowers

With the feeders in our backyard, I have been able to shoot plenty of photos and videos of the hummingbirds coming in to feed.  This has been a lot of fun but it has always lacked a little something because of the artificial nature of the environment.  Our recent acquisition of new hanging baskets for the backyard has changed this a bit.  They are plenty of tiny flowers in these baskets and these have appealed to some of the hummers.

Not all of them, though.  The majority still seem to prefer the sugar water in the feeders but some like to work their way around the flowers.  This requires a lot more flexibility from the hummingbird to get in to the flowers but they make it look so simple.  The flowers are only in sun for part of the day so some of the shots I have got have been in shade while others have been better lit.  What matters, though, is that a bird against a flower backdrop has a far more natural feel to it than when they are feeding from one of the artificial food suppliers.

I spent most of the time getting stills of them working around the flowers.  It all looks good when you are watching it but only certain angles make for good photos.  I did get some video too so a little edit of that is included below.