Tag Archives: wildlife

Birds of All Varieties So Let’s Combine Them

I have put together posts for various animals that we saw during our trip to Kenya and Tanzania.  We also saw lots of birds.  Most of them I had no idea what they were, but our guides did a great job of telling us what we were seeing.  Whether I can remember them all now, is a different story.  Fortunately, I think I keyworded them shortly after we returned so I do have a chance.  Rather than talk about the various different bird, here is a compilation of images of some of the ones we saw during our time away.

Otter Foraging

I have been meaning to post some more otter shots for ages, but various things came first, and I have postponed this one a number of times – when I say postponed, I mean postpone even writing something as opposed to postponing the actual posting.  This otter was busily moving around Juanita Bay as it searched for its next meal.  I initially saw it coming across the water towards me.  It swam around the inlet before heading to land so I could see it closer up in the water.

It then went back around the headland, and I thought it might be continuing off into the main bay, but it turned around and came out of the water onto the land near us.  A quick shake to dry off and then a bit more of searching the ground for any hint of a snack.  It didn’t last long.  Soon it was back in the water and out towards the open water hunting for something tasty.  I hope it found something good.

Jackdaws Searching for Snacks

We stopped for a small snack at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park after our walk.  We were heading to lunch later, but you don’t want your energy to drop so a cake of some sort is a necessity.  The tables around the café provided plenty of food for the local jackdaw population and they were very keen to get whatever fell from the plates of the customers.  With the sun on them, they looked really cool.  I didn’t know what they were at the time, but the grey heads were quite distinctive, and I did a search later on t identify them.  Funny to learn these things so long after I had lived in the UK.

Deer in the Royal Park

Richmond Park is famous for its deer.  You don’t have to go far in the park to come across some.  They seem pretty relaxed despite the presence of so many people nearby but I imagine it is a long time since anyone in the park was hunting them, so they don’t see us as a threat anymore.  As we went for a stroll, we came across a few groups of deer busy munching away.  Occasionally, they would look at us as we got closer but their lack of interest most of the time was obvious!

Caterpillars on the Branches

I was walking along the street in Nanaimo and noticed a bush with branches that had what looked like spider webs on them.  I stopped to take a look and realized that it wasn’t spiders, it was caterpillars.  (I should note at this point, that there are people who read this blog that will already be turning off because they do not enjoy my posts that involve bugs!)  I don’t know much about caterpillars, but I am assuming that this was a nest of some sort for the next generation of caterpillars.  However, there were plenty of them on the outside crawling around.  It was quite a strange looking sight.  I couldn’t resist getting some shots of them before heading on.

River Test at a High Level

The River Test really should be considered multiple rivers because it splits and rejoins as it moves across the Hampshire countryside.  You can cross all sorts of minor streams, but you do also get some larger crossings where the river is well defined.  One of these is the road to Longstock.  There is a weir across the river just upstream of the bridge and it seemed to be flowing pretty well when we were there.  We had experienced lovely weather, but I guess quite a bit of rain had preceded our arrival.  There was a single swan on the river, and it seemed to be making some effort to move upstream.

Another Robin Comes Out to Play

We had the robins visiting the garden when we stayed in Stockbridge, but they were rather reticent about being around when we were there.  They tended to disappear whenever they realized we were watching them.  During our visit to Hinton Ampner, we came across a rather more bold member of the family.  This one was sitting in a hedge right next to us when I realized it was there.  I got a shot before it moved but it only repositioned to a perch close to us.  A brave little fella and very cute.

Family of Blackbirds Out for a Meal

A family of blackbirds was a regular sight in the front garden of the place we rented in Stockbridge.  They were happily finding whatever they could eat in the grass.  There appeared to be two parents with some youngsters in tow.  The chicks were now pretty fully grown and seemed to have their feathers, but they were less interested in finding food than they were in having their parents do the work.  I will let those of you with children make your own comments.  The chicks actually looked a little larger than their parents, so they are probably eating well.

A Shield Bug – Looks Like a Stinkbug

I was out in the garden of our place in Stockbridge and was surprised by how many ladybirds and flies I saw on the leaves.  Then I saw something a bit different.  I reminded me of the stink bugs we see in Washington.  According to Ian, who was in the yard shortly afterwards, it is a shield bug.  In all my years in the UK, I had never heard of or seen one of these.  Now I have.

Cormorants Aplenty on a Ferry Trip

Time for another cormorant related post today.  When taking the ferries on the various routes around Puget Sound, the infrastructure at the terminals is often popular with the cormorants.  This can mean that you can get quite close to them while on the ferry without them getting spooked.  They are also coming and going with some frequency so takeoffs and landings are common, and they will often fly quite close to the ferry.

On this trip, the angle of the light to the terminal was in my favor and I was able to get a few close-up views of the birds.  There was still some ironwork in the way of a totally clean shot, but not enough to ruin the images.  They also obliged by flying around at convenient times when I was ready to get an image and I got some of the better shots that I have taken of cormorants in recent years.