Winter again

After seeing my first Brimstone Butterfly of the year on Friday my local patch seems to have returned to winter this weekend.

I do wonder how all the butterflies, bees, other insects and plants which started to emerge in the last week will cope with this sudden freeze.


I spent a very cold but fun morning on Saturday in Brasenose woods near Oxford, filming a short sci-fi movie clip, filmed in the B-Movie genre. It’s about how the world might look if People’s Countryside TV are not successful in raising funds to give nature a voice.

Filming with People's Countryside TVFilming

Posted in Local patch, mammals, nature, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography, Woodland | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments


The loud, constant chattering means the Starlings have arrived.

Over the past few weeks they have been gathering in a neighbour trees, but this particular evening the chattering and twittering was louder, together with the whoosh of wings and sudden pit pat of bird droppings indicated that the Starlings were very near.

Grabbing my camera I crept out in to the garden to find a huge number of Starlings congregating on a nearby pylon.

It was fascinating to watch as they squabbled for a position on the wire, some hanging upside down, others walking across the backs of the other Starlings, pecking and bickering to find a spot.

Every so often a large group would arrive causing more mayhem, then a group would be pushed off, circle and try to land again.

This carried on for around 20 minutes before a neighbours dog barked and in one giant black shadow, they all left.






Posted in birds, Blogging, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Is Spring finally here?

What a change a week has made.

Last Sunday I was blogging about snow, while this weekend I was taking photos of hares, Spring flowers and ladybirds.

The woodland floor is changing rapidly, from the dull browns of the fallen leaves to yellows and greens of shoots, Primroses and Celandine.

Yesterday I saw my first ladybird, bumble bee and honey bee of the year.

Really pleased to see the hares again after their absence last year.


Posted in insects, nature, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Wildlife photography, Woodland | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Snow sculptures and footprints

Along the footpath between two open fields, the wind had swept the snow up against the brambles causing natural sculptures like waves breaking on the shore.

Rabbits determined not to let the snow disturb their daily life, climbed, slid down and fought their way to and from their burrows. Fresh tracks in and muddy tracks out showed the warmth and dryness of their chambers underneath the ground.

Larger mammals such as deers, badgers and foxes left their trails, giving a brief indication of their night time activities.

As I sit and write this, the snow is nearly all gone, the sun is shining and I’m glad for the animals that Spring could now finally be on its way.


Rabbit burrow in the snow

Snow drift

First blossom

Posted in Animals, Badgers, Blogging, mammals, nature, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sub Zero

With the ‘Beast from the East’ in full swing, and temperatures hitting well below 0, the garden is packed with birds looking for shelter and a easy meal.

Looking out over the garden I can see 5 robins forgetting to be territorial as they share the food we’ve put out for them.

It is important this time of year not only to put food out for the birds but to make sure there is fresh water available.

Many birds that I normally only see in the fields have been venturing into the garden such as Fieldfares, Pheasants, Thrushes and finches as well as birds like this female Reed Bunting.


Feeding time


It has been a constant battle not only to provide freshwater but to keep our pond from freezing. Many aquatic creatures can been seen moving just under the ice.


I have had the trail cameras out the last few nights but the badgers seem to be torpid, which means they will do the minimum amount of moving around, just using the latrines, small amount of scent marking and patrolling territory, while looking for food. Most of the time will be spent sleeping.

Badger sett

Posted in Badgers, birds, garden, Local patch, Oxfordshire, Ponds, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography, winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

If you go down to the woods today – February

If you go down to the woods today – February

If you go down to the wood today signs of Spring are everywhere even though the temperatures are still dipping below freezing.

Woodpeckers are drumming, the treetops are alive with singing birds, buds are appearing on the trees, primroses are beginning to flower and in the coming weeks frogspawn will cover the streams and ponds.


Tree creeper

Hare in Bluebell shoots


Mercurialis perennis, dog's mercury


Posted in birds, Blogging, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Wildlife photography, Woodland | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Thermal Imaging Camera

Over the weekend I had a chance to borrow a thermal imaging camera.

Thermal imaging works by using a special lens which focuses the infrared light emitted by all of the objects in view.
The focused light is scanned by infrared-detector elements. The detector elements then create a detailed temperature pattern called a thermogram.
The thermogram is translated into electric impulses. The impulses are sent to a signal-processing unit, which turn it into data for the display, where it appears as various colours depending on the intensity of the infrared emission. The combination of all the impulses from all of the elements creates the image.

It takes a while to get used to the temperature scale to get the best picture.

I took the thermal imaging camera out during the day. It is a lot harder to make things out at a distance, but I like the way you can take a photograph as well as the thermal image.

The most interesting image is of the oak tree covered in Ivy as you can see how much hotter the Ivy is than the tree trunk.


Here on my dog, the white parts are the warmest. The red areas such as his tail and the tips of his ears are slightly cooler.

Later that evening we watched two badgers on the edge of woodland, without the thermal imaging camera we could only hear them.

Two Thermal Badgers

You can just make out the small blue dot which is a Fox running across the field.

Fox in field

I presume this is two badgers but can’t say for sure.

Two Badgers

This glowing white blob is a Wood Mouse, which I spotted in the torchlight.

Wood Mouse

I think this one is a Rabbit.


This is what a Human looks like on a thermal imaging camera.


Posted in Badgers, mammals, nature, outdoors, science, Uncategorized, Woodland | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments