Thursday, 20 February 2014

Sherwood Forest!

Today I have been at Sherwood Pines with some family friends, including Sean O'Neill who is a photographer (look him up: )

We have been photographing birds and squirrels from their log cabin, which gave us an brilliant view of their bird table. 

We also went on a lovely walk were we heard loads of bird calls, especially the robins.
I took my photos with my Canon DLSR.
We saw a wide variety of birds including long-tailed tits, great tits, blackbirds, woodpeckers, pigeons, collared doves, chaffinches, nuthatches (which I haven't seen before) and loads more!
I also took my GoPro which was really good to use on the walk.

Sean showed me how to do some creative shots by changing the position of the camera whilst taking the shot. The photos which I took experimenting with this effect are near the bottom of this post.


After I uploaded the photos onto the computer, I used photoshop to experiment with filters, contrasts and colours. As you can see below, the effects I used really brings out the red tones of the woodpecker. 

Robin feeding on the bird table!

Male Chaffinch!

Female Chaffinch!


The weather was great, which really improved the quality of my photos.

Coal Tit!

I have never had a nuthatch visit my garden before, so it was great to be able to see one today!
When I got home I did a bit of research about it, as Im not as familiar with it as other garden birds.

"The nuthatch is a plump bird about the size of a great tit that resembles a small woodpecker."

"Where to see them

Best looked for in mature woods and established parkland in central and southern England and Wales, on the sides of tree trunks and underside of branches. "

Here are some of the experiments Sean showed me:

Sherwood Forest is full of wildlife!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Turtles & Dolphins in the Florida Keys!

On Marathon Key there is a place called the 'Turtle Hospital' where they rescue, rehab and (hopefully) release injured and diseased turtles! 

We went on a 2 hour tour of the hospital where we got to see new arrivals and permanent residents (which are too injured to be released into the wild again.) These turtles are normally hurt by boats, nets and pollution of the water. It was amazing to see how they helped them and prepared them for release.

I love this photo! 

Here is our tour guide:

This little turtle is only a few weeks old!

I love the way that these two turtles mirror each other, almost like a reflection.

A gasp for breath!
This particular turtle had a tumour weighing him down so he struggled to breath.

It looks like they are holding hands!

 A sneeze?

Later on in the day, we were on the beach in Marathon when suddenly a pod of bottle-nosed dolphins appeared! 

We were even lucky enough to watch them working as a team to catch fish. In the picture below you can see one of the dolphins creating a line of sand which he/she has created to direct the fish!

In the background you can see a big metal structure (which looks a little bit like the Eiffel Tower)
Thats where we went scuba-diving!

Here they are eating up all the fish! If you look closely enough you can see some of the fish jumping into the air.

We encountered some more dolphins later on in holiday which I managed to get some brilliant shots of!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

A quick garden update!

Despite the wind and a burst of rain, I managed to get my wireless bird box camera up and running in my wildlife area! 
All the wires are tucked away and waterproofed and the bird box is securely in place. I put a branch (seen below) in front of the bird box hole, so that the bird can perch. 

I also got this new frog/toad home set up directly next to my pond and bog area. Im quite sure this will be full of frogs soon, and maybe some insects too.

The photo below may seem boring, but if you look close enough there is something extraordinary. In the background, on the hedge (near my tree house) there is a sparrow hawk!
I have never seen one before, certainly not in my garden. The only camera I had on me at the time was the one on my phone, meaning i could't zoom. 

I got a few shots, ran upstairs to grab my Canon DLSR and managed to get back in time to take some more photos!...............the memory card was not there. By the time I got everything ready it was flying off into the nearby wood.

When I uploaded the pictures I zoomed in on Photoshop.


If you look closely you can see it perching on top of the hedge.

I tried to tempt it back by playing Sparrowhawk calls on a speaker, but I only heard replies.
I really hope it will return soon so I can get some proper shots!
However, I have now got a new bird to add to my patch bird count!