Thursday, January 07, 2016

Starling murmuration

A Starling murmuration on the Somerset levels yesterday, consisting of an estimated 750,000 birds. I really wanted to try to capture as much movement as possible in a single still image. The display was fairly shortlived, and the lack of a better vantage point and lack of a sunset meant I couldn't get the image I had in mind, but still a spectacular show.

Red Fox

A night time shot of a Red Fox in the Forest of Dean. I live in the Forest of Dean, and also keep a blog about the area at forestofdeanblog.com. Further links to my work can be found at www.benlocke.co.uk.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Atlantic Puffin

This puffin was photographed at the start of the breeding season, seen here in front of the dark cliffs of Skomer Island. The characteristic bright orange bill plates and other facial characteristics develop in the spring. At the close of the breeding season, these special coatings and appendages are shed in a partial moult. This makes the beak appear less broad, the tip less bright and the base darker grey. The eye ornaments are shed and the eyes appear round. At the same time, the feathers of the head and neck are replaced and the face becomes darker.

Bearded Tit

The bearded reedling was placed with the parrotbills in the family Paradoxornithidae, after they were removed from the true tits in the family Paridae. However, according to more recent research, it is actually a unique songbird - no other living species seems to be particularly closely related to it.