Looking back at my blogs from 2021 it’s clear that I had some great wildlife experiences and managed to document many of them. The year started well with beautiful light on these Black-Headed Gulls at Newton Abbot Quay:
During the winter months millions of Black Headed Gulls head to the UK from Russia, Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. One Black-Headed Gull has returned from Norway to spend the winter months in South Devon every year for nine years:
I spotted it 1,380km from the last place it had been seen. Isn’t citizen science wonderful? Another bird to migrate huge distances here from cold climates, although in tiny numbers, is the Yellow-Browed Warbler. This tiny vagabond waif gave entertaining views as it hunted for insects in the trees:
It’s great to find beauty in a tiny rubbish-filled wood next to a security fence next to an abandoned railway. Why fly up to 6,000km from Siberia to South East Asia when you could fly just 3,000km to the UK? It’s no wonder their population’s expanding, if they’re more likely to make it back to Siberia to breed from Devon than they are from India, Taiwan or Malaysia.
Industrial farming and the wastefulness of people mean industrial estates often have more wildlife than the countryside. There is a growing population of Brown Rats in my local industrial estate:
Aren’t they clean and beautiful?
Spring means nesting season. I enjoyed finding two Long-Tailed Bushtit nests in 2021 but was disappointed to see both of them predated and abandoned. The Magpies had more luck:
In full breeding plumage was this Shag:
Also getting frisky were these Common Buzzards with their spectacular mating display just a mile from my house:
I was delighted to get a bit further from the house with a few trips to the foothills of Dartmoor with early visits to see the Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. They’re a secretive rarity, so it was a thrill to get such good views while not disturbing them chipping away at their nest:
Birds displaying some natural pair bonding and territorial behaviour are always more interesting than those just sitting. After all, the best photographs are verbs and not nouns. One of the highlights of 2021 for me was seeing Dippers displaying.
Here’s one of my favourite short films featuring Dippers singing on the River Lemon. I love them.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you enjoyed that one.
Here’s one of my favourite Dipper photographs of 2021:
That’s enough highlights for one day. More tomorrow!
Thanks for following me and all your kind comments and feedback in 2021. I’m looking forward to bringing you more wonderful wildlife in 2022.