My most recent wildlife encounters.

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  • My most recent wildlife encounters.
  • SkillWill

    The badger is happy now, right?!

    Awesome again Sharki.


    loving the toad pic sharki.
    I’ve got a frog living in the vault infront of my house.
    It’s about half the size of my hand and looks almost black (probably mud/ dirt) – I can’t imagine it’s happy in there but it’s surviving and I don’t want to move it if I don’t have to.

    the spring has also brought the pigeons roosting above my garden, can’t wait for my raspberries to come out and the purple shit on the decking that follows…

    Premier Icon mintimperial

    Cor. Smashing stuff.


    That head on bee pic is amazing, nice work all round.


    Lovely stuff Sharki..

    That little Pike’s hardly even a Jack is he..?
    I’d call him a Pikelet..
    I remember seeing one about the size of my thumb sitting motionless in the shallows by the Turf Locks pub at the end of the Exeter canal, a Pike in miniature..

    I was treated to the site of a Hare today that came lolloping out of the woods not 15 yards from where I was stood quietly next to my bike.. He didn’t even change pace as he went past me along the trail a bit, before turning back on himself and back towards me to follow a different fork in the path..

    I felt very honoured


    Great stuff. Pipistrelle bats now back to feeding in the beam of my exposure lights.


    Absolutely great stuff.

    I had a quality ride last Saturday, but it was really enhanced by spotting a Great Spotted Woodpecker going about his business, a few jays and a really big buzzard. Not exotic species by any means, but lovely to see nevertheless.

    Other highlights over the years have been:

    Wild ponies in the howgills
    Merlin (I think) on rushup edge
    Green woodpeckers
    Tawny owl just sitting on a branch a few metres away
    Fly agarics

    And plenty more. What a great hobby mountain biking is!


    Fantastic! Thanks for sharing.


    Just thought of some more!



    Hands down the best stuff on here.

    Premier Icon wallop
    Premier Icon roger_mellie

    Super pics. That toad looks very content with his/ her lot 🙂

    Premier Icon StefMcDef

    I had a close encounter with a barn owl tonight – it emerged from a hedge and flew along in front of me for what seemed like about 100 yards as I was out for a quick hour on my road bike. Surprised how big it was. Its back a lovely coppery-gold colour in the fading light.

    No exquisite photographs though, you’ll just have to take my word for it. It looked a bit like this: 😯


    It’s once again that time to waffle on and seek attention in the form of showing ya’ll a few pics and me mumbling on about what i see whilst i busily idle away through life.

    This is all from Aprils observations.

    A lone Badger forages desperately in the middle of a field, oblivious to the fact that i’m walking up to it to watch, video and takes pics.
    At one point, he even walks to within a few feet of me.
    Head on and hungry.
    His likely to have been pushed out of a territory and is struggling on his own to survive.

    This field has been flooded for months, all the worms and beetles have long gone, but still, he must try..

    Unusually pale, a signal of his poor health.

    First came the Sand Martins, then the Swallows and the House Martins, Tricky to Photograph in flight.

    Toads, hundreds of then having travelled far and over many roads, find their way to the place of birth and to Spawn.
    Many females will have had to carry a male, even two for a day or so.
    But finally, she can spawn, and he’s there on hand to fertilise the eggs as they leave her body.

    And when i stuck a waterproof camera on a stick, i gained a whole new view of life in the stream by where i now stay.
    Check out all these vids below.

    toads spawning

    And there’s more than just Toads there…


    Also getting ready to spawn are these, and what great little fish they are. I’ve personally never seen them properly before, so this was a real treat.

    Also a less common fish of streams, more found in rivers and larger bodies of water. These come to shallower places to spawn amongst tree roots.

    Eels spawn in the sea, then their offspring swim to rivers and streams as elvers to grow and mature, they then return to the sea and the cycle continues.

    Freshwater eel

    Baby predator.
    jack pike

    I also filmed a bullhead, but it’s rubbisher than that lot ^^

    As the flowers come, so do the pollenators, like this Ash mining bee.

    Or a head on look of another bee.

    Also lizards come out to enjoy the warmth. Here’s a slow worm and check out it’s eyelid. Snakes don’t have them, so if a slow worm doesn’t blink, be warned…

    Dippers. I’m so lucky, that a pair of these have decided to nest here, in a tunnel by the water wheel. This makes me happy.

    And today after doing my butterfly survey, where my species total goes up to 9, I got up close to an Adder.

    I started off from a distance to this stunning mature male and used the telephoto lens to get in close.

    But not close enough, so after it moved for me, i put on the 100mm macro and from about 400mm away snapped a few more pics. Shame about the grass blades. This is lightly cropped.

    And finally a close up on the Adders armour.

    Happy springtime peeps.

    Enjoy it, the long light days, the sounds and the smells and the warmth on the skin..


    Premier Icon Drac

    Great stuff but that poor Badger looks very sick.


    i saw scraps between a buzzard and crow on 3 consecutive days last week. Friday on the way back from antur stiniog, Saturday driving down the m6 near Warrington and Sunday near delamere. Couple of jays out the back of the house earlier today, but the woodpecker seems to have moved on after a few weeks tapping away.
    Great pics btw.

    Premier Icon phinbob

    I’ve seen two rattlesnakes so far this season, I didn’t see any last year until about July. Apparently this year there is a bumper crop.


    Yess nice one Sharki!


    Cheer peeps, glad you enjoyed.

    Yunki. Turf locks Mmmm! I’ve seen a Brown hare in the field out the back of here but could get anything like within range for a foto. You’ve had a great experience with one, i used to years ago when they were plentiful, then i shot most of them. 🙁

    I guess i should of titled this. ‘Some of my wild life….’ as the list is a boring long monster.

    The young Brock will have it’s work cut out to survive the gauntlet of survival, farmers and roads are just extra challenges for it.

    On the subject of owls. There’s a barn owl and tawny’s near here and a hours ride away, i got to see short eared owls as well as a gorgeous pair of little owls that have taken up residency near a footpath and reward keen eyes of them out during the day.

    Pinbob. Adders breed alternate years, so i wonder i Rattle snakes do to and you’ve getting them all on the same year..At least they warn you if you get near. Stay safe.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer

    Nice snake pics 🙂

    Not seen much in the way of spring wildlife yet. Only thing of note were some Black Woodpeckers. No Cuckoos yet (or weren’t 2 weekends ago when I was in that area), and Swifts should be imminent. No slow-worms either (they have a habit of basking on the bike/foot paths).

    Premier Icon teadrinker

    Great thread 😀

    Premier Icon molgrips

    oblivious to the fact that i’m walking up to it to watch, video and takes pics.

    Yep – very blind they are, so if you are upwind and quiet you can walk right up.

    Tom B

    I love these threads!!

    Premier Icon senor j

    Poor badger.
    brilliant pics , thanks.

    I once urinated on a basking adder. 😯

    Premier Icon DezB

    Great stuff. Thanks 🙂


    Wow!! Excellent update. Love the close up of the adders and the underwater video…

    In the last few months I have seen several badgers, barn owls, a fox, hedgehogs (none of them took the offer of the hogitat we put in the garden), red kites, oooh and we saw and adder at Fineshade woods while picking blackberries in October last yr.

    We have a very curious robin that comes into the garden & is getting fairly used to us.

    I would love to see a Kingfisher.
    I have only ever seen one in the ‘wild’ – which was completely unexpected as it was on the tiny River Pinn that goes through the campus at Brunel Uni in Uxbridge! Walking along the path past the sports hall towards the bus stop & it flew down the river, past me…..!


    Nice adder photos, I spent some time on Sunday watching lizards shed their skin


    I’ve just remembered another one.

    Just before a ride in Horton in Ribblesdale I nipped for a quick slash down by a river and saw a kingfisher not 10m away. The only time I’ve ever seen one and I was a bit of a twitcher when I was younger.

    Shame I was in the process of having a waz the only time I’ve ever seen one, but mustn’t grumble!


    that badger you sure it’s not tb?


    Great pics.

    I’m loving my favourite walk at the moment which has recently served up barn owls, kingfisher, green and greater spotted woodpackers, deer, cormorant, great crested grebe, nesting kestrals and most spectacularly

    an actual real life Otter…

    I was giddy like a kid at Christmas…

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop

    Fantastic update as usual sharki.

    Got some tip offs from a local bird watching chap that there are a pair of little owls on my local rides. So lucky to get to see one in broad daylight sitting on a wall fairly close a fortnight ago.

    Local farmer has made some drainage channels on his land and a nice area of wetland has appeared. So far seen quite a few lapwings on nests and a snipe in the field.

    That badger really doesn’t look like he’ll survive much longer, I’ve never seen one in that state.

    Tens of toads on our night ride last week along the canal tow path, had to keep eyes to the ground watching out, as it would be so easy to sqwish one.

    Edit helios – so jealous of your otter, it is an animal that I would dearly love to see in the wild. Even though I’ve been trying to spot one (in all the right places) it’s not happened.


    Chapeau Sharki great photos.

    Saw two Buzzards mating a week ago and yesterday saw ducks mating on the river, not a lot of affection or romance involved in that act, I thought the Drakes were going to drown her.


    Sharki – great photos thanks for sharing. Where did you take them?

    I loved the pike video by took me quite a while to see the toad – the wonders of camoflauge!!

    Quite a few lines in the sand on the commons near me, suggesting the snakes are more active. a bit worrying when walking the dogs as they like to bound in the heather!

    Premier Icon DaRC_L

    Good work Sharki love the pics.
    There’s been a pair of swallows in the same place twice this week on my ride home. I’m just waiting for the Swifts to arrive then I know its summer.


    The one thing I’ve got round here that I am keen to photograph is a stoat. I’ve seen running through the orchard and amongst the wood piles, bit yet to work out its habits to work with.

    I don’t think the Badger is showing symptoms of having TB, from all the various experts I’ve spoken too, they all suggest its from malnutrition.

    The next month is vital to see if last year was damaging to the small colony of Duke of Burgundy butterflies that are on the site i survey.
    The species is in rapid decline as they tend to form colonies of only a dozen. They appear from late April, peak in the two middle weeks in May and die off by the first week in june(in the north they appear generally and peak two weeks later). Food plants here seem to be delayed, hopefully the duke will be delayed also as its vital for them.

    The images and videos were taken east of the Quantocks, the adder was seen and photographed at the butterfly conservation site south of Taunton in the Blackdown hills.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    I used to see a stoat on my commute in Germany – at least in early spring when it was still bright white. Never had my camera out in time though.


    Brilliant stuff thanks Sharki, some great photography there. I see deer, badgers, buzzards, owls, deer etc down here in Devon regularly but never get photo’s. Can I ask do you work in photography and / or wildlife as you also seem knowledgeable.
    I did have a kingfisher fly into our window last year, I looked after him for a few hours and then he flew off right as rain, was incredible to see how frail and beautiful they are!


    Love the Swallow pic 🙂

    My encounter today was a female Roe Deer that it thought was invisible 😉

    P1100491 by SGMTB, on Flickr


    Lovely photos, especially the toad! We saw loads of toads on our MTB ride last night, mostly “double toads” in the middle of the road!

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