My wildlife encounters part Deux.
Outstanding!, cheers for those pics. Stoats are great, they’re the “jack russell” of the carnivore world – earlier this year i chanced upon one hanging from the neck of a hare as it ran amok round a field, it just would not let go despite getting smacked off the ground with every bound.Posted 4 years agosharkiMember
I’ve been trying to think of something post about, something consistent with my previous wildlife encounter posts. This has sadly drawn a blank, not because i’ve had nothing to say, more that i’ve had no thoughts on what and how to say it..
Well just before dark tonight, an experience i’ve yet to have, well happened. An encounter with a mammal i’ve not even seen, let alone been so close too.
I’m fortunate to have a reservoir right next to my abode and as i walked by it, i spotted a sleek dark critter, resting near to the water. I grabbed my camera and proceeded to approach it, blindside, using cover and wind to aid me. Once close enough, i then had to get into a position to get a clear photo of it. Butt wiggling across a metal gangway it came onto sight, but long dead grass, cluttered the shot, i burst off a few shots, just to get something. The clicking of the camera and my ass dragging alerted the animal, Luckily it stayed put, so i shimmied further and grabbed some more.
It then entered the water and swam from sight, so i stood up and walked a little closer to the water. It suddenly reappeared and climbed up on the inlet wall, a safety railing gave me something to rest on and for a moment, we played peek-a-boo, either side of the railing. It then walked towards me and at 1.9m, it stopped and looked at me, but from behind grass. With a plop it entered the water, then returned to a clump of grass, where peek-a-boo resumed for a minute. It then went off to chase a little grebe and coots, my little encounter over. 8 mins of Wow with a Mink. Shame bout the low light which made getting a non grainy keeper difficult, but shouldn’t grumble…
Ok, so that was special, but just 3 days ago i saw another Mustelid and once again, i grabbed the camera and made my move to get a photo or two.
Now, i’m not sure of why, but the Stoat i’d found, also took an interest in me. By the time it reached the fence, it was a little too close for the lense and when it came to me, placed a foot on mine and looked up at me before bounding playfully off. I was even more privileged.
Easier to get close to are insects, but not so much dragonflies, like this common darter.
As for meadow grasshoppers, once they stopped hopping, they can be moved to aid the image.
Of course, some prefer a more natural shot, so lets place it on some vegetation.
This was all just this month, last month i didn’t get out with the camera much, when i did it was macro time.
A Harlequin lady bird emerging from it’s pupa was a great find and seeem’s remarkable that something comes from something totally different.
What is predicable is me trying to capture the very best of butterflies, like this Common blue.
And a first for me, Brown hairstreak.
Moths seemed to fill my evenings during July and this Burnished brass was one of several visual highlights.
As did Buff Arches.
Now here’s something many of you will have met and here’s me taking one, or two for the team. Just to show you those eyes. The amazing horse flies.
And one commonly known as a Clegg.
And finally Junes highlights were the successful fledging of a family of birds i’m very fond of. The dippers.
Here’s a parents.
And one of 3 fledged young.
OK, some of you don’t care to much for wildlife, so here’s some pics of some Ass!
Enjoy!Posted 4 years agomartinxyzMember
Great shots, thanks for sharing! The mink pictures left me curious over a ‘stoat’ sighting near the switchbacks east of Dores,Loch Ness a few years back. I stopped near the top and looked back down the track and I remember describing it as choc brown with wee rounded ears and a white throat. I always though it was a pine martin or a stoat but never looked any further.
I’ve also got a few poor quality pics of an otter at Lossiemouth harbour. Having seen your mink, I’ve just done a search and found that a mink had been seen around the east beach. Quite rare to see these creatures but not as rare for me as slow worms and adders. I’ve only seen one adder and skins of slowworm.Posted 4 years agosharkiMember
Huws, enjoy playing with the camera, i’m to snap happy to play with a film SLR, the ratio of pics i take, to ones i’m happy to share is sometimes huge.
Somafunk, what a sight that must of been. I’ve yet to see a working Stoat, and for one to take on a Hare goes to show just how formidable the are, size for size.
Martinxyz, Stoats are generally more chestnut, fading to a lighter in colour in winter. In the north in colder climates, they can go white (ermine). The white on the head of the one i saw my suggest we’ve got very long cold winter coming to us her in the South west.
The mink has only a little white patch on it’s upper lip, and on the American form, this may not be present. A Stoat will have a white throat and underside.
Therefore it’s most likely you saw a Pine marten(the only UK mustelid, i’ve yet to see)
Pine martens are larger than both mink and has notably larger round ears than other mustelid.
The other possibility is you saw a Polecat, but there was only a single unverified sighting in your area,during the 2004-06 survey. which was nearer to Granton on spey. The nearest verified sighting was near Golspie.
SharkiPosted 4 years agoCountZeroMember
Great photos! No fan of mink, for fairly obvious reasons, but the stoat photos are stunning, they’re one of my favourite animals. I saw one loping along the cycle path out of Chippenham once, coming towards me, so I stopped and watched it. It finally came right up to me, and stopped by my foot, looking right up at me! I took a photo, but I only had a cheap plastic panoramic camera at the time, and the sound of the shutter made it scurry off. Lovely little creatures.Posted 4 years agoBunnyhopSubscriber
wonderful as usual sharki.
i love the stoat photos.
was very lucky one summer to be mtbing around whaley Bridge and while riding ahead of the boys who were fixing a puncture, i spied a pair of stoats. i quicky dismounted and put the bike quietly down onto the trail. to my utter delight 4 babies came bounding down from the dry stone wall right next to me. was so excited i was holding my breath. amazingly they started to play around my bike, weaving in and out of the frame, dancing about, their agility is amazing, then 4 minutes later they shot off to find the parents.
mmm mink, really not a fan, they are becoming a huge nuisance on our local river, killing all sorts of bird and wildlife. i witnessed one chasing a young grey wagtail in the shallow bit of our local river not too long ago.Posted 4 years agoqwertyMember
As always great pics & a story to go with them.
We found either a tobacco hornworm catterpillar or tomatoe hornworm catterpillar in a chickens mouth the other day, managed to rescue it intact and set it free, god it was a big bug!!! Did’t take a pic (doh) so unable to id it properly.
Garage all done now and i’ve moved in, being very anal about tidyness at present, but i’m sure that’ll wear off (unlike my want for a small log burner for it).
MPosted 4 years agonachoMember
Thanks for posting them sharki, brilliant photo’s as always and with a little knowledge shared as well.Posted 4 years ago
I bought my kids (6 & 4) the collins guidebook to garden wildlife earlier this summer and it has brought us loads of enterntainment and well as learning them (and me) a little about our local wildlife. They have seen and identified an adder (at their grandads place on Dartmoor when we went to collect a canoe)a slow worms, a hedgehog and various moths, butterflies, caterpillars, beetles etc.nachoMember
Squidlord, the best I have seen (and been recommended to me) are the Collins guides – as above I have the garden wildlife one search “collins british wildlife guide” on Amazon and you can see the complete range. I want to get the British set for my kids for next year (unless anyone recommends better here)Posted 4 years agoernie_lynchMember
I miss sharki’s threads and his appreciative attitude of the natural world around him. Specially this time of year when nature comes alive and so much is happening.
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geologist – Member
Excellent , my fav stw poster
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Whatever the cause of the long silence I hope sharki is ok.Posted 4 years ago
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