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Wildlife Photo of the Week | Spring 2019

Wildlife Art Photographic Studies

A Beautiful Wildlife Photograph Every Week

Spring is the time to photograph wildlife at its most interesting. My photographs are studies for my paintings and I’ve selected the best images of the season for you. Scroll down to see osprey, long-tailed tits and hares boxing in the fields.

Click here for more snapshots taken throughout the seasons. 

Click here to see these photographs translates into paintings on my Wildlife Painting of the Week’ blog.

 


May 17th 2019

Heron

Wildlife photo of the week 

wildlife photo of the week heron

With their long, elegant necks and dagger-shaped beaks, herons are instantly recognisable. Normally solitary, these huge birds come together in spring time to form vast ‘heronrys’ in which they nest and raise their young. These huge colonies can number up to 200 nests and, because the birds use the same site year after year, some are ancient. Often sited at the tops of tall trees or on high cliffs, these communal nest sites can get quite rowdy. Visit a heronry now as for a chance to see the chicks as they begin to fledge.

Click here to read about my experience watching a heronry and see the paintings it inspired.


May 10th 2019

Hedgehog

Wildlife photo of the week

wildlife photo of the week hedgehog

Hedgehogs curl up into tight, prickly balls to protect themselves from predators. But far more threatening to their survival is environmental change. Loss of essential habitats like hedgerows; increased road traffic; and mild winters affecting their hibernation patterns, mean hedgehogs now face extinction.  This week is Hedgehog Awareness Week when gardeners are asked to help these prickly creatures by leaving wild areas for hedgehogs to shelter in and opening up small holes in their fences to help them roam safely.

Click here to read my story of rescuing hedgehogs and see the paintings I made of these orphans


May 4th 2019

Fox Cubs

Wildlife photo of the week 

wildlife photo of the week fox cub

Fox cubs begin to emerge from their underground dens now. Born blind, and unable to regulate their body temperature, fox cubs are entirely dependent on their mother for the first month of their lives. By late April they begin to explore the world around them. Like puppies, they are very playful and discarded sticks and other ‘toys’ scattered around a fox earth are a sign of cubs. But foxes are very secretive and if they are disturbed at all the adult vixen will move the cubs to a new location.

 


 

April 29th 2019

Pine Marten

Wildlife photo of the week 

 

wildlife photo of the week

Highly secretive and extremely rare, female pine martens give birth to two or three kits at this time of year. They rear them alone, with no support from the males, for the next seven months. I photographed this cheeky character whilst on a wildlife-watching trip to Scotland, but recently there have been rare glimpses of pine martens in North Yorkshire.

Click here to read about my pine marten sightings and see the painting they inspired.

 


April 20th 2019

Easter Duckling

Wildlife photo of the week

wildlife photo of the week

Mallard ducklings usually hatch in a nest some distance from the nearest water. As soon as they are dry and can use their legs, the mother duck leads them to water – the sooner they get there, the better their chances of survival. Sometimes their nest is up high, in a hole in a tree trunk for instance, and the ducklings have to jump out. Thankfully they are very light and covered in down so rarely come to harm.

 


 

April 13th 2019

Kingfisher

Wildlife photo of the week

best wildlife photograph of the week

Kingfishers are courting now. Listen for a high-pitched ‘peep’ along riverbanks and streams. If you hear it, look for a  flash of electric blue. These brightly coloured birds are fascinating to watch. Normally solitary birds, they have to overcome an instinct to avoid one another in order to mate. The male will fish for the female. If you are lucky you can watch as he offers her his catch. To tell the difference, look for a line of orange on the lower beak of the female, like a streak of lipstick. The kingfisher pictured is a male.

Click here to see unique colour footage from inside a kingfisher nest.


March 30th 2019

Great Crested Grebe

Wildlife photo of the week 

 

wildlife photo of the week grebe

The great crested grebe was almost driven to extinction in Britain due to the 19th century fashion for hats, capes and muffs lined with its fine head plumes. A drive to protect numbers, which dropped to just 30 pairs, was the trigger for the birth of the modern conservation movement.

Click here to read about the grebes fascinating courtship dance and see my paintings of these beautiful birds

 


March 23rd 2019

Osprey

Wildlife photo of the week 

 

osprey wildlife photo of the week

Look out for osprey as they head back from their winter break along west coast of Africa now. They often stop at lakes and ponds to dive for fish. These birds have short spines under their talons to help them keep hold of their slippery catch as they carry them out of the water, head first like a torpedo.

 


March 16th 2019

Long Tailed Tit

Wildlife photo of the week

 

wildlife photo of the week long tailed tit

With fluffy, soft pink feathers, and little round bodies, long-tailed tits look like balls of candy floss on sticks. Their nests are woven from moss, lichen and feathers, stuck together with cobwebs, and can take up to three weeks to build. When finished they house an average of eight chicks and are capable of expanding as the lively brood grows.

Click here to find out what I do to help these beautiful birds as they build these fabulous nests.


 

March 9th 2019

Nuthatch

Wildlife photo of the week

wildlife photo of the week nuthatch

This beautiful slate-blue bird gets its name for is fondness for nuts, which it holds in its claws to carefully chisel open. The ‘hatch’ comes from the old French word ‘hache’ meaning axe or hatchet. But actually you are more likely to see on scurrying up tree trunks in search of insects to winkles from crevices with its stout, sharp bill.

 


March 2nd 2019

Boxing Hares

Wildlife photo of the week 

 

wildlife photo of the week: hares

 

Female hares, or does, will box potential suitors to test their strength: the stronger the buck the better mate he is. Boxing hares are usually associated with spring, when its easy to spot courting hares racing each other and boxing like ‘Mad March Hares’. But actually hares do this all year round.

Click here to read about the time I watched hares boxing during a bitterly cold blizzard. 

 


Read More

 

Enjoy these wildlife photographs? Take a look back at 2018’s Wildlife Photo of the Week: Spring, Wildlife Photo of the Week: Summer and  Wildlife Photo of the Week: Winter


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2 comments on Wildlife Photo of the Week | Spring 2019

  1. Beautiful photo Robert and good to see you on TV last night – your ‘ermine’ Stoat is stunning. How do you fancy swapping houses!!!

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