Sunday, January 8, 2012

Stoatally Amazing

Last June I was lucky enough to visit Conway RSPB in Wales when a family of Stoats was busy playing, fighting and hunting on the rocks by the river. It was an incredible experience to be able to watch two adults and four youngsters at close quarters almost oblivious of their human observers. Indeed, at one point one of the adults ran between the legs of my tripod! Even so they were not easy to photograph, they moved with lightening speed and could disappear in the rocks only to reappear tens of metres away. The young were continually play-fighting and I managed to get a shot of one of them attempting to bite the neck of its sibling; skills they will need to catch their own prey in the future. Like all young they also managed to get into a few scrapes - see the photo of the mud-covered stoat.
But what a privilege to watch and enjoy these fantastic animals. I returned a week later and didn't see a single Stoat, but did manage to photograph a beautiful Bee Orchid.

Training News - ran 12 miles at 7 min/mile pace yesterday, was still very windy on the prom, but did manage to see a first-winter Kittiwake close inshore at Wallasey.

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