Autumn projects

Although there are still amphibians around, the reptiles in the area are long gone now so I need other things to keep me busy through the winter. Many of the birds I photograph also disappear during this period, but one of my favourites, the Tawny owl (Strix aluco) remains in its woodland territory throughout the year. In fact, they are easier to find at this time of year as they are very vocal in order to establish territories. Several pairs live behind my apartment in a densely wooded area and they can be heard quite often at the moment. With some patience wandering around the woods at night you can get good views of them. The Little owls (Athene noctua) are also present all throughout the winter, my area seems to be one of the best in the UK for them!

Tawny owl (Strix aluco) (C) Matt Wilson

Tawny owl (Strix aluco) (C) Matt Wilson

Tawny owl (Strix aluco) (C) Matt Wilson

Tawny owl (Strix aluco) (C) Matt Wilson

Little owl (C) Matt Wilson

Little owl (C) Matt Wilson

Little owl (Athene noctua) (C) Matt Wilson

Little owl (Athene noctua) (C) Matt Wilson

I also paid a visit to the high regions to photograph some Mountain hares (Lepus timidus), only finding 3 individuals which all fled at high speed. Fluffy rascals…

Mountain Hare (C) Matt Wilson

Mountain Hare (C) Matt Wilson

Mountain hare (C) Matt Wilson

Mountain hare (C) Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson

Trip plans 2016

As is usual for this time of year there is a bit of radio silence as my time is mostly dedicated to work and autumn very quickly becomes winter. Unlike last year I shall not be doing any winter trips this year but I am saving my energy for some exciting and rather different trips next year. Already I’ve booked some flights and made the following plans:

February: Spain (Catalonia and Aragón) for a different kind of field trip (wait to find out why…), this will surely include some nice amphibian observations along the way.

March/April: Costa Rica, after waiting several years for a return visit it’s time to head back to the central American wildlife paradise with a higher focus on reptiles this time after the great success of finding amphibians at the end of the wet season during my 2010 visit.

May: Slovakia, my first visit to my girlfriend’s homeland with some organised wildlife watching to supplement my usual amphibian and reptile-related wanderings in the Carpathian mountains.

Summer: haven’t decided yet…

By Matt Wilson