Sunday, 17 March 2019

A very wet few weeks and Wigg island

Sorry for not blogging I've been ill and lost some of the past 3 months of photographs thanks to a broken hard drive. Well, it been a long wet mixed bag month with a few new places visited and as the green shoots and leaves are beginning to appear. Locally birds are preparing their songs to defend their territories with nest building to begin in the next week or two. One Saturday we visited a few new places including Frodsham and Wigg island where we found the lost lagoon and the cool thing was that the Tufted ducks there seemed unbothered by us and came quite close to the small lakes the main bank which allowed for a few close shots of these normally shy birds.
 The views from the island are beautiful and plenty of greenery and the calls of waders on the sandbanks make it a wonderful place to relax even if they have just built a massive bridge over it.

I have discovered a few new interesting products I want to use this summer relating to renewable energy because I hope to film lots of clips from my adventures and encounters but being wild camping there's no way to recharge my cameras from a mains and the product below claims it can charge batteries using wind, water, and manual crank features. 

I am currently waiting for the inventor and supplier to send me a unit but so far after reading the reviews, I'm not sure if it will fit my needs or not. I'm off to Anglesey soon and I am streamlining my gear. I have spent a few hours practicing setting up my wild camping gear including my homemade hammock, which will feature heavily this summer as I will be watching and photographing from my hammock 
if I can find two trees in the area of Badgers, Otters and the sea.
 Me getting comfy in my sleeping bag in my hammock, I thought about hanging some feeders to watch the birds from my hammock bed.
 My favorite view especially when the sky is navy, the reeds are brown and the green grass is all lit up by the winter sun
 View of the estuary on our 20 miles walk from Warrington to Wigg island then to Northwich via the River Weaver
After I had a couple of warm days paddling the rain came out in force and  we had a few flash floods which
cleared any river blockages down river plus the sticks were pushed onto paths.
 The river actually dropped to very low levels and I got a couple of days to paddle board in the sun
I am really excited for the next few months as I'm back into my camera trapping and as I hope to do lots of wild camps by the rivers and lakes plus in woods so I'll be setting a camera on me and a camera on mammal paths nearby but Otters are my main mammal this year as I really enjoyed my time in and on the rivers last year.
A future blog photograph as I forgot to post about this little encounter over the Autumn in 2018
A very quiet month really between hibernating and prepping everything for the warmer months but I have had two interesting emails this week one from the one show about being part of a short film about Moles and me having a particular love for them but having only taken one lucky photograph of a Mole 10+years ago emerging from its hole so as I don't have any other experience with them I have kindly rejected the offer. The other email I received was from a wild camping/glamping site in Powys on the edge of Snowdonia called the Cledan valley, they have offered me a few nights stay in2019 so I can review there wildlife credentials and attractions to see if I can maybe offer a few nights as a prize for a competition through www.Gowildlifewatching.co.uk but that's still to be worked out as I am not sure I can get any more time off as I've just booked this years weeks on Anglesey.
Some very interesting and exciting offers at the beginning of this year and I cannot wait to see what's around the corner in the exciting world of being Wild and free.

Thank you for reading and make time for Nature 

Regards

Mike

Sunday, 10 February 2019

A cold night and some lovely wildlife on Anglesey

At last it was my first week off of the the year and as I am exploring Anglesey this year I have a number of places to visit. We visited Pentraeth and Red Wharf bay which was wonderful till we got out of the forest where dog walkers were aplenty but in the forest I felt at home and thought I could live in these woods for years. I saw no Red Squirrel or signs of Pinemartens but I will beback there in the Summer especially in the early hours as the first light breaks when most people and there dogs are asleep. I wanted to visit Newborough and Southstack but due to camping on a cold night on night before we were to due to visit our plans changed and our priority was to  get warm and sleep plus get breakfast then catch the bus back to our cottage for the check in time at midday. We ended up sleeping agaist a woodland rockface out of the wind and frost that was not mentioned in the weather report but we survived and walking from our camping spot back to bangor at 2.30am on a Sunday morning got our bodys back to normal temperature. I was hoping to see some nightime wildlife on the walk but we saw nothing just loads of Taxis back and forth.
Another place I wanted to visit was the Dingle which felt like fairy land mixed with an indiana Jones movie set with the wooden walk way over the rapid flowing water from the Cefni Reservoir.
I saw a pair of singing Dippers by the centre of Llangefni as I waited for my Bacon butty and chocolate cup cake to start the day off. One thing I love is when I am out back packing in new places is finding a new bakery and trying its tasty treats especially after camping out.
It began to rain heavily before we left and I managed a few photographs in the low light of the Tuftys
There were plenty of feeders dotted around
Brent Geese in Red Wharf bay
As our bags were packed knowing we were in the wild one night and the rest of the week in a cottage. I decided not to take my wild cooking gear. Luckily I setup my storage cache which is hidden in North Wales. I'll be leaving some extra items there for outdoor survival and cooking to keep my back pack weight down.
Spring is just around the courner and so is my next week off well not till April.

Thnaks for reading

Mike

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Whooper "Loki" gets ringed and a Gull with mileage arrives

Looks like we are on our way into 2019 so fast and this is my last year before I start doing my alternative life in 2020. This year I need to work hard and save money where I can and that's where my wild camping comes in as it allows me to have a break while enjoying nature but saving money from not renting a cottage. I still have a few bugs to work out like cooking but I have an area in North Wales where I can camp and use as a base to rest and store my heavier gear when off exploring the mountains and the coast. The area is out of the way but defended from the worst of the weather as I used the area many times in 2018 so its tried and tested, therefore, a perfect place. Back to local Wildlife for this post. This week a local Swan ringer came out to ring our local Whooper Swan and the information that was found by the ringer was it was a male and his second year so we could have a full adult Whooper Swan with a full yellow beak and a lovely full Whoop calls but he quite noisy already so we have called him Loki as he seems to be very mischievous as he knocks the Mutes away from the food so lets hope he stays a little bit longer.
Close up at last as the sun shined
Spreading his wings but will he leave to return to his Summer breeding grounds...
We had another visitor this week and after checking it's leg code it was found that this Gull was ringed in 2018 at breeding grounds as a youngster in the Netherlands on a small uninhabited Dutch island called Griend in the Wadden Sea. Wow only in my imagination could I think about the things this bird has seen who knows it could have encountered on its amazing first trip away from its home it may even have encountered Whales in its 333mile trip!!!
My brother gave me his photographs and the information he received from different contacts he has.

Regards

Mike

Saturday, 29 December 2018

A suprise Christmas arrival!!

Well, that's Christmas out of the way and I await the next month as I have a week off to spend on Anglesey wild camping and finding a few places to camp over the summer to be close to the wilderness. In this blog, I'll be sharing a few encounters I had before Christmas day. While at work on Christmas Eve I got a message from my brother saying a Whooper juvenile had shown up locally with the other mute swans. It's very unusually for the young to leave there parents as its very rare that they breed in the UK. They mainly breed in Iceland so this young one has probably flown non stop with its parents from Iceland to Scotland then move inland to feed on flooded fields. A few weeks ago towards Northwich, there was a pair and possibly this is when they were separated. Hopefully we will get to see this young one get its yellow beak before it journeys back to Iceland.
Close up of our new visitor who is still around 29/12/2018
A visit to Tatton park revealed lots of Otter spraint around the lakes which is great to find
 I only had to work Christmas Eve then no more work till New years eve so on one of the days I planned to do a coastal walk but ended having a late get up so I managed to do some winter paddleboarding as the sun popped out for a few hours. You could feel the difference in flow and the amount of energy I had to put into paddling as to get through some points on the river were tough but I made it safely to the woodland where I pack up and do a mile walk home with my gear on my back.
 I spotted a pair of Muscovy Ducks resting on an old tree in the middle of the river.
The fat pair stayed still as I paddled by so probably escapees
In the area a few days before I went paddle boarding my brother had this encounter 
"I spotted something strange in the water and it turned out to be a woodcock which was floating on the water and came close to the bank for me to pick it up afterward I kept it warm until it flew out of my hands"
Photgraph from my solo trip upto Slackingsloe and there was nobody around as the fog was thick
Thanks for reading and let's make 2019 even wilder than 2018 as I know I will be...

Mike

Sunday, 23 December 2018

FIRE at Chester Zoo a week after I visited!!!

To findout more about the Incident at Chester Zoo and how you can donate in the link below. The best thing you can do is visit them as its well worth the money even with the Monsoon Forest out of commision for a while.
My brother got some wonderful close ups of these loyal creatures and painted dogs were recently featured in BBCS Dynasty series which can be seen on BBC iplayer for a month or two.
To findout more about the Chester Zoo painted dogs click here
Below is a few photographs that I took on my visit Chrismas visit to the zoo.

 Feeding naturally is great to see
Well I just managed to finish this blog on Christmas Eve eve as I start these blogs and add to them when I get chance. with 2019 on its way and Im already thinking about next year. I plan to do more more wild camping around Anglesey and North Wales to hopefully photograph the rare Pine Martens in the area as well as sleep in some beautiful locations. My blogs in 2019 will feature more Wild camping content like where I camp, what I pack, preperation and more video clips but don't worry I will be continuing with more of the wildlife tales from my encounters and adventures.

Stay wild and protect Nature

Mike