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

Monday, 10 December 2018

Trips to Anglesey not one but 2!!!

A few days ago I turned 34 and I feel more happy and confident about what I love and I still enjoy the Nature of wildlife photography but Wild camping has really got into my heart so in 2019 Anglesey will be my area of exploring plus I still have not been able to photograph a Red squirrel.
Heres one I saw but its not the best quality
 To feel the warm wet grass under my feet in the middle of November was glorious
 After visiting porth wen and Bull bay we decided to check out Point Lynas and as we had a cottage to check into later that day our best bet was to head back to the get our gear dry and ourselves showered then head there the next day.
Point lynas was a few miles walk from Almwch and having a new walking app (Footpath) on my Ipad which is one of the best I've used and seems to use less data and power to run.
The reason I was excited about visiting the view point was for the sightings of Rissos Dolphins and a species I have not seen. On the day we visited it was sunny and calm unfortionately there were none showing but we saw plenty of Gannets and Porpoises in good numbers.
 Gannet or Porpoise?
2 Porpoises but there were more around
 A lone Gannet heads inland
 The area past Point Lynas yet to be explored by myself
The light drops as we head back home
Each time I go wild camping I try to get my kit weight down and make sure I can be as comfy as possible. I have just treated myself to a few pieces of kit and at the minute I am finding the Sea to summit camping range fantastic as the gear is so light and portable. I have given up on using a tent and my new setup is a large umbrella pegged down then I climb into 2 waterproof sleeping bag covers with a fleece blanket then over the top a emergency shelter cover. I've just tested the kit on a lone trip to the coast and I must say I slept so well and as it worked in winter so in summer it should be the perfect lightweight and quick setup. The reason I love wild camping is it allows you to be out in the wild near the place where you want to be without much effort as long as you set up at last light and leave the area tidy and packup at first light then nobody will ever know your there. Enough of wild coastal camping for this year or maybe not as I have a few days at Christmas which may be wild time.
Example of my wild setup
I've started planning for next years wild camping trips as my boss has just confirmed my holidays.

Merry Christmas and stay wild

Mike