RAF Valley

Covid lockdown and the cancellation of all airshows in 2020 (and most in 2021) left me needing an aviation fix. I gambled on the Mach Loop being quiet, and went to Valley, which turned out to be mixed fortunes, with the USAF and RAF putting in a fairly good ‘show’ at the loop for once.

Valley was busy with multiple launches and recoveries, and a bonus new aircraft for me, with 2x Shadow R1’s in different paint shemes calling in for practice approaches. I moved around a bit and took images from three different locations for a bit of variety. Nice to get a couple of waves from the Instructors in the back seat.

All in all, a great day in the sun.

Cemlyn Bay

A day out on Anglesey photographing aircraft gave me the opportunity to take another look at the Elegant Tern at Cemlyn. It performed well, but the stars of the show for me were Arctic Terns. I love these wonderful birds. Sat a couple of metres away on the shore line they were bringing food to their recently fledged youngsters.

Black-Browed Albatross

I went to Bemtpon cliffs about a month ago, with the background thought that last years visiting Black-Browed Albatross might show up. It wasn’t there, but it did turn up a few weeks later. Whilst last year it only stayed a day, this time it’s stayed a few weeks. I finally caved in to temptation and an early finish from work for a cross country twitch was looking a bit disappointing as although it was present it was sat distantly on the cliffs of the Gannet colony. After a couple of hours waiting, and just before heading home, it stretched it’s wings. WOW!!!

Little Owl

I spent an evening in a hide photographing LIttle Owls. The Owlets were out of the nest, but weren’t visting the perch, relying on the adults to take them earth worms (they were also happily feeding themselves on what they could find on the ground)

Elegant Tern

On Sunday 4th July an Elegant Tern, a species that breeds on the West Coast of America and Mexico (although there is a small population in Southern Europe), was found by a local birder at Cemlyn Nature Reserve on Anglesey. I stupidly decided not to go on the Sunday (limited time frame), so spent a nervous day on Monday hoping it would stay around long enough to see it after work. I didn’t need to worry, it’s still there now as I type this two weeks later, entertaining itself and the visiting birders by displaying to the local Sandwich Terns. What a great bird

Burton Mere Wetlands Bittern

The Bittern at Burton Mere Wetlands, although elusive, has occasionally shown quite well, standing at the edge of the reeds before flying off to other parts of the reedbed. It is easier to get in flight shots though, as it transits between different areas of the reedbed. All the hours waiting pay off with images like these.

Garden Birds

When I built a pond in the garden it was only for one real purpose. Shots of birds drinking and bathing. I should spend more time watching it

Common Swift

One of 2021’s photography targets was Barn Swallow, they seem a bit thin on the ground this year though, and a chance encounter with a couple of hundred Common Swift one evening has bumped Barn Swallow to 2022 (Swift was a target for next year). Quite pleased with these.


Every once in a while a birding opportunity comes along which is either unbelievable or bizzare, sometimes both. A roosting Nightjar at Conwy RSPB was definitely BOTH of those. It chose to spend the day roosting on a plastic decoy Heron, only 5 metres or so from the delighted birders. What a bird!