Tag Archives: Wildlife Photography

Photo Finalist

8 May

Hi Friends,

Hope you’re having a lovely Sunday.

I’ve been chosen as a finalist for Little Something’s photo competition for my photo of a lizard . Please take a moment to head over to her website and vote for the photo you think is best.

{Me! Pick me!}


Aber Bucket List #9: achieved

6 May

Firstly, {and this won’t mean anything to people who don’t watch British TV or don’t care about nature} Spring Watch is coming to Ynys-Hir.

Yeeeaaah! That’s our patch! So excited!
I’m totally going to end up stalking the presenters around Aberystwyth like a FREAK!

Anyway …the real reason for this post is our Aberystwyth Bucket List.

Strata Florida Abbey was originally founded in 1164 and was a pretty influential place for hundreds of years. Nowa days it’s just a ruin but I’ve wanted to go and visit for a while now and last week we managed to make it out there.

It’s such a beautiful spot and if you ever get the chance to visit, go! It was so quiet and there were birds everywhere. We got great views of Redstarts as there must have been about 8 individuals flitting about.

There is also a grave-yard there which I was pretty excited about visiting. Dafydd ap Gwilym is buried there BUT I was more interested in…

The leg grave. Duh duh duuuuhhhh…
{Can you tell how thrilled Josh was at me making him pose? haha}

Apparently some guy had to had his leg amputated in the 1800s and so he had it buried here with a stone, inscription and picture of his leg. Amused me greatly.

We then headed up into the mountains to walk to the Teifi Pools.
On the way we met this little guy.

I haven’t had such good views of a stoat before so this was very exciting.

It was SUCH a beautiful day and we had a lovely time walking up the valley to the pools. Definitely worth being on the bucket list.
One down…nine to go;

Josh and Rachel’s Aberystwyth Bucket List

1. Watch the sun rise from Pendinas {the hill above the town}
2. See the submerged forest in Borth
3. Visit Soar y Mynydd
4. Buy a love spoon
5. Walk from Llanfair Clydogau to Tregaron
6. Have a bonfire and BBQ on the beach
7. Have a meal at the Harbour Master
8. Go dancing with all the gang
9. Visit Strata Florida
10. See Aberystwyth from the sea

I’ll leave you with this sheep. Notice anything weird?!


5 May

This week I’m entering the ‘Little Somethings’ photo challenge again.

Except this time the title was ‘animals’.

How on earth am I meant to choose between the many wonderful wildlife moments I have had the pleasure of capturing? Killer Whales, Puffins or Bonxies in Shetland or Dolphins in Pembokeshire or butterflies in flower meadows…so much to choose from!

In the end I chose this photo because it was one of the first I ever took with my SLR. We saw this lizard on a fence post and so I ever-so-carefully scrambled up the bank, extended my arm and stood on one leg to get within shooting distance and clicked. A split second after the shutter went off this little guy darted off into the undergrowth so I couldn’t quite believe I’d got a decent in-focus shot.

Ohh…how I love taking photos!

Looking Up

15 Apr

Today I’m taking part in ‘Foto Friday’ for the first time!
This week’s theme was Looking Up and I think this photo is perfect for it:

Today Josh went for a walk in the woods {while I was stuck in office – I’m not bitter at all!!} and he said that the trees were alive with Pied Fly-Catchers and Redstarts.
I’m so happy it’s spring and that the countryside is buzzing with frantic wild activity!

So not only is this photo literally ‘looking up’ it’s a sign to me that things are also looking up metaphorically. I’ve finally got a spark of energy back and I’m beginning to have a desire to be out, doing things – feeling the wind in my hair and the sun on my face.

Why not go and check out how the other Foto Friday participants got on.

Springing into the rest of the year

21 Mar

I love those moments in the year when you can just tell that the season has changed. Spring has been just around the corner for a few weeks now, but last Thursday as we climbed Plymlimon we could just sense the change: spring has finally sprung.

I love the area around Plymlimon and Nant-y-Moch. It feels so wild and isolated. We would occasionally just stop and listen and hear nothing except the wind moving through the grass and the geese on the lake below us.

As we climbed higher (without coats for the first time this year!) we heard a sky lark singing high above the moorland. Surely that must be a contender for one of the best sounds in the world?! Perfect.

Gradually the track levelled out and we reached a series of pools where we could hear a chorus of frogs calling to one another.

It all just makes me so excited! I love winter for many reasons, but there is just something about Spring that promises potential for the rest of the year.
It has spurred us into action for planning our summer break and this week we’ve organised and booked quite a bit.

So far we’ll be visiting the Lake District before spending a few days hostelling in Glencoe.
Then we’ll be travelling to Knoydart. I’m so excited about this leg of our journey! Knoydart has been called the last wilderness in Scotland because there are no roads to it. To reach it you must hike 18 miles over the mountains or by a 7 mile sea crossing. Eeek!
We’ll then be spending a week on Skye before meandering our way back down South spending time in Devon, Wiltshire, the Cotswolds, London and the Lake District again.

My problem is that I’m an administrator through and through. I love to achieve things and tick them off my list. It’s not just office things – I find that I do it in normal life too. Even as I’m doing something, my mind is often on the next thing to be achieved.
However, I don’t want to be like that with our last few months in Aber and with the time we’re taking off from work. I want to try and enjoy each day as it comes and make the most of it because I know it’s going to pass really quickly. I’m not very good at sitting back and letting things happen, but I’m working on it!

Sunsets and Starlings

5 Mar

Two of the (many) highlights of living in Aberystwyth can be experienced within 3 minutes of my front door.

Firstly, with nothing to the west of us except sea we get the most wonderful sunsets throughout the year.

Secondly, we are so lucky to have one of the most amazing natural spectacles taking place every day right next to where we live throughout the winter months.

Every day thousands and thousands of starlings come into roost under the pier and form the most beautiful aerial displays. Having several hundred birds swooping down around you as they dive under the pier is something that must be experienced!

I’m trying to etch these memories in my mind for when we’re stuck in the city!

What can I say?

5 Nov

In the last four months (has it really been that long since I last blogged?!) I have:


Been to Northumberland with my best friends, and stayed in Rowan Atkinson’s old house!

Been to lots of weddings…

Walked up a mountain with some of my family in Snowdonia

Spent the last two months working a lot of twelve hour days, administrating for a week long mission (including coordinating and feeding 20 volunteers), and arranged a residential weekend for 100 people…

then falling into a comatose state of exhaustion for two weeks

before getting back to normal life…

…and celebrating Josh passing his driving test! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSS

and losing Ieaun the hamster under the floorboards for 48 hours (stressful!)

…and then decided it was about time I got back to blogging 🙂

Sick as a…Redstart?

17 Jun

I’m feeling blue today.

Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say that I’m feeling green – I’m sick.

This is annoying for two reasons:

1)      Being sick is one of the things I hate most in the world. Yarg.

2)      Today is the first day of five days I have off from work. I had to take them as my work year comes to an end next week and I still had a few days to take. We hadn’t planned anything, but were hoping to throw the tent in the car and go somewhere nice and enjoy some gorgeous weather.
Instead, all I have been enjoying is the view of my toilet bowl. And I use the term enjoy very loosely here.

Anyway, enough of my whining. I had planned a post today about how Josh and I have been spending our days off over the last few months.

It was all about maps.

Bet you’re devastated that I’m too sick to bother.

Instead I will just post some pictures of some great little birds we have seen recently.


For those of you not in know (and believe me, I’m not in the know but I will try and sound like I am) this is a Redstart.

Josh reliably informs me that my parents-in-law (who live in Devon) would sell their limbs to get such great views as we have recently. From that I take it that they’re pretty rare in Britain.

Apparently mid-Wales is a stronghold for them, but until now I have only ever caught fleeting glimpses of red high up in the canopy.

However, because we have been exploring more recently and have gone to some more remote places the birds have seemed a lot bolder and we have had some great views.

I will leave you with a picture that accurately sums up how I currently feel 🙂