Jeff Clarke Ecology

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Updates and photos from around the world on my travels both through pleasure and work

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naturewatch_team_2009
'Naturewatch' Broadcast BBC Radio Merseyside March 2012 From left: Andy Ball, Matt Thomas, Jeff Clarke, Richie Baker   At least once a month I carry out a broadcast on BBC Radio Merseyside to publicise and promote the natural world of Merseyside and Cheshire. This includes upcoming events, recent wildlife highlights, what to look out for in the coming weeks and there is usually a discussion topic. On the sample broadcast shown I was discussing the successful and soon to be concluded, Dot2Dot ladybird Project that I have been carrying out with 25 local schools on behalf of RECORD the Local Record Centre responsible for biological records in the Local Authority areas of Cheshire West, Cheshire East, Halton, Warrington and Wirral. {mp3}March_...
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Wood and Waters {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/forestofdean]} All images unless otherwise stated © Jeff Clarke 2012 Just back from Gloucestershire where I was running an adult education bird identification course and giving a talk to the Cheltenham Bird Club, I managed to book-end the long weekend with a few hours for photography, when I split my time between the Forest of Dean and Slimbridge trying to make the best of the iffy light conditions.We began the course at WWT Slimbridge and made a prompt start in order to beat the crowds that the annual Festival of Birds always generates. The icy conditions meant that many of the waters were entirely frozen and those spots still open were crowded with thousands of Wildfowl. Rushy Pen al...
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Waiting {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/moorenr12]} All images unless otherwise stated © Jeff Clarke 2011 Wednesday 28th December dawned with a promising glimpse of blue sky and the forecast suggested a prolonged period of unbroken sunshine from 9.00am onwards. A quick gathering of the equipment and I headed off towards Moore Nature Reserve, just south of the Mersey, on the west side of Warrington. I planned to spend a few hours trying to get a flight shot of one of our most enigmatic birds.I entered the hide at 9.00am, joining a real bird photographer and settled down to wait in anticipation. This sort of photography is just that waiting, waiting a bit longer, and then just to break the tedium strolling around for a few seconds to ge...
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Banishing the Winter Blues {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/picosblues]} All images unless otherwise stated © Jeff Clarke 2011 As I sit typing this blog the weather outside is cold, wet and dank. It's the sort of day when winter starts to grip your body. My left wrist is aching, a legacy of a break when I was eight years old, a sure sign that a long mild autumn is finally drawing to close. I feel like entering hibernation.In recent days I've been putting together a new talk on 'Green Spain' and it has really helped me to re-live some fondly remembered days in the Picos de Europa and Pyrenees earlier this year. The myriad images of twirling, gliding, cavorting butterflies are especially vivid. I gave up obsessively listing how many spec...
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Otter Than July {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/otters]} All images unless otherwise stated © Jeff Clarke 2011 As dawn crept slowly over the eastern horizon I was ploughing north up the M6 headed for Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve, where I would be leading my 'Birdcraft' adult education group around one of the UK's premier wetland sites. I arrived well ahead of time and intended to spend an hour or so looking for some of the special wildlife that resides there. The sun was still below the horizon as I slowly walked down the public causeway. Cetti's Warbler blasted from cover and the 'tching ping' calls of Bearded Tit's chimed in the reeds. I reached the viewing area for the gritting trays and in no time I was watching several of these del...
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