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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In Pursuit of Prions (part4) 2 days on the Tasman Sea {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/tasmansea2]}Saturday 24th November dawned bright with a moderate breeze on the Tasman Sea south west of Tasmania. Perfect for photographing seabirds. Would I finally see my first Prion? A circuit of the promenade deck soon demonstrated the days potential as several albatrosses could be seen trailing in the wake. A succession of Gibson's Wandering Albatrosses weaved across the ship's foamy footprint, occasionally making a closer approach and enabling me to take a few images. Periodically other seabirds would whip by and some like the Cookilaria petrels would remain unidentified to species. Thankfully most would be visible for long enough to put a name...
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In Pursuit of Prions (Part 3) Tasmania {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/pofpmtfield]}As we disembarked the ship in Hobart yesterday's stormy conditions were a distant memory as we were bathed in glorious sunshine and barely a whisper of a breeze. As we left the quayside we were entertained by some nesting Welcome Swallows and some Tree Martins. We soon arranged a hire car and headed inland to the big tree country of Mt Field National Park.As we headed out of Hobart a White-bellied Sea Eagle crossed our bow. We stopped briefly at the Derwent River near Granton to observe Australian Pelicans, 100's of Black Swans and flock of Hoary Grebes. They were all a bit too far away on for reasonable photographs so we presses on and about an hour l...
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In Pursuit of Prions (Part 2) Tasman Sea - Sydney to Hobart {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/pofptas1]} For this blog I have used images that missed the cull for my new talk on New Zealand but are still decent images. As the MS Oosterdam headed out of Sydney into the late evening we cleared the Heads at Manley with just enough light left to see hordes of Short-tailed Shearwaters in the inshore waters. A stiffening breeze had the ship rocking in the night and we awoke to leaden skies a very lumpy Tasman Sea. The first task was to work out the best watchpoints on the ship. It was disappointing to find there was no access to the bow and this meant I was largely confined to the forward and and aft sections of the promenade deck and t...
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In Pursuit of Prions (Part 1) - Sydney {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/pofpsydney]}This is the first in a series of blogs detailing a month long tour of New Zealand and Australia in the company of my lovely and long-suffering Wife Adele, who as it happens took some of the best images we achieved during our explorations. For this blog I have used images that missed the cull for my new talk on New Zealand but are still decent images. We began in Sydney, arriving during an evening thunderstorm and exited out taxi to the strains of Coldplay blasting out Viva la Vida in the stadium close to our Hotel at Rushcutters Bay. Despite the 11 hour time difference I was up at dawn the following morning exploring the adjacent park. The raucous, thro...
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Return of the Bohemians {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/garrulus]}Just under two years ago I was merrily clicking away with my camera at Bohemian Waxwings Bombycilla garrulus, those exotic wanderers from the north, as they scoffed rowan berries between a couple of car showrooms in the heart of Warrington. Little did I expect a reprise of this event so soon afterwards. This species is noted for it's periodic irruptions into the UK following a failure of the rowan berry crop in southern Scandinavia but this is something that normally only happens once or twice a decade. However these irruptions are becoming more frequent and the numbers of birds involved dwarfs those in most previous decades. Despite being a spectacularly good looking c...
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