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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I’d never done a speaker tour on a river cruise previously, so I was really looking forward to getting aboard the Fred. Olsen cruise liner M. V. Braemar in Barbados. If you are going to do a river cruise it might as well be on the world’s mightiest river, the Amazon. Click on the images below to view them at full size. On this trip my companion was my great friend Ian Appleton. We set off overnight and would be 3 days at sea as we headed south through the tropical waters of the western Atlantic. Initially we were over very deep water, so it was no surprise that the only bird keeping us company for most of the day was the highly pelagic Masked Booby. At times a dozen, or more, would be around the ship exploiting the flying fish ...
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  Liverpool Cruise Terminal © Adele Clarke                      All images in this blog were taken taken during the cruise. They can be seen at full size by clicking on them. Copyright remains with the photographer. Boudicca's route around the UK 21st-29th July 2017 © Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Ltd. The leaving of Liverpool on the 21st July aboard Fred. Olsen’s ship M.V. Boudicca for The Wildlife of England and Scotland cruise found the wind at our tail. Our journey would take us on a clockwise tour of the UK over eight days and nights. A disrupted, rather than heavy, swell allowed for a fairly smooth passage tho...
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Perfect mothing weather has prevailed for the best part of the last month and it tempted me to do some intensive and regular trapping in the garden. Being self-employed allows me the flexibility fit this around my workload. It was also good practice for re-honing my eye, as it’s often as much about the wing-shape, or resting position that a moth adopts, just as much as the intricate patterning that may lead you to a precise identification. Perhaps the most important outcome from my research is how few individuals of formerly super-abundant species are now finding their way into my traps, on even the most productive of nights. In previous Junes I’d expect at least 100 Heart and Dart to enter my trap on peak nights. The most I managed thi...
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Click on images to view at full size One of the joys to be found in teaching folk about birds; how to identify them; understanding their ecology etc. is that you get to commune with lovely people in some fantastic places. The final chapter of my Birdcraft Course Spring 2017 would take place along the fabled Northumberland coastline. Difficult weather conditions on the morning of Saturday 10th June resulted in a quick re-evaluation of our itinerary and we quickly repaired to the bird rich area around Low Newton. We had barely reached the shoreline when we were entertained by a Little Tern fishing in the bay at close quarters. Stonechats and Meadow Pipits scavenged the strandline for invertebrates in the wet and windy conditions along...
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I just completed a wonderful little gig as a speaker on a five-night cruise to the fjords of southern Norway. It was a last minute thing and I’d had no time to plan any wildlife excursions so went with few expectations. My Wife and I joined the Fred. Olsen cruise liner Balmoral at Newcastle on the 25th May.  Setting off in the early evening. My official duties prevented me from much in the way of observations that evening but I was up and out on deck very early on the 26th.  As anticipated Gannets, were very much to the fore, backed up by smaller numbers of Fulmar and Kittiwake. I carried out my first speaker duty and returned to my watch at the front of the Balmoral. By early afternoon we were approaching the Norwegian coastl...
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