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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We stayed in port overnight in Manaus and the following morning headed out with Marco Lima in a small group to the Museu de Amazonia. It was fiercely hot even by 9.45am in them morning, so it was no surprise that we struggled for birds. However, the climb up the top of the 60 metre tower overlooking the Amazon Forest was definitely worth the effort. Just to gaze in wonder of the vastness of the canopy was something truly special. A variety of Swift species zipped by our lofty perch and I was able to get the scope on a couple of Bat Falcon’s. Ian Appleton, Marco Lima & Jeff Clarke at Museo de Amazonia tower © Marco Lima This would be our last day with Marco, who would depart the ship today. What a great guy he is. We greatly a...
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After Santarem we continued our journey upriver and the following day we were tendered ashore for a few short hours in the town of Parintins, where we were greeted by an Orange-fronted Yellow-Finch and the ubiquitous Great Kiskadee. Birding options were few due to the brief time ashore, but at Marco Lima’s suggestion we took a tricycle ride out to a local park and an area of marshy ground bordered by some mango trees. Great Kiskadee & Orange-fronted Yellow-finch © Jeff Clarke Heat and humidity were very high and the sun was blinding so photography was always going to be limited, we did however manage a few additional species including Piratic Flycatcher and Yellow-browed Sparrow and Blue-Grey Tanager. Blue-grey Tanage...
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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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