Farne Islands (1) – Grey Seals

This is going to be the first of several blogs following a fabulous boat trip to Inner Farne and round some of the other Farne Islands.  We saw a fantastic variety of birds but let’s start with a mammal….the grey seal.


Love the mottled colour of the seals set against the patchwork colours of rocks, lichen and seaweed.

Halichoerus grypus – Farne Islands

Romania: other wildlife

This is a round-up of some of the wildlife seen on our Naturetrek trip in Romania that haven’t featured in any of the earlier posts.  The shots below include: colourful bee-eaters, rollers and glossy ibis; new species for us – the Syrian woodpecker and Romania’s ground squirrel – the souslik; and some more regular species like the tawny pipit, fieldfare and rook.

Merops apiaster
Coracias garrulus
Turdus pilaris
Anthus campestris


Spermophilus citellus
Corvus frugilegus



Westonbirt Bioblitz

We spent a fabulous morning taking part in the Bioblitz at Westonbirt.  Nature experts took groups round the arboretum to see small mammals, butterflies, bees, wildflowers, dragonflies and more.  My pictures include: marbled white, small skipper and comma butterflies; a wood mouse; large red and common blue damselflies; a pyramidal orchid (past its best); a red soldier beetle; male & female meadow grasshoppers; and a garden tiger moth.

Garden Tiger Moth

Large Red Damselfly

Romania: brown bears

We have seen bears before.  On Vancouver Island we saw black bears on at least two occasions but I never took the opportunity to photograph them.  If you want to see great pictures of black bears then visit Tofino Photography.  In Romania they have European Brown Bears and, this time, I did get pictures.  Our guide and a local ranger took us to a hide on the side of a steep hill that overlooked an area some 300 metres below.  We saw at least four different adult bears – some gingery brown, some much darker.

Ursus arctos – Carpathian foothills