Tag Archives: wildlife

Jonathan — world’s oldest living land animal

Sunday 28th November 2021, 3.10pm (day 3,748)

Jonathan is a giant tortoise, originally from the Seychelles but resident at Plantation House in St Helena since the 1880s. It is not known exactly how old he is but there is good documentation that he is at least 189 years old, and possibly older. This makes him the oldest land animal on the whole planet, at least among those for which there is evidence.

I was thinking at first, it’s a shame that he doesn’t know he’s a record breaker. But — you know — he looks like such a cool dude, that I think he probably does.

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Canary

Sunday 21st November 2021, 1.30pm (day 3,741)

Canary, 21/11/21

Specifcally, a yellow canary (Crithagra flaviventris) — a name which seems a little tautological, but that’s the particular species which resides here on St Helena. They have done very well since being introduced, as there’s thousands of them, all over the island as far as I an tell. And very attractive birds they are too. I like this shot — it was trying to hide away in the undergrowth, but I shot it (metaphorically) all the same.

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The mynah birds check me out

Wednesday 10th November 2021, 2.40pm (day 3,730)

I’m in quarantine, meaning I know that for another week, I can photograph only what is within, or seen from, the house I occupy. It’s a very nice house, with a superb view, but still, I have pretty much already worked out what shots might be worth trying, and will just have to pick my way through them, in a kind of drip-feed way. For a start, I am not putting up the view just yet, because today was cloudy, and there’s no sense blowing that one until the light is at its best.

Therefore, we’ll start today with some of the local fauna. My talents as a naturalist are not great but I’m 99% sure these are mynah birds — if they’re not, they’re doing a damn good impression of them. The one on the right fluffs himself up dramatically, as they check out the new human on the block.

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Jackdaw on the bridge

Thursday 30th September 2021, 2.30pm (day 3,689)

Jackdaw on bridge, 30/9/21

A fifth day in a row in Hebden Bridge. One reason I have not got away from here this week has been the weather — far too poor to consider a walk anywhere, even though my diary may have allowed it. So I’ve just sat at home, feeling rather like this jackdaw looks. Then again these birds always appear somewhat pissed off.

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Hunting heron (the return of Humph?)

Monday 27th September 2021, 3.15pm (day 3,686)

Hunting heron, 27/9/21

Is this the return of the much-seen Hebden Water heron that I call “Humph” (e.g., this shot)? Maybe, maybe not, but either way this was a much-needed piece of interest in another dull day.

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Roadside butterfly

Monday 20th September 2021, 11.50am (day 3,679)

Butterfly on buddleia, 20/9/21

This beauty — I have given up trying to identify specific species, I always get it wrong (I thought it was a Red Admiral, but apparently not) — was perched not two feet from the traffic on the Keighley Road this morning. Obviously it wanted its close-ups doing.

Also, a curiosity — this is, almost certainly, the first picture of all the thousands on this blog that I have rotated through 180ยบ. Technically you are looking at this upside down.

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Moth

Sunday 1st August 2021, 12.35pm (day 3,629)

Moth, 1/8/21

This moth was tiny, barely the size of my thumbnail. Do you know the basic difference between butterflies and moths? I didn’t, until looking it up today — but apparently, all butterflies have little balls at the end of their antennae. As this creature doesn’t have those, it’s a moth. Now you know.

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Rule 1: Follow mother

Monday 24th May 2021, 3.20pm (day 3,560)

Duck and ducklings, 24/5/21

Have I yet done 2021’s duckling/gosling pic? No? Well, here you are then. These balls of fluff can get up to a decent speed in the water, you have to give them that.

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The doorstep journey

Friday 21st May 2021, 11.30am (day 3,557)

Doorstep snail, 21/5/21

“Listen, I’m as pissed off as you it’s still very cold and wet for May. I have to forsake my usual comfortable haunts because the ground is too wet. And you’re not at risk of getting fatally stomped by random humans.”

Well, these are valid points. But it still let me stick my camera in its face.

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The latest robin

Saturday 24th April 2021, 2.10pm (day 3,530)

Robin, 24/4/21

Three minutes after I had dug over the garden a little and this robin perches not six feet from me and virtually demands that I capture its close-ups. Seeing as this is taken in pretty much the same spot as the picture of the last robin to grace this blog, only 22 days ago, it might be the same one — either way, it is the latest example of how this particular species really has learned to not be in the least bit bothered about us humans. Perhaps it, too, is slightly annoyed by the presence of the white plastic tie, but what the hell.

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