Readers’ wildlife photos

Remember to send in your photos! We have some shots from a new contributor, Robert Ashton. His notes are below:

Photos taken outside Beaumaris Castle, built at the very end of the 13th century. In #1 a female mallard duck [Anas platyrhynchos] and her duckling are in the foreground.  #2 is a close-up.  #3 is a gull (don’t know species) enjoying a crab for breakfast.

4-8 are photos of what I believe are guillemots, nesting on the cliffs near the Anglesey lighthouse (photo #4).  In #5 a man standing next to me with binoculars swears there was a puffin in the area but I’m damned if I could see it.  They do have puffins in the area.

JAC: These are probably the common murreUria aalge, also known as the common guillemot.

After a hiatus, Stephen Barnard has sent several pictures. The first is a formal portrait of his border collie Hitch, named after you know who. Note the false eyespots, bred to deceive predators (JUST KIDDING).

 

Here’s a cat that Stephen live-trapped as a feral kitten—along with her brother—last June. They were named Jerry Coyne V and Jerry Coyne VI, and were both adopted. (There are several Jerry Coyne cats, and my goal is to populate the world with namesake cats. Free books to those who name their cat after me!)

Here’s a photo of Jerry Coyne VI, taken by Jeanine, her primary staff. Her working name is Juniper, or Juni for short. [JAC: I object to the names being changed.]

Here are the siblings Jerry Coyne V and Jerry Coyne VI, shortly after being trapped last year. How fast they grow!

Sent from Belize, where Stephen went fishing over the holidays:

Here’s a flash photo of one of the Yellow-crowned Night Herons (Nyctanassa violacea) that hang out on the back of my room.

And a landscape from Stephen’s ranch in Idaho:

 

26 Comments

  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Sooooo

    WEIT-Con at Barnard’s place?

    • rickflick
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Many of us would end up staying. 😎

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      I welcome guests, properly vetted. Jerry has visited. He was a pleasure.

      Living in this spot I feel a bit like Darwin without the discipline and scientific acuity.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Some really nice photos today from all concerned. Sorry but you have to love that dog and those kittens look just like one of my cats.

  3. Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    The gull is a herring gull, Larus argentatus. The red spot on the mandible is distinctive.

    • rickflick
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Isn’t that the species experiments were done with model beaks to fool the chicks?

      • Mark Ayling
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        Yes, according to Wiki:
        “Niko Tinbergen, following his extensive analysis of the stimulus features that elicited food-begging in the chick of the herring gull, constructed an artificial stimulus consisting of a red knitting needle with three white bands painted around it; this elicited a stronger response than an accurate three-dimensional model of the parent’s head (white) and bill (yellow with a red spot).”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernormal_stimulus#toc

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Wonderful pictures! Thank you all for sharing.

  5. rickflick
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I love those old castles you can find in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. We visited Conwy Castle in Wales, which was also quite impressive. An unforgettable sight was the array of toilets along the wall. Poop shoots, I guess we could call them.

    P1080300

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      The term for a castle wall or town wall latrine is a garderobe apparently, but it can mean any small enclosed space such as a wardrobe. I remember this from reading a piece of what I regard as nonsense – that medieval peeps would hang their clothes in the latrine area because moths didn’t like the smell!

      • rickflick
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        That bit of trivia will undoubtedly come in handy at some point. I’ll remember it.

        • Frank Bath
          Posted February 3, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

          I’ve used one. (Gorey Castle in the Channel Islands.)

          • rickflick
            Posted February 3, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            I salute you sir!

  6. Cate Plys
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    If Stephen sets up a B&B at that ranch, he should let us know. I’d rather just live there, but I would settle for a B&B stay.

  7. Claudia Baker
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Jerry Coyne VI has grown into an absolutely beautiful kitty. What gorgeous stripes!

  8. Posted February 3, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Another fantastic landscape. And Hitch looks good.

  9. Frank Bath
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    The first guillemots on the rock photo is a beauty. A prize picture.

  10. Mark R.
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Nice array of photos today. Deets is one handsome boy and Jerry Coyne VI has grown up to be quite the cutey.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      The photo is of Hitch, not Deets, who is not amused. 🙂

  11. Posted February 3, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    These readers’ photos are a daily tonic. Thanks to all!

  12. Stephen Barnard
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I have no control over the renaming of Jerry Coyne VI to Juniper, AKA Juni. Perhaps it was a request to the staff. Jerry Coyne VI may be considered an inappropriate name for a female cat in some circles.

  13. Stephen Barnard
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    The false eyespots bewilder sheep, not predators. Border Collies have no predators. They’re the predators. That’s why sheep are terrified of them.

    The trick with herding dogs is that the sheep should be just terrified enough, but not too much that they panic.

    • rickflick
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 2:36 am | Permalink

      In a slightly different context, extra brows serve a similar purpose such that men “should be just terrified enough, but not too much that they panic.”

  14. Stephen Barnard
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I’ll add, as an aside, that I left Hitch with his breeder (twice National sheep herding champion) for three week while I was fishing in Belize. Someone wanted to buy him, for sheep herding. No way. Hitch would have liked it. I was selfish.

    • Diane G.
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 4:33 am | Permalink

      Would Deets have liked it, too? Or are they chums, now?

      So, sounds like you need to get some sheep.

  15. Posted February 4, 2018 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    Pretty animals and castle.


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