Last autumn David installed a huge number of nest boxes around the smallholding.  There are now over sixty.  In a bid to attract some new species he included three boxes designed for great spotted woodpeckers and you'll never guess what happened....a pair moved in!
It's spring and the bluebells are in full flower.  David has been lucky enough to capture a couple of species of wildlife amongst the bluebells on his smallholding in the last few days.  Below are a roe deer and an orange-tip butterfly (male).
David's latest book has just been published.  'Walks in West Cornwall' picks out a selection of walks in the area which are good for wildlife.  These are shorter walks making them accessible to a wider range of people and allowing more time to stand and watch the birds and bees along the way.  Most are focussed on places that you might be visiting anyway but this guide will enable you to get more from your visit.
This book is packed with colourful images and has an attractive, lively design, making it a great gift idea.
See the books page of this website for more details.  (retail price: 6.99)
David and Sarah have had a week away in Dorset.  One of the reasons for their visit was to see the early spider orchids at Dancing Ledge, near Swanage.  David has written an article for MMM (motorhome magazine) about this trip.  Below are photos of Wareham; Swanage Railway at Corfe Castle; early spider orchids; Foreland Point (Old Harry Rocks).
Spring is definitely in the air with birds claiming nest boxes.  This great tit has claimed a nest box which was being prepared by a nuthatch, hence the mud plastered around the eaves.  Luckily the nuthatch has moved next door to another vacant nest box.  Despite it being spring we are still having frosts, even down here in Cornwall, the photo to the right shows a cowslip in frost.
Moth-trapping season has started again in the Chapman household.  Mild, cloudy calm nights are ideal and though there isn't the volume of moths that might be expected in June it's always interesting to see what is flying around at night.  This is an early thorn moth.
It isn't just the rabbits that have been getting amorous.  The cock pheasant has been busy trying to impress a selection of females.  Here he uses a few clusters of daffodils to make himself look even more colourful. 
This photo demonstrates, in no uncertain terms, why David and Sarah have so much trouble with rabbits in their garden.  They are overrun with them and have to fence off flowerbeds to prevent them being devastated by their furry friends.  Looking on the bright side, there is never a dull moment on the lawn!
Sarah bought some wild tulip bulbs last year, despite David not being convinced by the idea!  This spring they are looking beautiful.  Below are two shots of the same tulip taken a few days apart and from opposite directions.  Both photos were taken with a 300mm lens from a very low angle and with a very wide aperture to blur the background and foreground.
David has some relatively tame pheasants visiting his smallholding at the moment so he is providing some extra seed for them.  If he disturbs them they have two options for getting away: running or flying!
David and Sarah have 'planted' some mistletoe seeds this spring.  To do this you need some ripe berries.  You then squeeze the seed out of the gooey berries and press the seed onto a host tree.  Mistletoe has a lot of hosts with apple being a common one.  This photo shows a mistletoe seed after rain had created droplets of water on the branch.  If you want to see how things develop you'll have to come back!
This is a photo of a swarm of winter gnats.  David has been seeing a lot of these swarms throughout the winter on his land.  The swarms are formed by male gnats as it is they who fly around waiting for females to come along.  A bit like a group of lekking male grouse, they try to impress a female so they can mate with her.
Maybe it's a sign of spring.  David spotted these earthworms mating on the lawn.  They are hermaphrodites, so they have both male and female organs.  Twice the fun!
  Snowdrops are now fully in flower.  David photographed these from a very low angle.  If you want to see more about snowdrop photography read David's article for the on-line photography magazine, Nature TTL:
How to Photograph Snowdrops | Nature TTL
David has been photographing buzzards in his garden, using a very wide-angle lens and a remote release with the camera very close to the buzzard.  There appear to be two buzzards which are tame enough to come into this relatively small space, though they are unpredictable and a little nervous.  Part of his aim has been to show the house in the background but he has also done some close-up shots.  Two photos from his growing catalogue are shown below.
David has been working on filming a buzzard in his garden.  He has been using a wide angle lens on a camera controlled remotely.  He's having trouble getting the right weather for stills but to have a look at a video he has just put together see his facebook page.
David Chapman on Facebook
This is a photograph of a nuthatch, but not any nuthatch, this is the first nuthatch that David has photographed on his smallholding in 26 years!  Nuthatches have always nested just half a mile away but have never been regularly spotted by David or Sarah on their smallholding until last autumn when this one took up residence.  David has now installed over 60 nest boxes around the land and provides a permanent supply of seed, fat balls and peanuts; if that isn't enough to tempt this nuthatch to stay and nest then there is no justice!
You might think this is a perfectly normal blue tit but look more carefully and you will see it is hanging by one leg.  Lots of birds stand on one leg for periods of time so David didn't think this was particularly strange but he followed it and its second leg never materialised.  It might have a secong leg which it cannot use, it might have been born without a leg or it might have lost a leg for some reason but it seems to be a perfectly healthy bird in other respects, in fact its plumage is incredibly beautiful.
Still no snow in West Cornwall but there have been a couple of very cold, frosty mornings.  David's bird bath was iced over and early in the morning, just as the sun was rising, he took a few close up photos of the ice patterns.
David has the cover photo on Cornwall Life January 2021, this is Towanroath Engine House, part of the Wheal Coates mine at St Agnes Head.  It was taken after snowfall in November 2010, and it seems like only yesterday!
In this magazine as well as having a feature on Porthleven harbour (see below) he also has a gallery of images of Cornish engine houses.
The cover of the bumper pack of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset Life magazines features David's photo of Greenburrow Engine House at night, complete with star trails.  Keep an eye out on the shelves of your newsagent!
During 2020, for the magazine Cornwall Life, David wrote about the Cornwall AONB.  For 2021 he is focussing on Cornish harbours.  Each month David will write about the history, wildlife and photographic potential of a chosen harbour.  In the January magazine it is the turn of Porthleven.
David and Sarah would like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas.  If you are reading this message you are clearly visiting David's website for which he is very grateful.  If you have any feedback please do get in touch via the relevant page.  Below are a couple of photos of fieldfares in the snow taken a couple of winter's ago, David has just been processing these specifically for Ardea picture library.  Let's hope for a bit of snow this winter!
David and Sarah have had an early Christmas present.  On Christmas Eve David had a look for birds around the smallholding and found that there had been an influx of goldcrests.  Listening carefully he heard what he thought was a yellow-browed warbler.  Sure enough, both David and Sarah had a good look at this little beauty through binoculars making this the 105th bird species recorded on their smallholding (right is a photo of a yellow-browed warbler taken a few years ago at Spurn Point).
David has been photographing birds eating berries in his garden.  These have included blackcap, house sparrow and chaffinch though the commonest is the blackbird (seen below left) and there has been a regular redwing (below right).  The attraction is a pyracantha which was burgeoning under the weight of berries this autumn and there is also a small holly tree conveniently situated outside David's bedroom window!
David and Sarah have found many different types of fungi on their smallholding this autumn.  The photo shows shaggy earth tongues.  They are much less common nowadays as most of our grassland is 'improved' for farming, making it unsuitable for anything other than vigorous species of grass.  David lit these from the side with a torch to show their texture and contours.
David got home from cycling yesterday to find a female green woodpecker feeding on ants on his lawn.  Luckily it gave him time to open the patio doors and get his telephoto lens ready to get a few low-angle pics before it flew off. 
You can tell this is a female because she has a solid black moustache.
David set a moth trap last night to see if he could catch some of the special species of autumn.  Here is a November moth (you'll never guess why it got its name!)
David's latest article, on how to attract mammals to your garden, has just been published on Nature TTL, see it here:

https://www.naturettl.com/how-to-attract-mammals-to-your-garden-for-photography/
The autumn season continues to provide a profusion of fantastic fungi.  This is a 'golden coral fungus'.
In an attempt to look for some autumnal scenes David visited a couple of his favourite locations near Truro when high tide coincided with sunrise.  These photos show the pretty hamlet of St Clement and Truro Cathedral from Boscawen Park.
David had a day out with friends at Golitha Falls, on his way he visited Lerryn just after dawn timing his visit to coincide with a high tide.  Here are a few pics including one of a turkey tail fungus at Golitha.
There are plenty of fungi around at the moment, must be the mild, wet weather!  These are common white saddle fungi.
Below are a couple of photos taken at Porthleven yesterday.  The sea wasn't as rough as it can be and the tide not as high but the light was lovely and there were some big waves.  Quite a lot of people there watching as well!
David has just been photographing an ichneumon wasp.  This incredible insect is a female using her ovipositor to lay her eggs in a larva deep inside the log.  She is a parasitic insect, some 9 cm long, it's a scary thought!
David has just been interviewed for Nature TTL.  The picture to the left, of a swallow in flight, is used in the interview.  Follow this link to see the interview and the photos:

https://www.naturettl.com/david-chapman/

 

Look out for David's photo on the cover of Cornwall Life, October.  He took this photo from a remote island between Tresco and St Martin's on The Scillies last September when he and Sarah kayaked from St Mary's.  Looks can be deceiving, it looks idyllic weather but it was quite windy and the sea between St Mary's and Tresco was quite choppy!
On the way back from North Wales David and Sarah stayed on Exmoor near Porlock.  Below are two photos of Porlock Weir, one of a packhorse bridge on the Horner Water and one of Dunkerry Beacon from Horner Wood.
David and Sarah have just had a few weeks away in their motorhome.  David has been writing about travel in a few areas for a magazine.  One of those areas was the valley of the Afon Conwy in North Wales, from Llandudno to Betws-y-coed. 
Below are photos of Conwy Castle (2); Bodnant Garden (National Trust); The Afon Conwy near Betws-y-coed; The Pont-y-pair bridge in Betws-y-coed and the Afon Conwy flowing through The Fairy Glen near Betws-y-coed.
There are a lot of red admirals and small tortoiseshells around at the moment.  David has attracted some red admirals to come and get drunk on rotting fruit.  They love it but they do seem to get into an oblivious state of stupor!
David found a cluster of chanterelle mushrooms growing on a roadside verge today, here are three of them.
The heathland flowers are now looking beautiful around the coast of Cornwall.  Below are photos taken at Land's End, showing the First and Last House, and Levant.  Both photos show heather and bell heather; the heathland at Land's End also has western gorse.
David's puss moth larvae have now all formed pupae and will remain there until next spring.  Below you see a sequence of photos from top left: a very early stage of a larva; a fully grown larva; the cocoon that the larva makes when it pupates (Can you spot this?); finally an adult puss moth.
David and Sarah have just had a week away in Hampshire.  David was writing about wildlife in the area for a motorhome magazine.  This involves visiting nature reserves and photographing the landscapes and the wildlife.  Photographing nature reserves can be quite tricky because many are not necesssarily photogenic, they tend to be quite scruffy, disorderly places!  Anyway David was up and about at 5am most mornings and did his best to use the best available light, here are four photos from the trip showing: Magdalen Hill (Butterfly Conservation site near Winchester); Broughton Down (Hants and IOW Wildlife Trust); a chalkhill blue butterfly roosting on harebells (the main target species for David) and Martin Down (National Nature Reserve).
David's latest article for Nature TTL has just been published.  This is about how to photograph moths, to read this article follow this link: https://www.naturettl.com/how-to-photograph-moths/
Below are two very different photos taken in the last few days.  To the left is a photo taken of the arable fields at Boscregan Farm, near St Just.  The flowers are mostly purple viper's bugloss and corn marigolds and in the distance you can see Sennen Cove.  To the right is a photo taken in David's garden.  The rabbits enjoy grazing on the weeds taken out of the flowerbeds, particularly the bindweed which would be useful if they could be trusted only to take the bindweed!