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Thursday 31 October 2013

Parkland Walk

General observations from a recent Parkland Walk.
A windy day and the clouds were moving fast and furious which eventually led to a nice clear blue sky.

The odd Comma butterfly is still hanging on at this time and finding food on old blackberry fruit.

Below is a great spot for viewing the Kingfisher, but you have to wait a while.

There is still some colour around in the form of a variety of flowers, although some are past their best.

Not easy to find or photograph this Jay was searching amongst the foliage of an oak tree for acorns.

A male Chaffinch keeping out of the wind……..

……….. as is this Robin.

A Dabchick (Little Grebe) observed at the same spot above where the Kingfishers perch.

The first Redwing I have seen this autumn and he is feeding on yew berries.

A Dunnock flew to this spot below from cover, only to disappear again quickly.

A healthy looking Rabbit.

I am always amazed and take a particular interest at the way birds, especially larger water birds like ducks and geese fly and manouvere themselves in the air.

I was able to take this sequence of four shots below of a Mallard as he was approaching over a bridge to land on water.  You can see where the original aircraft designers got some of their ideas from.

Note the webbed feet acting as the first flaps to slow his approach down.

Then he lowers his tail down to really apply the big brakes.

He is now happy with his approach speed with the correct trim for gliding…..

……and he continues with a little correction to the tail, in that trim until landing.

Two more Dabchicks, in open a water this time.

Below is the open water where I observed the two Dabchicks.

Sunday 27 October 2013

Blowing Bubbles

Lumix GH3. 100-300mm lens. 250mm(500) 1/2500 at f5.3. ISO400

Its a Mute Swan feeding on weed under the surface of shallow water and blowing bubbles in the process.

A few Mute Swan portraits.

Lumix GH3. 35-100mm lens. 100mm(200) 1/1000 at f4.5. ISO200

I was in the wrong place to get the 'heart shape' correctly on this occasion. Something you would normally see in the Springtime, but this pair were in open water with other Mutes close by, so it was a form of greeting and commitment, rather than what it usually means.

Thursday 24 October 2013


Can you spot the Starling
There are 20 in there somewhere.

I watched a flock of approximately 200 Starlings that descended on a group of Hawthorn trees. The trees had numerous bramble trails over them which were overloaded with blackberries.

Normally, who takes much notice of Starlings, perhaps when they flock and perform their aerial display later in the autumn at dusk.

Close inspection reveals a really colourful species. Most of those that I observed are already in their winter plumage which I think is more colourful than their summer.

There are 10 in the image below.

Traditionally according to folklore, blackberries should not be picked after Michaelmas (29 September).
The "old wives tale" may in reality have more to do with a mould named Grey Botrytis Cinerea which can form on the berry late in the season.

Monday 21 October 2013


A chance encounter with this elusive character.
I have certainly had quite a few brief sightings of the Kingfisher in recent times in areas that I have seen them in the past. We had a bad winter or two that reduced sightings in those areas, but they are coming back from what I have seen, which is encouraging.

Friday 18 October 2013

Floaters and Flutters

Now this is a nice species to observe swimming about the water.
I would rather see this in the water than a Mink any day. (see my last post)

Comma butterflies are still feeding on the blackberries.

Its not my dog by the way.