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Monday 29 December 2014

Reed and Red

Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

A resident species in Southern UK, the male Reed Bunting looses some of its striking markings during Winter. The black head looks somewhat washed out and you will not hear the monotonous call as you would in Summer.

The Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis cabaret)

The first and so far, the only Redpoll I have observed this Winter. There were only four in number and they were in a location I would expect to find them, high up in Alder trees eating the seeds.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Scenes from a Parkland Walk

A typical scene of one of the lakes in the Parkland.

Actually the heading is a slight distortion, as the post consists of images from two walks put together for a bumper Christmas edition. {:))

A flight of Greylag Geese returning to one of the lakes after a sortie into the nearby open arable fields where they would have foraged for food. They tend to 'To and fro" from the fields during the day for water, preening and rest on the lakes.

A female Great Spotted Woodpecker which in the main avoided a nice clear shot by moving about high in the trees.  

Above and below, images of a typical walk around the waters edge.

A Robin sitting on an exposed perch.

You can get some different photographic effects facing the low afternoon sun.

 A Great Tit peering out from foliage.

A Grey Heron making its way down stream.

A Blue Tit also peering out from foliage.

Bare Willow Osiers.

One of the resident Mute Swan families.

Chaffinch (F)

Tuesday 23 December 2014

A Dull Day - or so I thought.

A walk on an extremely dull day.

With binoculars and a camera for scene shooting only, I ventured out for what turned out to be not quite such a dull day. I was only intending to observe birds rather than photograph them. This of course has its risks, because 'Sods Law' dictates that you will always see something of interest that you could have photographed if you had taken your camera with you. 

With the high winds I did not expect to find much in the way of birds and if I wanted to take scenes it was going to be tricky requiring lots of over exposure.

Most of the scenes reveal that Winter has well and truly taken hold with bare trees, dead foliage, muddy fields and soiled water that showed by the colour the extent of recent rainfall.

I met a local Birding colleague who was searching for the Stonechat that I and others had seen recently.

It was not long before we found the little bird who was still in the same area. Hopefully, it will remain for the Winter period and we get to see it often. I then carried on with my walk and 'Sods Law' was about to come into play.

As already stated, I did not have with me a camera and long lens used for bird shooting. The scene below was shot from a small bridge (known as Swallow Bridge).
When I arrived at the bridge I looked up this water course and just on the first brown stalks to the right was a perched Kingfisher. To my surprise it didn't move straight away like normal. I could (if I had the right camera) have taken at least 10 shots before it flew off up stream. It landed on the opposite side of the stream on the distant, but visible left corner. It was then joined immediately from the other direction by another Kingfisher. Subsequently they both flew off upstream. I had received reports previously from other Birding colleagues about Kingfishers frequenting this location.

To end, a shot of the edge of a field where Winter Wheat is already showing through the soil. 
See below.

Sunday 21 December 2014

Saturday 20 December 2014


The Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

The fifth and last of series of species that I photographed on the same walk as the Stonechat.

Of all these five species that I have featured in this series, this is the one that I am most likely to see on a regular basis.  Nonetheless it is a special bird and always worth taking images of.