My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
To view pictures in larger format, just click on any picture for the picture gallery....

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Inland as the sun sinks

I deliberately intended to be in the right place at the right time, to get some pictures of birds as the sun was low in the sky at the end of the day. And this I did.

I also met Mark (a man of discerning taste as a Canon user :)) and we fell into conversation. Mark had been watching the Canada Geese, Mallards etc. regularly to see when they flew up and off to roost in the evening. Time went on, Mark and I must having been waiting from some 40 minutes or so, and the witching hour came and went; we had to conclude that they weren't going to fly off whilst we waited.

However, the time was really well spent and the light was wonderful. I love this time of the year for the lighting conditions and these will get better as we go through October - so fingers crossed I'm going to get the shots that I'd like.

If you find your way here Mark - hope you got some good shots.

This is what was around in the late afternoon.
Male Red-Crested Pochard dozing in the sun

stretching his wings...

Female Tufted Duck

Male Tufted Duck

Black-headed Gull - in flight

Female Wigeon

Sun lighting a Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Male Mallard - I just wish I'd had time to compose this shot properly. Managed to decapitate the wing tips and exposure is wrong.

Bottoms up! (Mallards)

Sun bathing Canada Geese

Canada Geese

Off to the beach in lovely sunshine

A morning on the beach. The gulls were out in force at this particular spot; they know when they're onto a good thing. For years now, a particular fisherman has sold his morning's catch from this point on the beach - weather and fish willing! Needless to say the gulls gather on the beach, the beach huts and in the sparkling sea - just awaiting the titbits!

I'm not attempting to identify any of the gulls, but if anyone wishes to.... then please do.

and for a spot of colour...

A foggy start to the day

I seem to have got a tad behind with my posting - so here is first catch-up post. The posts do not relate to the above date!

I awoke to a very misty day and all around were spider's webs creating their own lacework among and through the plants. I just wish I had the photography skills to have picked up the "sparkle" of the webs better.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

The Great Escape

I realise that I haven't posted anything to my blog since Monday. I may be suffering from Blogger's block - a new(ish) complaint which, from my observations, fellow bloggers suffer from at one time or another. This can be just a blip or, in some cases sadly, a halting of blogging altogether for one reason or another - and those to whom this applies are missed.

There's something about the cessation of summer (well almost) and a reluctance to acquiesce to the idea of Autumn starting (not that Autumn is at fault here, far from it), for what it's presence implies.

Having been cooped up most of the week, I decided fresh air and exercise was needed in good measure to restore the spirits, so I headed off for the Great Escape - Bushey Park. The other motive for this venue - I wanted to check the progress of the impending Deer rut!

Needless to say, my legs refuse to function normally on a walk unless I have a camera slung over a shoulder so despite the sun (which wasn't shy when I left home) disappearing for the rest of my walk, I managed to get some shots.

Starting off by the Boating Pond which, if you took away the Jackdaws, Canada Geese, Moorhens, Mallards, Black-headed Gulls and Feral Pigeons you wouldn't be left with much else except for a Grey Heron and some Red-headed Pochards.

A Grey Heron who didn't appear to have transgressed (in that no fish were observed in its beak) so may have benefitted from reading the notice just below him!

Up on a tree stump, a Jackdaw observed me with an imperious look!

Further around the pond, a clump of fungus was growing at the base of a tree

Next sighting was a small group of Red Deer Hinds with a couple of youngsters.

I was then aware of the "roaring" of Red Deer Stags and discovered, much to my delight, a very handsome chappie complete with his harem of 20 plus hinds. He was certainly making his presence felt.

By now I was the other side of the road and somewhat thankful - the Stag gave me a parting glare and I didn't hesitate to resume my walk.

I heard two other Stags roaring, so it would appear that the rut has now started. Watch this space......

Wandering along a path next to one of the many streams, I hadn't seen this Grey Heron - but it saw me and decided that the branch of a tree was safer territory.

Finally, on my return to the car I came across a very young Grey Squirrel; who'd rather adopted a gentleman out for a walk. No fear was shown by the squirrel (or the gentleman either!) as the youngster decided that trouser-clad legs were made for climbing.

Having got some shots, I then knelt to get a different angle. This was the wrong thing to do; young squirrel decided my leg was for climbing - when it managed to get up above my knee I, feeling decidedly nervous, decided that enough was enough and had to encourage him to return to ground level. He then followed us for a short way before finding something of greater interest!! Phew - sharp claws.

Well - not too bad a day after all.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Not bad for a Monday

Today I met Hugh at the London Wetland Centre. It started off quite cloudy and chilly but eventually the sun came out for a bit.

We were surprised by the lack of birds on the water - lots of Gadwalls and the usual culprits - Moorhens, Coots etc. but nothing particularly noteworthy.

On our way in we were advised (by one of the volunteers) that there were Lizards normally found in the wooden wall of one of the hides. We duly trotted over not expecting to see them as the sun wasn't out - but hey - there were six of them.

Later on we were entertained by several Long Tailed Tits. I don't know if it was the same flock following us or different birds in different locations. Apparently several have been seen flying through and also flocks of Chiffchaffs too - but we dipped on those.

Dragonflies were about and I managed to get some OK shots of those.

I pleasant way to spend a Monday and in good company.

Common Lizards (I believe!)

Long-tailed Tit

Common Darter

Emperor (?) Dragonfly
Edited: with a bit of help, I'd now say this is a Migrant Hawker.

Little Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

Chiloe Wigeon (collection bird)

I like these pink grass seed heads - I believe it's a Miscanthus of some sort.
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