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....

Monday, 27 June 2011

Tropical beaches and a Great Crested Grebe update.

Last week I was down in Sussex and on this day, the sun shone and there was a brief respite from the rain.

I wandered down to the beach - the colours were lovely...

and it was hard to imagine that this was the south coast of England rather than some tropical island (except the shingle gives it away a bit)

Later on that day, I headed off to RSPB Pulborough Brooks. The poppies glowed out in the field

The bee was heading off; just a bit to late for me to capture it..

and as I started my journey, rabbits hopped about.. this one stayed still long enough to pose though

Just outside the visitor centre, sparrows abounded.

Just as you leave the visitor centre to start around the reserve, the view is wonderful.

and further around; black sky threatened

After about the third heavy shower I finally completed my walk but very light on birds today.

And back at home at the weekend, a visit to Painshill Park.
The weather had undergone a huge change and now temperatures had soared into the mid 80s with high humidity. It was hot!!

The two young Great Crested Grebe chicks are really growing up; no sign of Mum or Dad (who I later discovered at the very far end of the lake)

(This is a new variety of Grebe- a Push me/Pull you Grebe)

Really starting to get the more adult plumage

and having a quick dip...

Down at the bottom end was the other pair of Grebe adults. They were still showing signs of courtship despite the lateness of the season. They lost a batch of 4 eggs not many weeks ago.

and given the heat, bathing seemed a great idea!

The two young Mute Swan cygnets stayed close to Mum as they headed off to the shade.

I then decided it was far too hot and the light far too bright so headed off home.
Great to have the tranquillity of Painshill Park for a short while though.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Birds and Beasts in the Garden.

I was gazing out of the kitchen window the other morning when I noticed this rather pretty visitor. By the time I'd got the camera (macro lens attached!!), it had gone right down the end of the garden. So Macro lens, through double glazing, and 90 feet away.. on the whole I was lucky to get even this!

I often have Jays visiting the garden which is lovely (there's several Oak Trees nearby), and last year I had two fledgeling. Well it seems they've nested nearby again as...

not long after my foxy visitor I had ..

The family of four....

Please feed me...

Not quite sure what is going on here ;)

but still hungry!

A wonderful few moments and they're still around. I didn't dare open the door and was rather glad I'd cleaned the windows recently - that is a rarer occurrence than seeing a white-tailed eagle in the garden!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Wee Beasties and Flora at Barnes

I paid another visit to London Wetland Centre on Sunday; the weather looked like being better and, in the main, it was. Rather windy though which didn't help with macro photography.

And I didn't photograph a single bird! - it was all to do with flowers, insects and flutter.

On the way in..

I hadn't noticed the 2 tiny insects on this Scabious until I got very close to it!

A rather eventful morning and thanks for all your help Gary, Andy and Patrick :)

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Birds, beasties and bloggers block!

Before I start - Kay and Pauco.... thinking of you!

Well, it's a strange time at the moment and I've never had such a long absence from blogging. Not sure why but..... Not been helped over the last few days by the April-like weather in June; whereas April was more like June!! If that makes any sense at all!!

I've been down in Sussex quite a bit which has been lovely but I'm also separated from the PC and the pictures... but I've a few days at home again now.

Last Monday I popped over to Painshill... Tim had advised that a Hobby has been around but it was not to be seen by me. Not many youngsters about at the moment but the two Great Crested Grebe chicks are really growing up and beginning to get their adult plumage now.

As I crossed the bridge on my way in, a family of House Sparrows were darting about.

On the lake this one, of two, cygnets was "grazing" with Mum and Dad

These two mallards against the reflected blue sky caught my eye..

Last Tuesday I was due down in Sussex later in afternoon so I headed over the Barnes in the morning. I usually tend to concentrate on the birds and details, so this time I took a few pictures of the reserve itself.

The cheery yellow against the backdrop of blue sang out.

En route to Sussex in the afternoon, I dropped in to see what was about at Warnham Nature Reserve.

A (large) Skipper flitted about

and a Mute Swan swam by lazily in the still waters

One of the Great Crested Grebes (I think there are 2 pairs) dived for a meal, but was unsuccessful

I walked on around the reserve and heard a very young call...
A Woodie still in its nest in the tree. In the whole time I stood quietly watching, no parent was to be seen...

On my way back, the Great Crested Grebe was still sitting on her nest.

And one of the Common Terns was fishing

Whilst we sat in the hide, a keen eyed "watcher" saw the Grass Snake and I was just able to grab a couple of shots before it disappeard underneath the hide.

Along the path is a "Bug Hotel" and a clever carving of a beetle in on one of the posts.

A view out over the water..from the first hide.

The Great Crested Grebe's nest is at the end of the rushes (to the right of the mute swans). Hopefully it's a safe spot.

Back home a couple of days ago so I headed over the Barnes this morning. It rain was torrential at times but in a drier period...

One of about 7 moorhen youngsters.

Amazing experience with this tern. We were standing on one of the bridges over the channel and the tern was fishing. Constantly flying backwards and forwards, it then dived on two different occasions and came down under where I was standing. Awesome to see these wonderful birds up so close.

The surviving lone Little Grebe chick..

One of the parents was busy diving..

and finally, a gap in between the rain showers as I left, passing a few of these on the way.
Marsh Orchid

Hopefully I'll be out with the camera more in the next few days - weather permitting of course!
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