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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Gray Squirrels

In the last few weeks, increasing numbers of gray squirrels have been visiting our garden. It's only a small garden, which backs on to a housing estate, which means that other than a few birds, we rearely have any visitors. So, it's nice to see them.

They seem to be a family group, as they move around together and seem fine with each others company. Most are youngsters. They are aslo pretty tame, and dont mind being approached to within about 10 feet or so - close enough to get some nice portraits...

Friday, 30 December 2011

Rutland Water

Earlier in the year we visited Rutland Water, hoping to see Ospreys there. We did, but not at close enough range to get any pictures, I'm afraid. Nevertheless, we did have some other, closer, encounters.

Walking back to the car park, we noticed a neighboring field, in which some hares were mucking about.

By the visitor center, there are some bird feeders. However, instead of birds, the food was being eaten mainly by rodents! If you don't like rats, look away now.

Monday, 29 August 2011

The rest of the rest.

Here is a final mixture of shots taken on my trip to Norfolk at the beginning of August.

Blakeney Point:

RSPB Boyton Marshes:

RSPB Minsmere:

Next time, some photos from Rutland Water.

Monday, 22 August 2011

A selection of macro shots from Cambridgeshire and Suffolk

As promised, here are some macro shots from my recent trip. If you don't like spiders, look away now.

OK, you can look back now.

To get thisnext one, I had to lay down on a reed bed that had recetly been trimmed to ground level. It was much like laying on a bed on nails.

This wasp was, with his mates, slowly munching away a wooden bench in the reserve. They are persistent, but they have a long way to go yet.

And finally a banded snail, taken early one morning while waiting for the barn owls at Lakenheath Fen.

Next time, the best of the rest from my trip.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

RSPB Lakenheath Fen

Here are some shots taken at this RSPB reserve in Cambridgeshire.  I arrived very early, just after dawn and saw these barn owls peering out of a small shed.

There were four in total - these three youngsters: 

And this parent flying back and forth hunting.

While waiting for the parent to return, this bittern flew over head and landed in a nearby reed bed! My first shot of a bittern. It was a little gloomy as the sun was only just up, but there was just enough light to get a shot.

On the way back to the car, a stopped for a rest beside another reed bed, and briefly saw this kingfisher. It would not perch in plain view, but with some manual focusing I did manage to photograph it through the reeds.

All in all a good morning, and worth the early rise: Owls, Bitterns and Kingfishers!

Next time, some macro shots from Minsmere and Wicken Fen.

Saturday, 20 August 2011


It's been awhile since I posted any new pictures, but here are some pictures taken on recent a trip to Cambridgeshire & Norfolk. I'll be posting more photos from the trip over the next few days.

First up, some pictures taken from the Fen hide at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen near Norwich. I'm very pleased with these, as they are the first pictures I have of Kingfishers. The weather was really grotty - you can see the rain falling in most shots, but they came out better than I thought they would.

Look at that rain!

In between photographing the Kingfishers (which were back and forth for about an hour), I also took some shots of a rather wet looking Heron. These came out OK too, given how dark it was (shutter speeds of about 1/100th, even at ISO 1600, not easy with a 500mm on a crop sensor).


Next time, some Barn Owls and a Bittern!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Colourful Starlings

Starlings are amazingly colourful birds. They do often just look a bit drab, but if they've just had a bath in next doors pond, the their colouring becomes pretty obvious!


Thursday, 7 July 2011

Cuckoos, Hobbies and Marsh Harriers at Stodmarsh

Here are my two favorite photos taken so far this year. As it happens, they were taken within about an hour of each other, at the same location - Stodmarsh NNR in Kent.

I've been to Stodmarsh perhaps half a dozen times now, and every time I've been, I've seen Marsh Harriers. They are completely reliable!

 What I haven't seen before though is nest building, which is what this female is up to.

Shortly afterwards, a Hobby landed in a nearby tree. I was just lining the shot up, when a cuckoo landed right next to it! Not something you see every day :-)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


At the weekend we visited Littlehampton on the south coast of England. It was a scorcher, so we headed for the beach:

These next shots were all taken with a 300mm lens plus a 1.4x teleconverter - when there's loads of light, teleconverters come into their own. Stopping down to f8 doesn't really prevent you taking sharp images in the way that it does on gloomier days.

I love the backgrounds produced by shingle - very colourfull!


On the way out we spotted these two Herring Gull chicks wondering around on a roof top near the car park (again, the car park is often the best place to look!)...

This one seemed to be having problems navigating the slippery roof - it managed it in the end though!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Shortlisted for BWPA 2011

This year I was again shortlisted the the British Wildlife Photography awards. Unfortunately though, it didn't come to anything. Here, below, is the picture that made the shortlist. It was taken at Chanonry Point, near Inverness in Scotland.

To be honest I was a little surprised it was picked, as the light is pretty poor, and there are plenty of better shots of dolphins taken from Chanonry Point to be found on the internet. Nevertheless, it was nice to chosen!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Jersey - part 2: Durrell Wildlife Park

As promised, here are some shots taken at the Durrell Wildlife Park in Jersey.

Quiz - what's this?: