Author Archive

Sunday, February 08th, 2009 | Author:

The Redwing that Keith saw are apparently sticking around at least a little bit. Here’s one that was rummaging around in the leaf litter and the snow at the back of the reserve.

This is the first time I’ve seen signs of the more colourful summer plumage on the little grebe. Maybe it’s just growing up, and it represents more of a transition from juvenile to adult, as it’s a long way from summer out there!

Finally, if you ever wondered what a sparrow’s tongue looks like, wonder no more.

Sunday, January 11th, 2009 | Author:

A gloomy day on the reserve, especially at 3:30pm, but I stumbled upon one of the kingfishers on a branch behind the fallen elder on the inlet stream, just a foot or so above the water. I shot these from the farthest bridge.

I also then saw the water rail plodding along below him and then scooting off into the reeds. I didn’t manage to get a photo of it, but it was easily my best view of him personally.

There’s still a pair of teal on the mere, but they flew off each time I walked anywhere near their preferred resting spot (at the base of the spit). This was about the best shot I managed to get. A ‘record shot’ only I’m afraid: 400mm, ISO 3200, 1/30s, through some branches – for the photographers to appreciate why it’s so poor!

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Friday, January 02nd, 2009 | Author:

The kingfishers have been active over the last month. I managed to get a sequence of one of them diving, albeit unsuccessfully. This was from a very low hanging branch way up at the far end of the mere, beyond the fallen tree, taken from the bridge – so a long shot! Click the image for the larger version else you won’t see any of the (limited) detail.

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Tuesday, December 02nd, 2008 | Author:

This Little Grebe catches a lot of fish. In fact the only fish I see these days are the ones in his beak, or that of a Kingfisher.

Click image for larger version.

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Tuesday, December 02nd, 2008 | Author:

It must be heading towards Xmas. All they need is a bit of snow…

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Saturday, November 29th, 2008 | Author:

Here’s that pair of little Grebes (click for bigger as always), swimming across the mere. For once they’re not swimming directly away from my camera lens!

Also, here’s one of the pair of kingfishers. Not a good photo (far away and very dim light) but it’s nice to see them nonetheless – and I have every time I’ve been down recently.

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Monday, November 17th, 2008 | Author:

There’s usually one Little Grebe on the mere, but at the weekend, I saw a pair for the first time. They’re small and shy and I didn’t have a sufficiently big lens to get a picture of them, but look out for the small brown things diving in the Mere and coming up with fish.

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Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008 | Author:

Actually it’s a kyak, which was submerged against the opposite bank of the Ver at the back of the reserve.

Jack fished it out and found these American signal crayfish in residence. The base of that bucket is 18cm across so they’re pretty impressive at full stretch!

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Saturday, September 20th, 2008 | Author:
I snapped this swan when it was alone on the mere. A couple of days later there are four fairly mature signets too. And a little grebe. And a heron. And a kingfisher. All at once!
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Monday, September 08th, 2008 | Author:
A little late to be posting about this, because it was 28th June that the Summer Event was held, but it was a great day and worth reporting. Better late than never.

Pond dipping was a big attraction with kids and adults alike.

I must say I assumed there wasn’t much life at all in the water, since I never see anything other than fish. How wrong I was! We found the following in one small spot:

    • Tadpoles – quite big ones, some with legs


  • Small diving beetles – pure black – max 1cm long



  • Water louse



  • Caddisfly larvae – wrapped in debris, with just head and legs poking out of the front



  • Some sort of nymphs



  • Three spined sticklebacks, including pregnant males and very showy red bellied males



  • A baby newt – found the next day during clear up



  • Small shrimps



After all that fun we had a BBQ and the adults played whack a rat with even more vigour than the children.

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