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Friday, January 20th, 2012 | Author:














9 ring necked parakeets on site today.

They’re always there and few native species seems to worry them.

Until a sparrowhawk flew over that is, then they went into an extreme panic.

Not quite as dominant as we thought they were then. . . .

some fly-bys:







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Saturday, November 06th, 2010 | Author:

present on site today, some welcome, some not . . .

the pair of little grebes are back, I assume it’s the same two.
Here’s one of them, they are staying close together compared to previous seasons.

there were about 10 collared doves on the feeder today, nothing else got near while they mobbed the perches.

one of the four ring-necked parakeets seen today, if this lot get a hold in the area, things may never be the same!

Thursday, June 24th, 2010 | Author:


while attempting to photograph these little creatures,
I became a little sidetracked by the banded demoiselles.

When perched on a leaf they obviously present a pretty picture.
In flight their wings seemed to act like helicopter rotors.

That was it, I had to capture one in flight.

here’s one at rest

in flight, look at the helicopter wings!

here, we have a female banded demoiselle.

another variation, here I think we have a ruddy darter.
My trusty nature book leads me to this identification -see bottom of posting.

this is a mystery bug, anyone got any ideas?
There are so many minute creatures whizzing about and they all seen to be tiny,
fast and hard to capture, with a camera, a net may be more successful.

here’s another, sitting on a lily pad -not found it in my book, yet.

my trusty book by the way: the Collins Complete British Wildlife by Paul Sterry.
It’s really useful as identifying photographs convey exactly what one sees in the field.
I found one cheap in a garden centre last year. Have a look for it.

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Saturday, June 19th, 2010 | Author:


by coincidence I was on site Thursday morning and also happened upon the damselflies

the rather disappointingly named common blue damselfy.
Most of the time, I have no idea what I’ve seen until I get home,
view the photograph, then refer to my ever-to-hand nature guide book.

a blue-tailed damselfy, according to the book.

look closely, this great tit has got his prized sunflower heart.

in a conventional pose, the ever wonderful bullfinch.

the hovering bullfinch!
I was lucky with this one, the colour’s a bit off, but I enjoyed the moment.

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Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 | Author:

It’s warming up at the Mere

after sitting here for a while, squirrel number one hopped across the bridge using the handrail as it’s own little highway.
Their agility has to be admired.

later, squirrel number two turned up and had a good old sniff about.
It then scurried across the bridge, in the wake of number one, sniffing everywhere it went, .
I know it’s not exactly news, but we are surrounded by animal scents -we may well be mistaken for a squirrel by another as we probably have their scent on us . . . if we use the handrail.
I may well wear latex gloves next time I cross the bridge!

a snatch of yet another furious fight between a coot and anything else that happens to be passing.
Here it’s the moorhen couple (see previous blog entry) who eventually saw off the intruder.
If there was a passing rhino, I think the coot would have a go. . .

one of the ubiquitous collared doves leaving the feeder.
I include this as a fleeting moment, normally the wing display would be lost in a flurry of feathers.

still four in number and doing well, the mallard chicks.
And elder brother in the background.

yes, the slime is back.
Looking at last year’s blog, it was present 01.07.09.
The delightful, fragrant, blue green algal bloom.
It’ll cover the Mere in a weekend I bet.
It’s warming up at the Mere

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Monday, May 17th, 2010 | Author:

A few unexpected noises and interruptions today.

there was a huge amount of noise upon my arrival, it turned out to be a great spotted woodpecker pecking an owl box.
A poor shot, but it shows the guilty party.
The box served to amplify his hammering -in a big way, if he wanted to make an impression, he succeeded.

here’s a bit of a close up of the damaged box.

these mallard chicks now number four, there were ten.
Also with them is a presumed elder brother/ mongrel from an earlier brood. He is mentioned in Sam’s previous blog entry,
also, he’s the duckling featured in my post of 22.04.2010
I later saw the proper father return, so our mongrel must be the same hanger-on.

I think we may be parents soon!
There is already another successful pair of moorhens on the reserve.

to illustrate the interruption problems the reserve faces from careless people outside the site, this image does the job.
Here is a snap of a hound galloping along the Ver, it ran all the way past the inlet right up to the railway bridge.
There was nothing to stop him getting into the reserve and doing untold damage.
I find it incredibly irresponsible for owners to let their dogs loose like this.

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Friday, April 23rd, 2010 | Author:

my first visit for a while, too long really.
I was plagued by foliage getting in the way of my “perfect” shots, also unwanted branches.
We could also blame the creatures themselves, they don’t want to be pestered do they?

here a wren tries to hide under a leaf -and nearly succeeds.

it’s time to say “aah” as the ever present blue tits pose for us.

among the leaves, again.

the fritillaries on show again, though with some frost damage.
I managed to hide those to the rear of this shot, they appear lighter.

a peacock butterfly suns itself on a log heap, after all the cold, it’s nice to see some beneficial sunshine.
Also seen, orange tip and speckled wood.

I saw a male mallard chase away a duckling earlier, the female seems to tolerate him still.
He’s a bit of a mongrel, a bit dull. He may grow up to be a she, we’ll see.
Anyway he has found the surplus seeds below the feeders, so he should survive OK.

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Tuesday, February 02nd, 2010 | Author:

so I ventured out onto the reserve for the first time in a month or so.
I found it still buzzing with activity.


Siskin take niger seeds, let’s hope the goldfinches don’t object.
No luck catching them in a natural setting this time,
still, got them last year so can’t complain. . .see blog for 17.01.2009.

Siskin like sunflower hearts too, -it pays to be versatile.

a little run of little grebe pictures:

Not the clearest image, but how many times have you seen a little grebe
OUT of the water? Me? Never.

a blackbird, waiting for me to leave the feeder area.

Wherever you are on the site, someone is watching you.

The Mere’s secretive resident pheasant, also watching warily.

Snowdrops never cease to amaze do they?
The snow clears and there they are!

The last of this winter’s redwing flock, it felt as if I had scared them all away,
but they were probably on their way North again soon anyway . . .

Most of the red in redwing name stems from the red on the bird’s body.
This redwing shows more of it’s plumage, just for the camera.

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Sunday, December 06th, 2009 | Author:

of birds from distant places

A flock of 20 or so redwing popped up today.
They come from Scandinavia to the U.K. every year, often with fieldfare present.
Redwing are timid, fieldfare can be more tolerant if you are careful in your approach.

A slightly improved, but still distant view of a redwing.

Another distant view -this blackcap should have gone to Europe somewhere, but has remained here, so far.
Several birders have, unusually for the time of year, seen blackcaps at garden feeders.
Usually, blackcap sightings are a sign of spring.

Still here, the two little grebes, catching fish with every dive.

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Wednesday, November 25th, 2009 | Author:

and we can see all the things we missed in summertime.
Those things that sit on branches at least.
I prefer winter to summer for clear, sunny days like these.

what you get when you point the lens skyward.
A blue tit, busy with a seed by the look of it.
In the scented sanctuary area by the river.

one of a busy group of long tailed tits, same place as the blue tits.
Blue tits & long tailed tits are often found together, on a good day, goldcrest may be present too.
Keep looking.

A fleeting view of the sparrowhawk, hunting hard all the time I was on site.
One of a pair seen at distance.

Returning (we assume) for another winter, the little grebes.

There is a third little grebe present. he may be one this year’s chicks.
He seems to stay on his own.

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