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Sunday, February 15th, 2009 | Author:

snowdrops that is.

27.01.09
here is a picture taken before the recent snowfall.

I looked at the spot where the snowdrops stood during the snow, and all there was to see, was . .
. . snow, indeed, they must have been squashed by the weight.

12.02.09
Once the snow had cleared, what do we see?
You guessed it, snowdrops, seemingly little troubled by the conditions.


12.02.09
caught the song thrush again, so nice to see, and hear of course.


12.02.09
recently blue tits have been showing signs of interest in the nestboxes, I backed away from them to avoid interrupting them at this critical point in their year.


12.02.09
showing well, a blackbird


12.02.09
a robin, always charming, picking up seeds under the feeders.

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Saturday, February 07th, 2009 | Author:

07.02.09
after many months of searching, several sightings and much frustation, we finally have pics of the elusive water rail.

Water rail have been seen for at least the last 3 winters,
by almost everybody but me, it seemed.
I only saw him for the first time late last year.

Today, there were many encounters, here are the results.
The best ones are those that got away -and I did miss some great chances. All due to the secretive nature of this bird.

If you ever see one, you may notice the rail barely out of cover for more than a few seconds, then it’s gone again,
-perhaps best illustrated by the last picture in the series.

I also have a suspicion that two rail are present on site,
that make take quite a while to confirm.

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Wednesday, February 04th, 2009 | Author:

04.02.09
it’s the reed buntings, who were first spotted last year, 23.03.08
-today I saw two, but photographed one.
They may have been here all year long,
-but if they were, I didn’t see them . . .


04.02.09
there was a “fly over”, of perhaps 10 redwing.
Elusive, noisy, shy and fast, they remain a difficult bird to “capture”.
This one was 100 yards along the railway track from the Mere, after the fly over,
-so it’s one for this site as far as I’m concerned.

27.01.09
always worth including, the ever obliging blue tit


27.01.09
the lovely, elusive, ever-on-the-move, long tailed tit


27.01.09
two shots of what currently, seems to be our resident song thrush,
-on this misty morning, pointed out to me by Jack.


17.12.08
a young mute swan

07.12.08
mallard may be common, but they always look full of character,
-this female looks a bit threatening.


07.12.08

mallard, included here purely because I quite like the pic;
-they had their eye on me and soon made off.

07.12.08
little grebe, snapped way after the pair had been spotted.
Looking eerily atmospheric in the mist.

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Saturday, January 17th, 2009 | Author:

I know, but sometimes these things get overlooked,
therefore, these photos have been building up for a while.

a poor summer followed a promising spring, when we had the reed buntings, for example.

here’s some pics from that summer.

here we go, at the risk of confusing everyone, and myself . .


10.07.08
a jay, always hard to snap as they’re so timid


10.07.08
a great spotted woodpecker, a nice visitor to the “new” feeders in the Pyghtle area


25.07.08
two young robins, with interesting variations on the well known adult plumage.


01.08.08
a southern hawker dragonfly.


08.08.08
a young bullfinch, with it’s unusual colouring.
next up, the same day . . . . .


the final colour scheme

10.09.08
a grass snake, watched, if memory serves, by a young moorhen.


10.09.08
the first day the little grebe turned up this year.
later on the more bold second bird arrived.
here’s the timid one.


17.12.08
two kingfisher photos from December, only in the late afternoon, for about an hour, did the sun reach the back of the Mere. . . . kingfisher time!


19.12.08
Alder seeds are popular with goldfinches, siskin usually go for these, but this year goldfinch seem more prevalent.


17.01.09
one of relatively few siskin about as compared to other years.
pictured amongst the Alder seeds.

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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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Saturday, January 10th, 2009 | Author:

On a walk around the Reserve in the first week of January, it was lovely to see a pair of Shoveler ducks and two male Teal. The Teal were so timid that they flew away at the slightest disturbance but the Shoveler were slightly less scared. There have never been recorded sightings of these two species on the Reserve before so it is a real treat to see them. We managed to get this poor photo of the male Shoveler. It is possible that these birds arrived here as many other lakes were frozen over and it has driven them to find open water. Strangely, the WWA lake never seems to freeze over when other lakes do. There has also been a Water Rail, a pair of Little Grebes and a Kingfisher about this week.
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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:

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


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Sunday, November 23rd, 2008 | Author:

Popped down to the reserve lunchtime today during a lovely sunny spell. Went to my post on the far bridge and waited. Sure enough after 10 minutes, the great spotted woodpecker turned up. I’ve decided that I particularly like the beautiful brightly coloured birds – last year I was interested in the kingfisher but haven’t seen it for months. Anyhow the woodpecker perched for a few seconds on a higher flat branch, possibly assessing the dangers around it (can an ‘it’ assess?) and then flew directly to the spot where I’d seen the small hole before. There was a flurry of what seemed like woodshavings and then it seemed to be going backwards and forwards – whether marking territory or squeezing backwards into its small hole. It then disappeared from sight. Sometime I’ll have to go into the parkland on the other side to get a better view but it’s a bit of a bother. In the next 10 minutes there were a number of visitors to this specific bit of the dead tree tops – it seems quite a social area, though I don’t know how welcome they all are at the meeting – wood pigeons, blackbirds? eating what looked like scrambled egg but I doubt this and magpies. Funny how I perceive birds differently: I really like the “beautiful” ones; I dislike the ugly black ones and I’m just about to appreciate a chicken – for lunch!

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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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