Thursday, 14 December 2017

December 2017 Goosander on my local park lake

I got a notification that there was a male Goosander on my local park lake at Pittville Cheltenham.  This is only a few minutes drive away from my home.  So it was grab my gear and off to the lake within a few minutes.  I spotted the Goosander as soon as I arrived.  What a handsome bird and it was great to get some images.  Even the light had improved during my journey.

Male Goosander looking serene

Time to stretch those wings

Lovely sunlight
This really is a handsome bird and I was well pleased to spend some time with it.

Monday, 11 December 2017

December 2017 Lots of wintering thrushes around at the moment in the Cotswold Hills UK

At this time of the year there are many wintering thrushes here in the Cotswolds.  It is relatively mild here and they come in there thousands from Northern Europe and Scandinavia.  I always enjoy seeing them as they come in flocks into the trees that contain berries.  I bet the resident blackbirds and thrushes feel under threat the way they quickly strip the trees of berries.  I would imagine in these great numbers that they are welcome addition to the menu of the resident Sparrowhawks!

Fieldfare

Redwing
These redwings were on my garden holly tree and this must be one of my shortest ever birding trips!

Monday, 4 December 2017

December 2017 During each time spell I always seem to get a favourite character. This Water Rail is amazing!

This is definitely my favourite bird of the moment.  These are really nervous and shy birds, but this Water Rail seems to appear consistently and is quite confiding.  The Willow Hide at Slimbridge is so well designed for photography having really low positioned openings.  With limited time to spare this was a great morning.



I particularly like this last image with the drop of water on its bill.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

November 2017 A walk on Cleeve Common, Gloucestershire UK

I had a walk on Cleeve Common this morning.  This beautiful Kestrel was around most of the time.  Hovering as it hunted, or sometimes keeping an eye open for prey from the thorn scrub bushes.

Always on the look out!

Typically hovering while hunting
The beauty of this bird was the highlight of the walk for me.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

November 2017 Early morning in the Forest of Dean

I got up early and decided to go and look for the Great Grey Shrike that has been reported for a few weeks now in the Forest of Dean.  It was beautiful early morning sun light and I really enjoyed the walk.  There was no shrike to be seen but I managed to get some images of Fallow Deer.  Sometimes its good not to have too exact a target, enjoy the day and be satisfied with images of anything else that comes with the day.

I caught these fallow doe in lovely sunlight

A group of bucks came out of the undergrowth
Always enjoy the walk and the occasion and do not be disappointed when pre-planned targets do not appear!

Friday, 10 November 2017

November 2017 A quiet walk around my own patch. Native Roe deer.

If you walk around quietly sometimes its surprising how you can catch wild Roe deer very relaxed.  You have to stop and stand quietly when they pay you attention and move slowly toward them.  Being down wind can be a big advantage but I must admit that did not go through my mind on this occasion.  I am still happy with these images.

Roe Deer doe.

Roe deer buck.
It was great to catch this buck asleep under a hedge.  I had to choose my moment to catch him with his eyes open!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

November 2017 a sunny morning trip to Slimbridge WWT

I thought I would have a trip to Slimbridge as the sky was clear and it looked like it was going to be a great day.  All of the images were taken from my favourite hide there the "Robbie Garnett" hide.
This is a great hide where the windows are wide enough and the sun comes from behind for most of the day.

A flock of Curlew across the "Tack Piece"

Part of thirteen cranes that flew past

Shoveler having a bathe

Whooper Swan
It was particularly great to get some images of Whooper Swans.  Slimbridge is particularly famous for its Bewicks Swans that visit in the winter, but these are a much rarer sight at Slimbridge.
Seeing a flight of thirteen Cranes' on a fly-past was an awesome sight and on its own made the trip worthwhile.