Thursday, 31 July 2014

Dragonflies are STUNNING

Many of you probably know that dragonflies are one of my favourite beasties to photograph, even if it is difficult to find ones landed.
Lower Bruckland Ponds is a fantastic place to see them, and with there being so many dragonflies present there, there's a relatively good chance of capturing good shots of them. I have thousands of shots to sort through when workload permits but this Emperor will suffice for now:

The Lower Bruckland Pond area is also a lovely place to visit for a part day out! Very diverse range of butterflies as well as dragonflies, especially this time of year. And I can recommend the ice-cream too...

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Friday, 25 July 2014

Somerset Levels post 2 - Kingfisher up close

Still lots more to come here but I'm very busy (most of it in a good way...). Here's a pic of a showy Kingfisher which was posing nicely:

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Somerset Levels, a rare off-patch venture!

A recent trip to Somerset Levels (RSPB Ham Wall) provided lots of good species but not particularly good views. This Hobby was an exception to the latter, and although only showing for 10 seconds or so, it was rather close:

There's a lot more to post from this trip when time permits. Common Tern, Marsh Harrier, Bittern, Kingfisher, various dragonflies... Watch this space!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Barn Owl, Little Owl and migratory Waders

I've been a tad on the busy side to be able to dedicate much time to wildlife/photography; I did manage to get out on an evening midweek, and also tonight. It was good to see 3 summer plumage Dunlin on Black Hole Marsh this evening, but better still was 5 Little Ringed Plover (4 adult, 1 juvenile); not a bad count for here, or anywhere local come to that.

Little Ringed Plover

I also took a few shots of one of the adult Barn Owls but it was well after dark (21:40). I managed to 'make' the photo look better than the scene appeared in real life by increasing the sensitivity of the camera sensor but this obviously introduced noise and resulted in poor colouring:

The Black Hole Marsh Oystercatcher families continue to do well and make a great deal of noise:

And the wader numbers are steadily increasing. Due something rare I reckon...


Common Sandpiper

A midweek trip to where the River Coly meets the Umborne Brook yielded this distant, dark but handsome specimen:

Little Owl, taken at night well after dark

I'm hoping for another evening thunder & lightening storm as I'd love to get some shots of it! I was out in last night's storm 23:00 - 01:00 ish but didn't have the camera; thankfully some lovely company made up for it.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Some Yellow Legs!

An afternoon visit to Black Hole Marsh resulted in some excitement, with a very distant wader looking odd with vivid yellow legs. I quickly got on the phone to Steve Waite and Tweeted a couple of pics to him but it wasn't enough to ID the bird due to distance. Eventually it flapped and showed it's plumage off, making the ID obvious. This is the view I had first when I was unsure of ID:

The rain didn't help with ID-ing the bird either. Fortunately it flew and called, immediately eliminating any doubt that it's anything but a juvenile Redshank. The closer views also made it obvious, except with the legs which are still bloody yellow! It's not a trick of the light, or pale red or anything, they are literally yellow!

Juvenile Redshank (with yellow legs!)

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Autumn approaches...

The recent appearance of a juvenile and an adult Little Ringed Plover on Black Hole Marsh is a sure sign of an early autumn. I think the first one was around 10th July last year; hopefully these two is just the beginning... I haven't been able to get out to take any pics for a while so here's one of a Song Thrush from a couple of weeks ago, taken at the car park near Black Hole Marsh: