Garth Peacock
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What a delightful surprise

Monday 5th February 2018

What a week it wasn't

Sunday 4th February 2018

Week ending 19th January 2018

Monday 22nd January 2018

First outing of 2018

Monday 8th January 2018

A snowy start to the week.

Saturday 16th December 2017

Sucesses and failures in equal measure

Wednesday 13th December 2017

A morning of common birds

Sunday 26th November 2017

Wicken Fen Cambridgeshire

Tuesday 21st November 2017

The past ten days.

Thursday 16th November 2017

Birdguides Photo of the Week

Wednesday 8th November 2017

A week in pictures

Friday 3rd November 2017

Nothing exciting

Tuesday 17th October 2017

An update from the last few weeks

Wednesday 4th October 2017

Iceland - Day 11 - Thursday 15th June 2017

Tuesday 26th September 2017

Iceland - Day 10 - Wednesday 14th June 2017

Monday 25th September 2017

Iceland - Day 9 - Tuesday 13th June 2017

Monday 18th September 2017

Iceland - Day 8 - Monday 12th June 2017

Thursday 14th September 2017

Iceland - Day 7 - Sunday 11th June 2017

Monday 4th September 2017

Iceland - Day 6 - Saturday 10th June 2017

Saturday 2nd September 2017

A quick visit to Norfolk

Saturday 19th August 2017

View Blog Archive >>
Monday 5th February 2018

What a delightful surprise

Those who read this blog may remember that way back in November, during a visit to RSPB Lakenheath, I was fortunate to photograph a pure white leucistic Wren.

From time to time, I submit photos to the Birdguides website and was very pleased to receive Photo of the Week

Well, it gets better. I found out last week that this photo has been included in the final 10 for the choice of Photo of the Year. Birdguides receive thousand of photos every year so to be included in the final 10 is quite something.

Results awaited.

Sunday 4th February 2018

What a week it wasn't

The past few days, I have been dogged by a troublesome right leg, painful to walk on, that necesitated a visit to the local Physiotherapist. Keep off the leg as much as possible was one of the recommendations, especially not carrying heavy camera gear. Some hope there!!!!

Anyway, I decided to confine my visits during last week to the local sites where hides were just a short walk from the car. First off was the back end of Wicken Fen on Tuesday 30th January. I was very pleased with the shots I managed there in December and the weather was very similar. Unforunately, the birds were not. A pair of Coots has set up territory in front of the hide and took great exception to any intruders so visits were few and far between. So I shot the Coot (figuratively speaking) and it turnd out to be one of my better ones of this very common species.

A pair of Gadwall braved the war zone, the female appearing to show off in front of the male

and immediatley afterwards, the male reciprocating.

A 'little brown job' made a brief appearance in the reeds next to the hide for a couple of shots but I was then distracted by someone coming into the hide so forgot about it. Going through the photos on my computer, I was rather pleased to see that it was a Cetti's Warbler, not exactly rare but very difficult to photograph because of it's skulking habit.

By lunchtime, I had had enough so returned to the car. A male Pheasant was feeding in the field so I took a few shots. It was only when I got home that I realised that I had not photographed one for some years - too common to bother, I suppose.

On Thursday late morning, I visited Grafham Water to sit in the hide for a spell. Nothing close, no photos so wasted time.

Friday morning, I arranged to meet a friend at The RSPB headquarters in Sandy for a spell in the hide there. He very graciously drove me to the hide from my car and back so I was hoping that the morning would be fruitful. Quick answer - it wasn't, so we were reduced to trying to make something decent from the common stuff.

By lunchtime, we had had enough so called it a day.

Well that is wildlife for you. At present it is very hard work to get anything of note. This week, what with one thing and another, I am giving it a rest. Hope that next week improves.

 

Monday 22nd January 2018

Week ending 19th January 2018

Despite the adverse weather, I managed to test my camera gear twice last week. The first on Tuesday 16th was to re-visit Santon Downham in Suffolk (well on the Norfolk/Suffolk border really) to attempt better shots of the Parrot Crossbills. Being of the crossbill family, and feeding in the seeds of cone pines, they need to drink every hour or two and they had been reported comin in to drink in the puddles of a car park where we had photographed them before in December.

Once again, we only just had time to set up and they arrived, giving excellent views, first a male

and then a female

My shots of the female were substantially better than I managed last time so the trip was worthwhile, despite the disappointment of the Otters not making an appearance worth excercising my trigger finger for.

My next trip was to the Welney Wetland Centre, just up the road from me, despite being in Norfolk. I have been suffering with a pulled muscle in my right leg recently so did not relish too much walking and this seemed to fit the bill.

When you look back on old photos, they are often not up to current standards so it is useful to have the opportunity of replacing them with better ones. This is particularly true of common species that I often ignore in the field thinking that I have enough photos of them anyway. This trip to Welney was such an opportunity, particularly Pochard with the striking males.

and the less colourful females.

The flock of roosting Black-tailed Godwits was disturbed by an unseen predator.

A very close juvenile Whooper Swan.

and finally, some fly-by Bewick's Swans.

I was particularly pleased by these, although rather distant, as, being winter migrants from the Russian tundra, they are quite scarce this year.

After this, the weather became quite overcast so time to call it a day.

 

 

Monday 8th January 2018

First outing of 2018

It has been three weeks since my last blog, due to the Christmas break and a rather nasty dose of the flue that many people have caught. Despite first coming down with it three weeks ago, it is still lingering althouh not really affecting me that much now so the worst is over thankfully.

So, after a long time without use of the camera, and suffering withdrawal symptoms, last Friday I decided to brave 2018, but with an easy trip to the RSPB headquarters at The Lodge Sandy for a quiet morning in the hide. Did not expect too much, but getting out was important for my sanity.

Usual common stuff there that gave me the opportunity of replacing some of my older photos that are no longer up to scratch.

Magpie

Long-tailed Tit

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Stock Dove. I have always found these very difficult to photograph anywhere else as they are so shy but not so here.

A rarish male Brambling made a brief visit

and a Blackbird and Blue Tit bathing.

I was hoping for a Sparrowhawk to visit - it did with a fly by and a landing on the perch for a split second so no time for a shot - disappointing so after three hours I had had enough and returned home.

 

Saturday 16th December 2017

A snowy start to the week.

last Sunday, we woke up to the current rarity of a fall of snow, covering the trees and bushes in my garden. An opportunty to get some photos of garden birds with a different background. An other advantage is that I can do it in comfort from my bedroom window.

A couple of hours resulted in a female blackbird

male Chaffinch looking quite bedraggled.

a Goldfinch

Collared Dove

Wood Pigeon

 

and a Blue Tit.

Quite a pleasing effort and somthing different, finally finished by a few Redwings that descended on my Cotoneaster tree.

Then the sun broke through and put an end to the session as my rear garden faces south.

This is almost certainly my last blog of 2017 so a Happy Cristmas and successful 2018 to those who follow mthisblog with my sincere thanks for your interest.