Garth Peacock
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Good weather at last

Friday 17th May 2019

5 days of not a lot

Saturday 4th May 2019

Week ending 26th April 2019

Monday 29th April 2019

The last couple of weeks or so

Wednesday 17th April 2019

Wales - Day 5

Monday 15th April 2019

Wales - Day4

Thursday 11th April 2019

North Wales - Day 3

Tuesday 9th April 2019

North Wales - Day 1 and 2

Sunday 7th April 2019

March so Far

Wednesday 13th March 2019

The last couple of weeks of February

Sunday 3rd March 2019

The last seven days

Monday 18th February 2019

The last two weeks of January

Wednesday 6th February 2019

Wildfowl Week

Monday 21st January 2019

Slim pickings for a month.

Monday 14th January 2019

Last one for 2018

Tuesday 11th December 2018

A week to remember

Monday 3rd December 2018

A couple of trips to norfolk

Friday 16th November 2018

Deer and more Deer

Thursday 15th November 2018

Some activity at last.

Saturday 3rd November 2018

Welney Widlife Trust Norfolk

Monday 22nd October 2018

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Friday 17th May 2019

Good weather at last

This week, the weather has been rather good, to say the least. Virtually cloudless skies so I planned a day in Norfolk.

Last week, my gear was in the Canon repair centre as I was not happy with the focusssing. I received it back last Friday and wanted to test it out with some flight shots.

05:45 my mobile rang with one of those duff calls that none of us want to receive - what!!, PI calls at that time. Anyway, I was up so I took the opportunity to visit an area where Peregrine Falcons are about and an early start required.

Four hours later, one put on a show for me.

Getting on for lunchtime, I decided to go to Wicken Fen to see if there were any Hobbies about - yes but always distant.

An enjoyable day but not much to show for it.

Tuesday, with the weather still great. after a morning tidying up the garden, I decided to have a walk around Fen Drayton Lakes, taking my 100-400 lens to try that out. The usual not much, despite the sunshine. Reed Buntings did show by the side of the access road.

and at the end a Whitethroat also popped up.

Not much to show considering the weather.

Wednesday, I went to Lackford Lakes in Suffolk as there were loads of Warblers showing, apparently but I just have not been able to process the photos yet.

 

Saturday 4th May 2019

5 days of not a lot

I actually went out three times during the past week with the latter two being totally unproductive. In fact during the last  one, three hours and I did not take a photo. All wildlife photographers will undoubtedly sympathise - all been there, done it and got the t-shirt!!!

The only semi-productive visit was 30th April to Wicken Fen. Nothing showing at Billy's Hide overlooking Bakers Fen so on to Mere Hide. A few ducks were there with no action until a group of drake Gadwall started a real squabble for some 5 minutes or so, presumably over a female.

Just as all was settling down to the usual inaction, a Bittern suddenly appeared flying over the hide

and landed in the reeds, stopping to give me a once-over look.

That's all folks. Not much to show for all the effort.

It may be a couple of weeks before I post anything here. The autofocus on my camera is beginning to malfunction occasionally so on Tuesday, after the holiday, I am taking all my gear into Canon Service.

Monday 29th April 2019

Week ending 26th April 2019

After the hurly-burley of a very busy couple of weeks, culminating with family staying over the Easter weekend, it was very theraputic to get away to Norfolk for the day on Tuesday. The weather was not as good as forecast (the usual story) but I made the best of it, despite the bitter easterly wind.

First call was to the NWT reserve at Holme Dunes where anything of interest had already moved on - just a quick shot of a Pied Wagtail.

With a very high tide, there was nothing of interest at my usual haunts so I ended up spending the afternoon at RSPB Titchwell that was surprisingly quiet. As usual, the water level was too high on the freshmarsh so it was a case of concentrating on flight shots. First a Shelduck

then a two of the small flock of Brent Geese still hanging around.

Although distant under a cloudy sky, a pair of Avocets reminded me of what spring is all about.

and a pair of Sandwich Terns also displayed.

I really would have liked a close shot of an adult Mediterranean Gull but they were distant too but looked good in the late afternoon sunshine that eventually appeared.

Finally, an adult male Ruff, approaching it's very colourful breeding plumage made an appearance.

On Thursday afternoon, I slung my camera over my shoulder and walked aroung Fen Drayton Lakes RSPB. Not expecting very much, I was not disappointed but I did find a location where some Common Terns were feeding and flying by.

and a Mute Swan paddled past me just at the end of my lens - couldn't resist a quick uncropped shot.

Friday saw a friend and I heading south to Abberton Reservoir in Essex to see the Ortolan Bunting that had been there for a few days. I had never seen one and still haven't as it had departed overnight. The substitute was a Channel Wagtail that I had also never seen before. It originates from northern France and is a hybrid between a Yellow Wagtail and a Blue-headed Wagtail. It kept it's distance as there were many birders still forlornly hoping for the Ortolan Bunting to appear.

Moving to the other side of the reservoir, there was a smallish area of scrub woodland near the entrance to the reception building. We counted at least 4 Nightingales singing - there could have been more - and other warbler species singing away. Although spending time with the camera there was nothing worth keeping but on the dam there was a pair of Little Ringed Plovers that looked as if they could be preparing to nest.

With nothing else of interest we left for home mid-afternoon.

 

Wednesday 17th April 2019

The last couple of weeks or so

It has taken a while for me to finish off the editing of the photos from my trip to Wales so that more recent photos have taken a back seat. Still all finished and up-to-date now except for this blog.

27th March - a visit to Santon Downham in Suffolk to try to photograph the Otters. As we arrived, they had been resting on a blown-down tree trunk that had fallen across the river but just left so we followed the mother and one cub upriver with some photo opportunities.

They then emerged to cross the path and disappeared into the reeds to the holt for the rest of the day. Show over!!!

On the way back we came across a Grey Wagtail that posed rather well.

with a surprising sighting of a Water Vole that I was delighted with as I have never photographed one before.

4th April - Another try for the Otters but this time they did not co-operate at all.

We also tried for the Woodlarks in the area but never managed to get close enough for good shots.

A local birder then explained where we could find a Rough-legged Buzzard at nearby Weeting Heath - no show - and the only bird on offer was a male Pheasant. Despite being beautiful birds, they rarely do anything of interest so are often ignored by photographers but this one paraded up and down and displayed so worth activating the camera for.

8th April - Bakers Fen Cambridgeshire. A quick morning trip to the hide but it was foggy when I arrived with little of interest except for a pair of Pochard mating, first time I have witnessed this.

A pair of Canada Geese came right up to the hide so a quicj head shot.

and the usual Coots fighting.

With the cloud still present, I was home by lunchtime.

Monday 15th April 2019

Wales - Day 5

Time to travel home but we had a morning in the second of Ian Howells hides hoping for visits from Buzzard and Sparrowhawk. We were in for disappointment as neither showed.

So we spent the morning photographing the many common species that visited the feeders on the rather attractive perches.

Surprisingly, I was more pleased with the House Sparrows that visited as they are in rather short supply where I live and opportunities to get good shots are few and far between.

So we left at lunchtime for the drive home. The highlight of the trip was undoubtedly the Black Grouse lek, followed by the Tawny Owl by flash but the rest of the trip was rather disppointing. Such is life!!!

The full selection of photos posted to this site from this trip can be seen under Recent Additions, or under the Trip Gallery.