Garth Peacock


Spring Tide at RSPB Snettisham

Saturday 13th April 2024

Things didn't go to plan

Friday 5th April 2024

Fowlmere RSPB Cambs

Wednesday 20th March 2024

Another trip to Norfolk

Tuesday 12th March 2024

Frampton Marsh (again)

Tuesday 5th March 2024

Snettisham RSPB

Tuesday 20th February 2024

A new destination for me

Monday 5th February 2024

A change of plan

Tuesday 30th January 2024

Three hours at Grafham Water

Monday 22nd January 2024

A strange week overall.

Friday 19th January 2024

Norfolk Coast

Tuesday 16th January 2024

New Year - where to go?

Monday 8th January 2024

Coton Cambridgeshire

Wednesday 20th December 2023

Back to Burwell Fen

Saturday 9th December 2023

Short-eared Owls

Monday 4th December 2023

Back to Grafham Water

Wednesday 22nd November 2023

Grafham Water

Thursday 16th November 2023

Fishers Green Essex

Wednesday 15th November 2023

A day in north Norfolk

Monday 13th November 2023

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Saturday 13th April 2024

Spring Tide at RSPB Snettisham

Monday 8th April and, despite preparing for a photo holiday, I accepted an invitation from a friend to join him at the spring tide spectacle at RSPB Snettisham. He had booked a disabled parking space to avoid the long walk from the main car park and he had been advised to arrive around 5.00pm - plenty of time for see what else was around the area.

We met at the car park for RSPB Titchwell and preceed to see what that reserve had to offer. I had stopped going there because the water levels in front of the hides were too high but we started off at Fen hide where a Marsh Harrier entertained us for a while.

Moving on, the water levels are still too high for anything of real interest and there was nothing on the beach either. Eventually, on the walk back, a Linnet posed nicely

and a Meadow Pipit too.

Stopping off at Hunstanton cliffs, I was surprised that the usual Fulmers were not showing so off to RSPB Snettisham. We walked to the bottom hide (don't know the name as the original was destroyed in the flood a couple of years or so ago). A pair of Mediterranean Gulls were on view, not as close as I would have liked and ,with the high cloud, not the best light for distant shots.

Sometimes, you just have to make the best of the conditions.

A Brown Hare trundled past the hide - tried a back lit shot.

and then the Knot started to fly in as the tide rose. Apparently only around 25000 as the majority had moved north to their breeding grounds, but still a spectacle.

So many shots later, with the light going, it was time to depart.


Friday 5th April 2024

Things didn't go to plan

Tuesday 2nd April - I decided to visit Welney WWT to check out the kit that I plan to take on my forthcoming photo trip. Also, Little Gulls had been reported there on their migration - always an interesting subject.

On the way there, I noticed a pair of Stonechats by the roadside at Pymoor,. never coming close but still worth a pop.

At Welney, the water levels were still rather high so not much in front of the observatory hide but, surprisingly, a pair of Whooper Swans flew in in front of Nelson-Lyle hide. There are always the odd Whooper Swans year round at Welney - those unable to fly north - but this was rather later than I expected for a pair capable of flying.

Back to the observatory and there were some Little Gulls feeding in relatively close so a load of shots - only to find when editing that I had missed the Little Gulls and only photographed Black-headed Gulls. A beginners error. Still, I achieved one objective which was to make sure that my kit was all working OK for the trip.

On the way out, I was hoping for some Tree Sparrows around the feeders - again not this time but a House Sparrow posed for a shot.

So a disapponting day overall.

Wednesday 20th March 2024

Fowlmere RSPB Cambs

I appeared to have a problem with my gear the last time I was out. I happily took some photos from the car as normal but when reviewing them on the computer, none were sharp. I was using the Canon R5, the RF 100-500 lens with a 1.4 converter and it looked that the Image Stabilisation was not working. Some later shots were fine but what went wrong.

So, yesterday, I decided to have a trial session at RSPB Fowlmere. First, a walk around the perimeter track, hoping to see Water Voles. Everyone else seems to see them regularly - me never - and this visit was no different.

In fact there was nothing to point the camera at until mere hide and then only sleeping Greylag Geese. I was hoping for another closer shot of the Marsh Harrier but nothing stirred except for one Greylag in sentry position.

that is until a pair of Canada Geese paddled appeared from the reedbed and started to feed on the grass bank in front of the hide.

One of the Greylags took exception to the intrusion

so they left and everything settled down.

Later on, the male Marsh Harrier put in a distant appearance

and that was it. Not particularly scintilating but, at least, the gear worked OK and that was the main object of the visit.

Tuesday 12th March 2024

Another trip to Norfolk

Well Cambridgeshire is rather quiet at present so Norfolk is the closest area to me where there should be some birds. So last Friday, (8th), I headed North with one of the main aims, to photograph White-fronted Geese at Holkham.

After a slow journey there due to agricultural traffic blocking the roads, I checked Lady Anne Drive - mostly flooded so nothing showing and then parked in the pull off on the main road to scan the field for Geese. Plenty of Greylags, a couple of Barnacle Geese

and then, right over the far side of the field, a pair of White-fronted Geese. Long distance but I took a few shots with the 2x converter on the 100-500 lens. Just record shots - the distance combined with, surprisingly, haze ruined them but here is one to be going on with.

So the next stop was the harbour at Burnham Overy Staithe. Two pairs of Red-breasted Mergansers were fishing in the channel and with patience, came just about close enough for some shots and then flew off.

With nothing else around, I moved on to Brancaster Staithe with some usuals on show. Grey Plover,

RInged Plover

and feeding in the mud, both species of Godwit, Bar-tailed

and Black-tailed moulting into summer plumage.

So I headed for the main aim of my trip - Titchwell RSPB , taking my usal diversion around Choseley where where the only subjects found were a couple of Red-legged Partridges hunkered down near a hedge out of the wind that was now getting strong.

According to the Titchwell Twitter page, they had fixed the sluice problem and water levels on the fresh marsh were as they should be. Not so but there has been a lot of rain so that was not really surprising. Nothing in front of Island Mere Hide so on to the beach - very windy and difficult to stand up at times but the usual Sanderlings were feeding on the tide line. I can never resist taking a few shots of them.

As it was so windy, there was nothing flying so back to the reserve where most of the birds were sheltering from the wind behind the bunds on the fresh marsh but one drake Shoveler did emerge for some preening.

With the wind still strong, it was time to head for home. I have had worse days!!!

Monday 11th March 2024

Cambridge Bird Club Photo of the Year 2023 winner

This morning, I was advised that my photo of a Peregrine Falcon taken at Yaxley Church has been voted the Photo of the Year 2023 by club members.

Thank you for all that voted. A great start to the week.