Garth Peacock


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

A flooded Welney

Sunday 12th November 2023

A day locally.

Thursday 2nd November 2023

Family cruise on the Western Mediterranean

Thursday 12th October 2023

Another visit to Frampton Marsh

Monday 25th September 2023

Frampton Marsh RSPB

Friday 8th September 2023

Gran Canaria - Maspalomas

Thursday 31st August 2023

Gran Canaria - Visit to La Charca

Thursday 24th August 2023

Frampton Marsh RSPB

Saturday 29th July 2023

Swallows and House Martins

Saturday 22nd July 2023

A sudden appearance of House Sparrows

Wednesday 19th July 2023

An evening with some Tawny Owls

Tuesday 18th July 2023

Scotland and East Yorkshire Day 6

Friday 14th July 2023

Scotland and East Yorkshire Day 5

Wednesday 12th July 2023

Scotland and East Yorkshire Day 4

Tuesday 4th July 2023

Scotland and East Yorkshire Day 2

Sunday 2nd July 2023

Scotland and East Yorkshire Day1

Friday 30th June 2023

View Blog Archive >>
Wednesday 22nd November 2023

Back to Grafham Water

I was moderately pleased with the images of the drake Green-winged Teal that I  managed on Tuesday but wildfowl on grey water does not exactly float my boat, so to speak. So last Friday, 17th, I returned with the sun shining - blue water!!!

A definite improvement.

Nothing was showing further up the dam so we left. A mistake. Just the other side of the water tower, the juvenile Great Northern Diver was reported feeding close in to the dam. B****R!!!

Anyway, we had been informed that Lesser Redpolls has been photographed at the RSPB HQ The Lodge Sandy so off we went. I have not been there for several years. Apparently the original hide has been removed and not replaced. We were directed to a small pool with a screen amongst trees so, despite the sunny weather, was in the shade.

Trying to make the best of things, I concentrated on the usual woodland birds dropping in for a drink and a bathe. Coal Tit

Great Tit

and Blue Tit.

a female Pheasant was limping around the far side of the pool allowing a close head shot.

and, at last, a couple of Lesser Redpolls dropped in.

Later on, a pair of Siskins also flew in for a drink.

So no earth shattering photos from here. I do not know why the original hide was removed but this latest set-up is a very poor substitute. I will not visit again in a hurry!!!!


Thursday 16th November 2023

Grafham Water

A couple of days ago, with the weather forecasting sunny intervals, I decided  to visit Grafham Water for the Green-winged Teal that had been reported there just before the weekend. The only time that I had photographed this species was over 10 years ago at Titchwell, and into the sun too, so the shots were nothing to write home about!!!

Arriving, the weather was heavy cloud, not ideal for photographing wildfowl on water, but the target bird was in the southern corner of the dam and relatively close. Patience required, The bird got closer and the weather got darker. Sods Law!!!

Still, I persevered during the morning and am relatively happy with the shots in the circumstances but some sun would have been nice.

Walking up the dam, a Common Sandpiper was very flighty but, with perseverance, I manged to get close enough for a shot, followed by a flight shot after it saw my camera above the dam wall.

And then the rain started so it was time to go home.

Not a bad morning for a change.

Wednesday 15th November 2023

Fishers Green Essex

Last week, I had a phone call from a friend who had recently visited Fishers Green Nature Reserve, part of the Lea Valley complex. A Bittern was showing right in front of the hide but this was late afternoon and directly into the sun. He wanted to visit again in the morning to see if he could improve on his images with the light from a better direction.

So last Thursday, 16th November, we motored down the M11 to see what we could find.

The facilities at Fishers Green are quite impressive. Reception manned by very helpful volunteers, a tower hide and a large viewing hide. Unfortunately, the hide faces South, not ideal for photography and the Bittern had not shown for a couple of days. Not a good atart.

While waiting, I could not resist a different shot of a drake Gadwall

But the Bittern never did show.

However, in every cloud there is a silver lining, apparently. My friend went for a walk around the reserve and saw a distant pair of Ring-necked Parakeets. Considered pests in the parts of the south of the country, in Cambridgshire they are a rarity and I have never photographed one so this was very interesting.

Eventually, they came to the hide area and attacked the feeders. Not easy shots but these are the best of them.

For some reason, this species is called Rose-ringed Parakeet abroad. Still, a new species for my website. I now have passable shots of 387 British and European species on it although I have another 20 pure record shots that are just not good enough to publish - target 400 on the website!!!!

Monday 13th November 2023

A day in north Norfolk

I hadn't visited north Norfolk for some time. It is always much too busy during the school holiday period anyway. But 7th November I headed that way - somewhere different for me recently.

My usual first call is Thornham harbour. Fitted in with the tide times but nothing of real interest there this time. The haunting call of a Curlew was very noticeable and then, surprisingly, it flew towards me, circled round me three times to check me out and then flew back to the saltmarsh. It was very close and the camera was set up for flight shots.

Not a bad start to the day. Next call was Brancaster Staithe. Loads of the usual birds around but the weather was turning cloudy and dark. Still a Grey Plover was on view.

and an Oystercatcher took a long bathe.

Four Brent Geese flew in but, by then, the light was terrible. Still one unusual shot worth keeping.

I moved on to Burham Overy Staithe - dead loss - and then Lady Anne Drive Holkham. Just a quick drive to the end and back - car parking expensive if there is nothing there - just a pair of Egyptian Geese close to the road.

I decided to call in at Titchwell RSPB on the way back home. Island Mere Hide now refurbished and open but, once again the water levels on the fresh marsh are much too high so there was nothing of interest again. Even the beach area was pretty sparse - a small flock of Bar-tailed Godwit

but nothing else to excite the trigger finger - an early drive home the result.

Sunday 12th November 2023

A flooded Welney

3rd November and I decided to visit WWT Welney for the first time for a few weeks. High water levels meant that the observatory and adjoining hides were the only areas open. Even the basement photographic hide was under water.

So it was another day for trying to improve my photo stock of the usual species. These days, in the absense of anything of real interest, my aim is to replace older shots with more current better shots (hopefully). First a Juvenile Mute Swan

Male and female Pochard

There were only four Whooper Swans  in front of the hide but one eventually treated me to a flypast.

Then a couple of shots I was pleased with. A flying Shoveler

and a flying Stock Dove

These shots made the visit worthwhile for me.

On the way out, House Sparrows were on show but, unfortunately not a Tree Sparrow.

Then a slowish drive home, calling in at Dambanks Aldreth on the way but the only bird photographable was a female Kestrel.

Slim pickings but a worthwhile day never-the-less.