Garth Peacock


A different experience

Monday 7th June 2021

Interesting times

Tuesday 25th May 2021

The last 10 days or so

Monday 10th May 2021

Something different at last

Friday 30th April 2021

March/April update

Tuesday 6th April 2021

Remembering the highlights

Monday 22nd March 2021

Three weeks of not very much!!!

Saturday 6th March 2021

Minor successes despite Covid

Tuesday 16th February 2021

Desperation strikes

Monday 8th February 2021

Keeping sane during lockdown

Thursday 28th January 2021

2020 - Out with a bang

Tuesday 22nd December 2020

The last month of 2020 - about time too!!!

Thursday 10th December 2020

Another month concluded

Monday 30th November 2020

Another lockdown!!!!

Monday 9th November 2020

What a week - NOT!!!

Thursday 29th October 2020

A couple of weeks to catch up on

Monday 26th October 2020

Mixed fortunes

Saturday 26th September 2020

View Blog Archive >>
Monday 7th June 2021

A different experience

27th and 28th May 2021. A 24 hour session in the hides by Bourne Hides Lincolnshire, booked with a friend, starting at 7:30 am on the 27th and ending at 7.30am on the 28th.

First we spent the morning in the Wired Hide and bait had been put out for the pair of Kestrels that were nesting in a nearby tree. Nothing happened until 11.00am and then the male visited.

The female paid a fleeting visit only.

Then on to the Pond Hide, set up with all facilities for an overnight stay. The main attraction was Kingfishers but they were absent - a disappointment. The only bird showing was a Black-headed Gull, very common, but with nothing else to do, it was worth taking a few shots of it fishing. Suprisingly, I was delighted with this shot.

The evening approached and Tom Robinsin, the owner, came to put up the lighting for night-time photography. Even in the twilight, the Tawny Owls came in to the bait with repeated visits.

On the main pond, a Grey Heron came and went several times during the night.

The main night-time speciality is the Otter and, eventually, it came amd went several times.

It even came close to the hide to feed and on a basket of fist left out for the non-appearing Kingfishers.

So not a lot of species but good opportunities for photographs that are just a little different from the norm.

Loads more photos in the Recent Additions section of this website.

Tuesday 25th May 2021

Interesting times

May has proved to be a good month overall, except for one morning spent peering into a ditch to photograph Water Voles that refused to show. Especially galling since the day before, viewers were able to take 10 minute videos of them. That is wildlife.

Anyway, on to more successful outings.

7th May 2021 North Norfolk

My first trip to north Norfolk for some months. The usual visit to Hunstanton cliffs where the Fulmars were showing.

and a pair of Black-headed Gulls were arguing over a tit-bit with the sun behind them.

Onto Holme Dunes NWT where we were very fortunate to have a very approachable Lesser Whitethroat pointed out to us. They usually skulk in the bushes but this one  displayed nicely.

Visits to the harbours produced nothing but back at Holme Dunes on the way home, we found a Sedge Warbler singing.

12th May 2021 Dernford Reservoir

This is becoming a local hot spot, not only for birds but for dog-walkers, joggers etc. so busy. A pair of Common Terns went into mating mode

but with nothing else of interest, on to Fowlmere RSPB, a reserve I have not visited for some time. Only item of mild interest was a Mute Swan on the mere that bathed for half-an-hour or so.

and a Cetti's Warbler briefly showed for a couple of shots.

19th May 2021 - Site undisclosed

A morning spent with a pair of Peregrine Falcons. They are a Schedule 1 bird so it is illegal to disturb them on the nest so I positioned myself on a mound some way back. There were even dog-walkers closer that I was so there was no disturbance from me.

There were two chicks in the nest and the male brought in three catches for the female to feed to them.

More photos in the Recent Additions section.

Monday 10th May 2021

The last 10 days or so

Lynford Arboretum Friday 29th April 2021.

The object of this trip was to try to photograph Firecrest where at least two pairs were nesting. Firecrest is one of our smallest birds, with it's cousin, the Goldcrest.

The friend who I went with had been a week earlier so knew the locations to stand and wait. Firecrest is a Schedule 1 bird so using recordings to call them in is illegal during the nesting season so it was patience.

Waiting in a shady glade, a pair got used to us being there and carried on feeding allowing good shots.

A Goldcrest also showed up to join the party.

We then crossed the road and walked to the bridge, placing food on the pillars to see what would come in. Immediate reaction - obviously the birds there are expecting food to be used to attract them in. Ignoring the obvious more common birds, we had Nuthatch, Coal Tit and Marsh Tit.

More or less a repeat from last week at Kettlestone Woods.

5th May 2021 - Grafham Water and Stirtloe

First off to the dam at Grafham to see if I could find a Channel Wagtail but no wagtails at all except a Pied variety

There was a party of 25/30 newly arrived Swifts that were hawking over the dam. Great fun trying to get shots of them in the quite stiff breeze - many duff shots but a few that I was pleased with.

I then moved to nearby Stirtloe to see if there were any recently arrived warblers.

A Sedge Warbler showed well with a Reed Warbler behind it. Both were shots into the sun but that can often make the shot more interesting.

After a lot of walking and standing around, by mid-afternoon my knee began to tell me that it had had enough so off home.

Friday 30th April 2021

Something different at last

I am a week late in posting this but 20th, a friend and I had booked a day in a woodland hide in Norfolk owned and run by the well known professional wildlife photographer David Tipling. We arrived at 8:30 and settled in while David organised the bait and perches. The hide overlooked a small pool.

While there was not a great spread of species, we occupied ourselves with common birds bathing.

A pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers made occasional visits

and Nuthatch's were frequent.

In quieter moments, we even occupied ourselves by trying to photograph the local Grey Squirrels jumping.

Late morning we noticed a Buzzard checking us out from a nearby tree. It eventually dropped down to the Pigeon carcass left as bait - an opportunity not to be missed

and it then started to strip the carcass before settling to feed

but not for long as another Buzzard aggressively flew in and they both departed together.

Another quiet period after that, surprisingly brightened by a couple of appeareances by a pair of Pheasants. I had few photographs of Pheasants, probably because I have been influenced by a comment from the late Bob Scott that they never do anything interesting - well this one did by diplaying right in front of us.

before settling down to feed with it's mate.

Late afternoon and we were treated to a visit by a male Sparrowhawk, first by sitting on a branch checking us out

before flying down to the remains of the Pigeon carcass.

It was briefly joind by a female but both were aggressively seen of by a different Buzzard

That was the end of the activity.

On Friday 23rd, I saw a report that a flock of Little Gulls were at nearby Dernford Reservoir. By the time I arrived, mid afternoon, the sun ahd moved round so I was shooting against it, with fast moving subjects so it took me while to get my eye in.

Loads of rubbish photos but as I had not photographed a Little Gull in breeding plumage before, I came away relatively happy although they are not the best photos I have ever taken by a long way.

Monday 19th April 2021

When will something of real interest turn up?

Even I was surprised. I was talking to a friend on the phone and looking out of my bedroom window when I noticed something strange moving in a corner of the garden. Obviously a bird but not one of the usual visitors so I collected my camera from downstairs - not vey quickly as I am still limping - and took a couple of shots but the clothes line was in the way - yes some people still use clothes lines!!!

It was a male Sparrowhawk eating a catch. so I went downstairs into the garden via the back door and crept as close as I could which was about 20 feet away and took a couple of shots.

Not bad but the downside was that it had killed my favourite male Blackbird that takes food from between my feet.

Next, 14th April and I decided to go to Grafham Water. No Yellow Wagtails on the dam, in fact very little except a couple of Pied Wagtails.

I moved to the hide at Mander - water levels very high so nothing of interest except a distant pair of Great Crested Grebes displaying.

Walking back to the car, a Chiffchaff was singing in a leafless tree.

and not much else so I went home.