Friday, 31 July 2015

I think that I saw one of the chicks out on the beam today, but in shadow.

Well, you really can't fault the parents for their food supply commitment to their brood .... in fact sometimes it amazes me how they can see where they are going with their beaks laden with insects.

I have checked some of my in-flight images, sadly none worthy of posting, you can however see that as they approach their perching position ( nearly always the same give or take 20mm ) they incline their heads  ........ a bit like the '' droop snoot '' of Concord.

It may well be that the chicks will fledge over the weekend when I will not be around. 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Willow Warbler.

Very nice bright eye contact with this chap perched high up in brilliant sunlight.

The season is sadly on its way out but what character these chaps, as always, have contributed again this year with their presence.

Titchmarsh LNR certainly hosts more than its fair share of these visitors annually.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Another Pied Wag .....

I'm really getting in tune with these birds.

As a pair they are busily feeding their chicks in a nest that I am monitoring, the number of trips to the nest that they are making is amazing. 

The location of the nest is on top of the end of girder where it enters and is supported by the brickwork of a building and certainly well hidden, the only clue to its presence is poop staining the bricks.

This may very well be a second brood and I am looking forward to the fledging of the chicks that can't be long away now, how many ? ..... usually five to six  ...... watch this space.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Small Tortoiseshell .....

Teasels are a great source of nectar for Butterflies and honey bees and this chap is certainly making the most of it.

My growing passion, maybe I should say enjoyment, for Butterfly photography is that it  fills the gap that July presents as far as bird photography is concerned.

It is certainly a different discipline that requires different field craft skills.

But what plants teasels are, certainly at their most colourful in July.

Monday, 27 July 2015

My Plant identification is as good as my Butterfly and Dragonfly identification ..... awful !

Last weekend I saw a seedling plant that I did not recognise, no surprise there then I hear you mutter.

I certainly couldn't find it in any of my UK wild flower guides.

Can you do better ?.

I sent the image to Doctor of chemistry and amateur but very credible botanist Peter Llewellyn who very quickly responded as follows.

'' Hello John, your plant is Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)  which is an invasive, annual, introduced species causing much havoc along damp verges and river banks throughout the British Isles. On the positive side, bees love it and much to the annoyance of conservationists, bee-keepers sometime plant it for nectar.


Peter Llewellyn. ''.

Did you get it right ?.

What always amazes me about lovers of wildlife and the '' web '' is the availability of guidance that is offered by highly qualified people who are willing to impart their knowledge for their love of their discipline.

Heartfelt thanks Peter.

Six spot Burnet

One of our day flying moths the six spot Burnet is a most  attractive metallic blue-green moth with six carmine-red spots on its wings.

It has a rather weak fluttering flight and interestingly, if disturbed, it will fall to the ground feigning death.

It certainly brightened up an otherwise grey day.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Anonymous ...... absolutely not.

Garden Warblers are such clean cut little birds with beautiful silver-grey-beige  plumage and a very nicely defined pale eye-ring.

When they decide to participate they can be quite showy.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Small White ?.

Is I believe correct for this Butterfly .......... but I am likely to be wrong based on my track record with recent images !.

Friday, 24 July 2015

I caught one of this years crop of Sedge Warblers ......

......  last Saturday at the reserve having a quick peek at me from the undergrowth, I suspect that the nest and its siblings were not too far away.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Busy, busy and busy again ....

There is something very '' cocky '' about Pied Wagtails and I don't just mean their wagging tails !.

I think that they must be having a good breeding season as I am seeing no shortage of pairs and they are certainly catching and feeding good quantities of food to their young.

Pied Wagtails are very tolerant of humans, I use my car as a hide at a non stressful distance and they will quite often hesitate for a short period of time with their beaks laden with insects before the drive to feed their young gets the better of them and they flutter into the site of the nest.

It is an honour to view their antics.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Not rare but certainly not a common wader in the UK.

It was lovely to see this bird in the margins of a small scrape at Brandon Marsh last Sunday.

This Green Sandpiper was having a really good '' wash and brush up ''  and giving excellent views of its tail, a major identification feature for me with Sandpipers.

Rear views are however rather limiting so I decided to post this image that also highlights its beak and eye stripe.

Graham did a video of the visit as usual, link below.

Very nice.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Two on the same day ......

As I have suggested in recent posts, bird life at the reserve is a bit subdued at the moment.

Swifts, Sand Martins, Warblers and Swallows are preparing for their southerly migration at the moment so other '' seasonal fayre ''  are the name of the game and what subjects they are.

This is a lovely image of a Comma Butterefly. I am very happy with the contrast between the background and the foreground in this photograph that I think represents  '' stark '' relief.

In this countryside of ours we are so lucky to have variety of subject matter.

Fish supper.

This Cormorant was fishing in a relatively small body of water fairly close to the hide with success .......  not quite so memorable for the Rudd that was the birds target.

The light could have been a lot kinder for this image.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Its that time of year .....

My advisers tell me that this is a Green Veined White.

Butterflies are not my strong suit but down at the reserve it is '' dog days '' at the moment when it comes to birds.

As Stephen Stills once sang ( for those of you of a certain age who remember the '60's ) .........  '' Love the one you're with ''.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Pollen panniers .........

We all know that Bees collect pollen to take back to their hives to support honey production, but how do they transport it ?.

 ....... this image clearly illustrates how they cache pollen on their legs .... as always with insects, great efficiency.

Saturday, 18 July 2015


Good focus but lousy back lighting as this bird is plucked off the power lines by a gust of wind.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Put to flight ...... Fantastic.

A flock of Black Tailed Godwits at Frampton Marsh ....... now what could have caused this mayhem ?

                                                                 The culprit

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Small Skipper.

All of you who know me will also know that Butterfly identification is not my strongest suit but I am pretty confident that I have this one right.

Answers on a postcard to .......

NB My Butterfly mentor John Murray always keeps me honest ..... it is actually a Large Skipper !

Monday, 13 July 2015

Avocet overhead ...... Frampton Marsh.

...... and a bowel movement to boot.

Sometimes sitting in a hide for a photographer with a limited lens combo, opportunities are limited ....  so time to get outside !

The light was quite good and this bird suddenly appeared overhead, what a stonker.

Traditional distant shots on the ground have limitations for my lens combination but this chap gave me a great '' in flight '' opportunity.

I'll take it !

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Sand Martin

Well ....... all I can say is that this is the best image that I have achieved of this species in flight ..... but its a soft shot in questionable light  ........

So why post it ? ....  

Because the next one has to be better, its a record shot and a starting point, watch this space.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Common Blue

........ July is a quiet month for birding so Dragonflies and Butterflies become a very pleasant diversion.

A friend of mine, John Murray, jokes with me that I am gravitating towards Macro photography and he may very well be right.

A 420mm lens combination is certainly not the most appropriate for these subjects.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Flora as well as Fauna on this blog .......

I saw this flower on the edge of the reed beds and it struck me as rather unusual.

One of my friends Graham Barker, far more in touch with plants than I, was able to identify it as '' Redshank '' ( aka Willow weed and Lady's thumb ) a member of the Knotweed family.

It is invasive but can be controlled when required.

What a shame that such a striking flower is a weed.

NB  Another friend, Eric Graham has also suggested that it is '' amphibious bistort '', a species that Graham and I also considered.

Its not for me to play King Soloman when it comes to plant identification so its good to have two nominations.

My original position continues to be that it is an unusual looking flower !. 

Sunday, 5 July 2015

There is always a leaf ........ taken at Rutland Water.

I have never seen a Water Vole in the wild so this image is very much an enjoyable record shot '' a banker '' in the hope that with the passing of time further opportunities in more open settings will present themselves for better images in the future.

Graham got some nice footage on the day, link below.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

A constant presence .......

In the sky's above the reserve the Red Kite is an ever present '' local '' with many breeding pairs in the locale.

In the breeding season to see their synchronised flying is a truly remarkable sight that I never tire of.

Reintroduction programmes do work so lets get it going with great energy when it comes to Hen Harriers and impose ''real '' fines to those that persecute them, shame on all of them !.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Another Reed Warbler with no apologies for repitition ......

Lovely eye contact with this image, what more can be said !, well, I have to say that I do prefer to see them on last years dried out reeds.