WWT Slimbridge

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I first visited Slimbridge when I was a kid.  We had a school trip here one day.  Equipped with a little point and shoot film camera I had the time of my life.  It would be many years before I went back.  Now I visited as often as I can as there is always something great to see (and shoot).

It was extremely cold, a lot of the lakes were frozen over in places.  I actually left my house with snow all around. Evidence here of a duck having an interesting skid landing on the ice.

I will start off with shots of birds that you aren’t going to see everyday (unless maybe you work here 🙂 )

Saying that I saw a Black swan not long ago when I was out canoeing on the River Avon in worcestershire.

Here’s a few more you may see more often.

Just to prove it’s not all fancy water orientated birds here, I took a few shots of the local natives.

The winking pigeon.  I love pigeons.  I’m weird like that.

The gang on the lookout.

Please visit if you get a chance and if it’s not local to you there are other WWT sites around the country.

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The Lapwings return, plus special guest

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It was a few weeks back that I spent 5 lunchtimes out with the Lapwings.  After they disappeared I assumed that was it.  But today they were back in force.

I used the best hide available (my car!).  It turned out that they just weren’t bothered about the car but as soon as I stepped foot out of it they panicked.

At one point I was treated to a great spectacle.  The local kestel (who I see pretty much everytime I am out) swooped in low amongst them.  Instead of panicking they all flew and chased it off.  A huge mob of them.  Unfortunately I fumbled with the camera in excitement and have ended up with no shots of this incident 😦

They are quite beautiful in flight.  As I snook along in my car I managed to pull right up beside them and shoot from the window.  My hands nearly dropped off in the -2 degree wind. (nope, no gloves).

Today though there was a special guest amongst them.  There were a small handful of these chaps doing a poor job of looking like Lapwings to blend in 🙂

Golden Plover

The Sweetest Bird?

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I had the fortune of a group of Long Tailed Tits landing in a tree about three feet away from me today.  They just were not bothered at all by my presence so I snapped away happily.

Now is this bird not the sweetest little thing ever?

It might be because he is all fluffed up, so here’s another not so fluffy.

No?  Still not convinced? OK, try this one.

OK, I give up.  We’ll go for the comedy angle.

This picture is titled “I’m not talking to you anymore!”

I rest my case.

1 Hour Photo

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A short blog post on what wandered into the camera’s viewfinder in a one hour lunchtime.  I am a big advocate of getting out in your lunch hour and making the most of it.

Wren

Robin

Greenfinch


Fieldfares and more!

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Had to make the most of this weekend.  As is usual, on bonfire night weekends, the UK gets rain.  Although I’m not complaining, luckily it held off for last nights firework celebrations.

It’s getting quite wet underfoot out and about, and this seems to dissuade most people from venturing out into nature.  First port of call was Tiddesley Woods Nature Reserve (again).

It’s amazing what you can find out in the countryside and that doesn’t stop at plastic toy cows!  Not sure how she got here 🙂

We had a reasonably quiet walk, not all that much around.  However we did spot this, definately not your typical bird box! That ain’t no bird.

I love that way this has been constructed, maybe to some it’s a little scary, but there is somsething strangely beautiful about it.

As with most trips out the most activity is back in the car park.  Sitting down for a cup of nice hot tea this little fella popped over to say hello.

I have a habit now of leaving the camera set up on the back seat, as pretty much every trip I see something worth snapping as I am driving along.  This pheasant was quite the poser and just sat there as I happily took the shots.

Not far from Tiddesley Woods is Croome Park, owned by the National Trust.  It’s worth visiting if in the area as the Park is truly spectacular.  They also have rather a nice cafe 😉

I wasn’t really expecting to see much here.  But I saw more than during the rest of the day.  The trees here were absolutely packed with birds.  I had trouble deciding just where to point my camera lens.  I settled for the Fieldfare, the first of the year for me.

And before I forget, one for the Fungi fans again!

One the way home, spotted a Buzzard on a telegraph pole.  Not the best quality but here he is.

Snitterfield Bushes & Pipers Hill / Dodderhill Common

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Today we took a visit to two local nature reserves, run by the Wildlife Trusts.  The first was Snitterfield Bushes which is quite close to Stratford upon Avon.  It’s quite a beautiful wood, peaceful and relaxed.

At this time of year, there are quite a few berries.  Unfortunately today I didn’t see much wildlife taking advantage of the abundance that seems to be about at the moment.

And one for the fungi fans!

The only bird I managed to capture (just about) on our short trip was a Marsh Tit.

One thing we did come across was a cheerful group of volunteers helping to coppice the wood.  Good on them!

Pipers Hill / Dodderhill Common is another local nature reserve, just outside Hanbury, Worcestershire.  Again, it’s managed by the Wildlife Trusts.

This, in my opinion, is the best time of year to visit.  It looks just glourious in Autumn.

The only real wildlife we saw we the local grey squirrels.  Quite a few of them in fact.  A few wrens were pottering about too.

If fungi is your thing then this is the place to come.  An absolute plethora and here are just a few.

Two beautiful reserves that I can’t recommend highly enough, even if it’s just for a short afternoon stroll.