Thursday, 17 May 2012

Discover Skylark meadow

I will be leading groups to photograph wildflowers, insects & whatever else may turn up at the event below on saturday 26th may. If you want to learn how to take better pics, then this may be for you. It will be a completely informal meeting & will be aimed at beginners & novices. The more advanced are of course also welcome & can contribute to the images that will be displayed in the village hall. The event is taking place in the village of Bawdrip from 1pm until around 4. Walks will be started from the village hall, so please drop in & say hello & maybe take part. Just bring your camera (any camera is fine) & your wellies & raincoat. Best of all its free!!!!!!!
Directions to Skylark meadows can be found here
And for more information, click here

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Blagdon Squacco

This showy Squacco heron has been at Blagdon lake for just over a week now & favourite areas are the Top end & Burmah road.When i visited on sunday, it spent most of its time in the flooded long grass in the Burmah road area giving views down to 30m, feeding quite happily on invertibrates & small fish in the shallows & ignoring the admiring birders & photographers.

A rear view showing the beautiful plumes on the back of the head.

Please note that entrance to Blagdon lake is by pemit only & visitors to should first aquire a permit from Bristol water to enter the reservoir enclosure. These are availaible from the tea rooms or Woodford lodge at nearby Chew valley lake.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Migrants & hangers on

Despite the appalling april/may weather, many summer migrants have once again graced our shores. Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs,& Willow warblers sing all over the Avalon marshes & the Bitterns have been booming since February.
A recent drive down onto Tealham moor revealed a water scape not a landscape! A look for Yellow wagtails drew a blank but Wheatears were everywhere. At least a dozen were seen at the cattle pen along with a pair of Whinchat & hundreds of Hirundines & swift swooped low across the waterlogged grass. In another field at least 500 gulls bathed. Sedge warbler & Reed bunting also frequented the area as Skylarks filled the air with there beautiful song.

Singing male Blackcap

Northern Wheatear

Wheatear & Whinchat

Diving Wheatear


Close by on Chilton moor, a Short-eared owl was for once posing nicely on a gate post & allowed a close approach in the car to around 30m (Many thanks Tim for the heads up!). I blocked the road for a good 30mins while snapping away & luckily, no one came along. Up to 4 have been seen over the winter in this area & you must presume that this one wont be around much longer.

Whilst watching the owl, a fox trotted through the gate, next to the owl who just glanced in its direction. It had a mouth full of something which i thought at the time was a Moorhen. It was only when i processed this image that i realised it had a mouth full of moles! At least 4 can be seen. I was always under the impression that they were unpalatable. Obviously not to foxes.....
Fox with a mouth full of moles!