Some of my favourite photos

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Rural fox

 It is not often I get to see foxes on my local patch, the rural fox is a lot more shy than its urban relatives.
I have manage to capture a fox twice on my trail camera.
I saw one up close last year when I was sat in the field trying to take photos of hares and the fox came trotting down the path towards me, I don't think it saw me until the last minute.
I also briefly saw one near my house a couple of weeks ago, but it turned and ran the moment it saw me.
This afternoon I was walking quiet a long way behind my mum and my sister while we were out walking the dogs when I spotted a fox sitting on the footpath. As I was watching the fox it turned and slipped back in to the hedgerow.
Although the fox couldn't resist a quick glance back out to see if I was still there.
Each time I have seen the local foxes, for a short moment they stare straight in to my eyes before turning away.

Wasp beetle

The last few times I have been up to our allotment I have spent sometime watching one particular rabbit. I have been able to get closer and closer to it as the days pass.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Trip on a Narrow boat

I have always wanted to go on a Narrow boat because they look a great way to travel and they allow you to get close to the waterbirds and wildlife.
My mum has some friends, Deb and Louise, who let us join them on a trip on their narrow boat down the River Thames.

We joined them at The May Bush inn at Newbridge, where the River Windrush meets the River Thames, and completed our journey at Eynsham lock. This journey took three and a half hours.
From the boat mooring we followed the river downstream as it meanders slowly through the Oxfordshire countryside. 

The chug of the engine made the boat vibrate a lot, however it was quiet and made it a relaxing way to travel.  It hardly made a ripple as it moved across the river surface.

Travelling through the locks was a fantastic experience as I am just used to walking around them.
All the locks we went through were extremely pretty and it felt like we were going back in time because the building and site  at Northmoor hasn’t changed much since 1893, when it was built. 

After going through Northmoor lock in the distance was a colourful, blue flash flying close to the surface of the water.
I knew instantaneously that it was a Kingfisher.
Last year I took photos of a breeding pair of Kingfishers in the same area, maybe it is the same bird.
 I find Kingfishers are hard to take photos of, this one must have been used to boats as it sat on the branch until we were close to it. 

The Kingfisher flew to the next tree where he sat in the perfect clearing to get a photo. As soon as I had got some photos it flew off into the green and overgrown trees.

A while later downstream the Kingfisher returned with a fish in its beak and flew off upstream. 


Just after the Kingfisher a gaggle of Canada Geese cruised to the right side of the boat, some were just flapping their wings while others were bickering.

Looking downstream

Northmoor Lock

After passing Bablock Hythe a gaggle of Greylag Geese surrounded the boat on both sides of the river and up on to the bank.

Although I didn't get a photo, I saw a Kestrel fly over some grassland with a mouse in its beak as well as Little Egret sat in the reedbed hidden away watching us go by.

This Heron was watching for any fish to swim by.
In the second photo a Tern flew passed at just the wrong moment.


Each lock has a flood mark July 2007 is the highest, this flood marker was at Pinkhill Lock.

Pinkhill Lock

Whilst we were walking back to the car park to get collected, this Buzzard flew straight along the ground and landed on a post.

A man at Eynsham, near the car park, told us about some Otter sightings he had heard about in the area, something I would like to look for in the future.

Female Mallard Duck

Thank you Deb and Louise for the trip It was great fun!

Friday, 24 July 2015


Insects are very important but many people underestimate them.
There are around 1.5 million species of insects that have been named, they come in many shapes and sizes, while most are completely harmless, a small amount are harmful to humans.

Insects pollinate many of our fruits, flowers and vegetables and are a very important part of the food chain, they are a food source to many birds, reptiles and amphibians. 
Insects feed on both plants and meat meaning they are omnivorous, they also aid us by helping to break down some of our waste.

Out in the field I found the perfect spot to sit and do some insect watching.
On the ground the grass was a dry, hay like mess. The lack of rain over the last few weeks means the ground is cracked and dry. (Although as I write this blog it has been raining all day).
Sitting surrounded by crops on one side, wild flowers to the other, behind that a hedge of Hawthorn, Hazel, Cow parsley and the odd Oak tree. The air is full of thistledown and the sound of buzzing and humming.
I could hear the Grasshoppers in the grass.
Grasshoppers make their noise by a row of pegs along the inside of their hind leg which they rub against the forewing which creates the sound. The crickets make a sound by rubbing their forewings together which is quite different.

I normally like to take photos of larger mammals such as badgers and hares, or birds, sitting in the field using Macro to capture the tiny insects was something different for me.
Even in such a small area there were a large variety of insects and spiders, a lot of which I didn't get photos of.

Hover fly

Soldier beetle

Meadow Grasshopper

Cinnabar moth caterpillar

Meadow Grasshopper

Spiked Shield bug

Long winged Conehead

Long Winged Conehead

Seven Spotted ladybird larvae

Gate keeper

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Otmoor, looking for a Hobby

Sunday afternoon we went for a walk around Otmoor  as a few Hobby's have been sighted there and I have never seen one.
Unfortunately I still didn't get to see a Hobby, but there were huge amount of dragonflies everywhere, from the small Damselflies through to some massive dragonflies that sadly I didn't  manage to get a photo of because they didn't settle on anything.

Common darter

We sat at one of the hides for a while and saw Shovler ducks, Egrets, Coots, Geese and Cormorants.
At one stage we saw a bird of prey fly over which was the size of a Buzzard. I took a photo hoping it would be a Marsh Harrier, but the photo wasn't very clear so I can't be sure.

 This Meadow grasshopper landed to the window of the hide

There were a couple of flocks of Long tailed tits on the path back to the car park. They were busy eating seeds and always stayed a few metres ahead of us.

Common darter


Sunday, 19 July 2015

A walk around Farmoor reservoir

 After looking back at the photos I took while walking around F1 and F2 at Farmoor reservoir I noticed that a lot of the birds are juvenile and so to me quite confusing to identify.
Please correct me if I have got it wrong or let me know the ones I haven't named

Farmoor reservoir is 5 miles outside of Oxford.
It is a four mile walk around both reservoirs.
As well as the water, Farmoor reservoir has woodland, meadows and a couple of hides.
Farmoor attracts lots of passing migrating birds so every time you go, there's always a chance you will see something new such as Red Necked Grebes and Black-Throated Diver.
It's a great bird watching spot but extremely windy.
Yesterday it was quite windy and most of the birds were at the far end away from the car park, where it was more sheltered.
Common tern
We watched this juvenile Great Crested Grebe struggling to swallow a fish.

Great Crested Grebe

The Oystercatchers where flying in pairs around the lakes.


Greylag Goose

Little egret


lots of Coots


Back at home I spotted this Lesser Stag beetle climbing up the wall on our house