Some of my favourite photos

Sunday 31 August 2014

Farmoor reservoir

As it was such a sunny afternoon we decided to have a walk around Farmoor reservoir, it can be quite exposed here but today even with the wind it still felt warm.
I saw three birds I have never seen before, the Little Ringed Plover, the Black tailed Godwit and the Dunlin. I was glad I bought the book about waterbirds at the Birdfair that my friend Ben's mum recommended, although we were also grateful to the gentleman on The Causeway that told us the name of two birds.

Black tailed Godwit and Dunlin


Tufted duck

Black tailed Godwit

Canada Goose

Greylag goose

Got an itch

Little Ringer Plover

Two Dunlins

Monday 25 August 2014

Fallow deer on my local patch ??

Fallow deer are not something that I have ever seen before on my Local Patch.
 I quite often come across Roe deer who are in the woods behind my house and sometimes I can hear them in the evening trotting down the lane beside my house and barking.
We also get Muntjac, in the fields and even in the front gardens along my street.

It was very exciting to think that Fallow deer could be here too. 
There were 8 deers in total, which came one by one out of the hedgerow.
We have asked around and nobody else has seen Fallow deer around here either. My mum walks the dogs for around 3 hours every day and has never seen a Fallow deer around here even though mum and dad have lived here for over 15 years and my dad was born in the village.
One suggestion was they maybe a group just passing through.
I have looked at the photos and they don't have ear tags so they probably are not an escaped group.

We have been looking yesterday and today to see if they were still around, but with no luck. I thought I might try putting my trail camara down to see if they come back.

I have tried to look up information about Fallow deers on the internet, but the only sites I could find were about shooting them. (Which I don't want to do)

I hope they are here to stay.

Friday 22 August 2014

Grasshoppers v crickets - need help identifying

While mum was walking around the field with the dogs this morning, my sister and I took some photos of grasshoppers, crickets and shield bugs.

This is something we know nothing about and the book we have only has two types of cricket in it.

Please can we have some help identifying these insects and answering our questions.

We know that crickets have long antannae and grasshoppers have short.

Which one makes the long constant noise and which one makes the clicking noise?

We are sure we saw one that had blue wings when they were open, but according to our book they are only found on Jersey. What else could it be? (Didn't get a photo)

Thank you

Three places in two days

Dry Sandford nature reserve is one of my favourite places, because it is so quiet and I thought i saw a Water vole here once.
We popped in yesterday to go and see if we could find any.
 Searching up and down the gentle flowing stream where the Water voles are seen (according to the board), it was so over grown there was little chance of seeing any Water voles.
There were plenty of other things to see such as Frogs, Dragonflies, Butterflies, Nuthatches, and Long tailed tits hopping in and out of the branches.  
Two Horses started to follow us around the nature reserve, they kept on head butting us in the back of our heads. It was quite funny being accompanied but it was not very helpful because they kept disturbing the wildlife.   

The lake where my sister goes sailing is full of young Great Crested Grebes and other baby birds such as Coots and Black-back Gulls.
You could tell when an adult Grebe had caught a fish as the young Grebe unsteadily spalshed its way to the adult making loud squeaks.
 Occassionally the youngesters would  clumsily dive down with the adult, but I never saw them catch anything.
It was interesting to watch how the adult turned the fish around in its beak before it fed it to the young.
My photos are a bit fuzzy as it was getting quite dark.
As well as Great Crested Grebes we also saw a Kingfisher speeding across the lake but it was too fast for me. This was the first time I have seen a Kingfisher on this lake.

Common Toadflax

The badgers, at my local sett, have been busy this week cleaning out their setts as fresh earth and piles of hay lay at the entrances.
Here is a very short film of 2 badgers feeding from Wednesday evening.

Tuesday 19 August 2014


This noisy woodpecker has ben hanging round our garden in the last couple of weeks, I think its a youngster that the adult was feeding in the next doors tree a month or so ago. During the previous months the adults fed on our birdfeeder a lot, but they haven't been around over the school holidays.

At Rutland Birdfair I bought a new hide which I tried out in the field for the first time last night. As well as this hare and geese we saw two badgers, two deers that came quite close to the hide and we heard a male and a female Tawny owl over our head but we could not see them.

Saturday 16 August 2014

The past few days around my Local patch

Here are a few photos I've taken over the past week.

We had a quick visit to the badgers sett. This photo is of the trees above the sett.

It was quite windy when we visited the badgers, so they seemed nervous and wary of any noise. They are coming out of the setts at around 8.30pm and seem more interested in eating than playing.

With the mixture of sun and showers there has been some amazing patterns in the sky.

With the days shortening the local rooks are back again gathering over my house after the day in the field. This week it has been around 8.45pm just as the sun has set.
The rooks very noisily gather on the pylon and the wires that go over my garden. They spend about 15 minutes jostling for space, knocking each other off and greeting each other.
As it gets darker they quieten down and start preening. Then all of a sudden, in silence, they start leaving in groups of around 8 to 12 rooks, some move down to the next pylon in line, while others head down towards the river.
At the moment they seem to be ignoring the Hengrove rookery where they had their nests.

If you look closely there are jackdaws as well.

View from my bedroom window

The geese are arriving in the field in the evening


2 moths under the window sill

Two peregrine falcons are spending time over my house late afternoon, early evening. I normally hear them before I see them. They are very difficult to take photos of because they are incredibly quick.

Peregrine falcon

One of the many rainbows this week