Sorry, this is going to be a long one!!!
Been a busy month, from both work and personally, so haven't been able to update here, in fact I've not even managed to get out as much as I'd have liked, and with the weather being as bad as it has been, I'm not sure the opportunities are set to increase.
Nevertheless, I have made a few trips out.
Most notably, I've decided to revive my visits to our 'local' reserve - Lavell's Lake. I've not been there for a long time despite being a paid up supporter. It consists of a few hides located around a lake with a small island on. But it has always seemed to have a good mixture of wildlife around there, but after a spate of seeing 'nothing new' over a year ago I just stopped going.
I guess since then, I've changed my attitude towards wildlife, in that no two days are ever the same (unless you see absolutely nothing!!), but rather I go to observe different behaviours and concentrate on bettering myself and my technique.
It does feel a bit like shooting fish in a barrel sometimes though, there is a 'feeding tree', which attracts a huge array of birds... within a couple of minutes there were the usual selection of garden birds, together with 3 Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, sadly they wouldn't all sit together (typical), but here was one waiting to dart out to the feeders and back.
I did also manage to spot this little chap (or chapess?) Reed Warbler hiding amongst the reeds on the edge of the lake - no idea how I managed to see him (there were actually 2 of them), but their chirping drew my attention and then after a bit of staring at the general area I finally saw some of the fleeting movement.
Of course, in between heading to the reserves and out and about, we do have our own selection in the garden that seem to be eating us out of house and home (and that's not just the mice ;) ).
One of our regular "bushy-tailed rats" has decided to practice his balancing act whilst raiding the peanut feeder...
In a slight change of subject now... it's not always about the wildlife (although that is the main subject!), I do also like to take pictures of aircraft - but not in a plane-spotter sort of way, although Sam may disagree!
We took a trip over to RAF Fairford for the Air Tattoo (RIAT), as is always the way for these things, the day started with bright sunshine - fantastic! But by the time we reached the viewing field it had (of course) completely clouded over, which did of course mean I could then blame the weather for my poor photos!.
We were lucky in that the clouds lifted and the (hot) sun came out - so I made the best of the afternoon with the highlights being the Eurofighter/Spitfire combo and the Vulcan flypast with the Red-Arrows.
All this week has pretty much been a wash-out in terms of weather, and therefore my inclination to go out and stand in the rain is somewhat lacking.
I've resisted going out all week but finally gave in today... ironically it probably was one of the wettest days we've had for a long time! Nevertheless I felt I ought to make the commitment.
The easiest choice therefore was back to Lavell's Lake and set up in one of the hides... which I did.
Of course I was on my own, because, seriously, what idiot would go out to a nature reserve on the wettest day of the year?!
I was taking the logic that Wetland Birds wouldn't care so much about getting wet, so there might still be something out and about. First thing to spot was a lone Cormorant, sat on a pole in the middle of the lake, I stayed in the hide for maybe an hour and a half and the Cormorant didn't move at all - obviously it was easier to just stand there - you can see in the picture just how much rain there was.
Other wildlife around included a Swan family with a number of growing Cygnets, a Common Tern hoping to catch some fish, and of course... ducks! One of which appeared to be lighter than usual? some form of Hybrid Mallard I assume.
The first Swan picture is one of the parents from last week when it wasn't raining!
And then.... one from my list of 'to photograph' this year... and no more than maybe 10ft in front of me was this stunning Male Kingfisher! who obviously also doesn't care about the rain!
I'll definitely be returning here to get some better (and daylight) shots of this stunning bird.
I'll try not to leave it quite so long next time, as it both takes time to write, and also read! so hopefully it hasn't been too painful ;)