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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Sand Martins!

Considering British Summer time is officially with us this Sunday, the weather has been cold and atrocious in the UK for the last couple of weeks! It even tried snowing in Somerset today! Luckily we haven't had any of the severe snowfall and drifts that Northern England, Scotland and Ireland have suffered.
    One of the first Summer migrants to arrive on our shores is the Sand Martin, and bodies of water at this time of year is the best place to see them. I popped into Cheddar Reservoir and there were between 10 and 20 of these little birds hunting flies over the water and bordering grassy fields, they seemed oblivious to me and were flying low around my legs! I'd never been so close to Sand Martins in my life!
  Trying to photograph these incredibly fast and agile flyers was proving extremely difficult to say the least! Focusing on them is almost impossible when they are flying so low, there are too many background distractions that the camera focuses on instead, grass, fences, trees, walls! I persevered though and despite having a couple of hundred blurry attempts, I did manage a couple of pretty decent shots! That is the beauty of digital photography, you can just delete the poor pictures, no harm done! It's worth it to catch just one good shot!
  On the reservoir, quite close to the shore, was a Great Crested Grebe. It was diving regularly, so I lay on my stomach and waited for it to surface. Luckily it came up right in front of me, having caught a Fish! I managed to fire off a few shots, despite my discomfort!! :-)

Below are some of the pictures;

^Above^ - Sand Martins

^Above^ - Great Crested Grebe and catch!

^Above^ - Tufted Duck

Friday, 22 March 2013

Some more of my own favourite photos!

As the weather has been very cold and wet and miserable in Somerset recently I haven't had the chance to take any photos! It's predicted to stay pretty grim over the weekend too, so I thought I'd post some of my favourite shots from the past instead! Looking at them inspires me to try to take more, even better pictures in the future! I get so much pleasure from it! Hope you like the results too!


Thursday, 14 March 2013

More Reed Buntings! 14th March 2013

As I was off work and the Sun was making a rare appearance in Somerset I thought I'd pop up the road to Greylake once again for an hour or so! First of all though I put up a Tit nesting box with an attached camera in my garden! The box had been bought for me by my mum for my Birthday in January and I thought it was about time I got it outside before the nesting season was in full flow!
   On arriving at Greylake I saw my friend Nick Stacey had had the same idea! He was sat comfortably in the boot of his people carrier taking pictures of the Reed Buntings that come into the car park to feed on the seed put out for the birds. It's usually difficult to get pictures of Reed Buntings, but here they positively come down to pose right in front of you! I couldn't resist taking a few pics myself!
   After a short chat, my other half ,our youngest daughter and I walked to the hide. The usual birds were about, the Ducks, Egrets and Snipe. One Snipe flew in and landed right in front of the hide and started feeding, pushing it's long bill into the mud! They are usually pretty hard to have a clear view of as their plumage is perfect for camourflage in their wet grassy habitat!
  Such a pity I couldn't stay longer, but even just an hour in nature is a relaxing pleasure to savour! :-)

Here are some pics I took during the visit;

^Above^ - Posing male Reed Buntings!

^Above^ - Blue Tit

^Above^ - Great Tit

^Above^ - Snipe

^Above^ - Greylake Reeds