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Sunday, 24 May 2015

Bitterns and a world of cuteness!

This is the story of my week.

The month of May signals baby birds galore, and nothing equals cuteness like baby waterbirds, especially Swans, Geese and Ducks! Baby Coots and Moorhens can't really be included in this cute explosion however, as you soon will see...

^Above^ - Canada Goose goslings deep in conversation at Backwell Lake in North Somerset, this definitely qualifies as 'cute'!

 During my week, I stopped at various spots whilst travelling around the Somerset countryside, Backwell Lake being only one of them, and as usual I have my camera by my side, just in case!! Always be prepared! Some of my best pictures have been from chance, sudden unexpected nature moments! It's what makes nature so magical! I always have my eyes open!

 On saturday I popped to Westhay Moor National Nature Reserve. It's not far from RSPB Ham Wall and Shapwick Heath reserves, but as a consequence it's not as regularly visited as those 2 wonderful reserves. This is a shame, as Westhay is wonderful!
   I spent a couple of hours in the Tower Hide there watching over one of the extensive reedbeds. I had the company of a wonderful lady and her dog, amusingly nicknamed 'Piglet', (The dog, not the lady!), who had come all the way from Cardiff to photograph Hobbies in flight.
   Her name is Cate Barrow, and her fabulous nature website is here;


 Whilst in the hide we witnessed the unusual sight of 3 male Marsh Harriers together. There was a nest in the reeds in the distance, and we also witnessed a mid-air 'food pass' between the hunting Male bird and the female mate. I got some record shots of this moment.

 Highlight of the visit was a passing Bittern, lit up by the sun, luckily I managed a couple of half decent shots of it, despite forgetting to up my shutter speed from 500th of a second after photographing something in the shade!

 I will now post various pics from the week, amongst them some of the little cuties I was referring to earlier, there's quite a few photographs, so it's going to be a bit of a marathon...

^Above^ - The cute highlight of the week, the Goslings of Backwell! (Especially the littler one!)

^Above^ - We are family! The Goslings with mum and dad!

^Above^ - Cygnets, getting  a little too large to fully justify the 'cute' tag!

^Above^ - A bit of a set to between a parent Mute Swan and a parent Canada Goose at Backwell.

^Above^ - A Mallard Duckling, just about hanging onto the 'cute' tag, at Apex park in Burnham On Sea.

^Above^ - A mother Mallard with 6 growing ducklings at Westhay. She's done well!

^Above^ - Running on water! Young Mallard at Westhay.

^Above^ - Baby Coot! Cute though? You decide! Taken at Backwell.

^Above^ - Baby Moorhens being fed by a parent at Westhay... a struggle to call these cute!!

^Above^ - What on earth is this baby Moorhen doing?!! It looks like it's hanging, but it had actually leapt out of the water, as if something had made it jump!!

^Above^ - More cuteness! Young Long Tailed Tits at Westhay!

^Above^ - Cute Rabbit in the grass on the Brendon Hills on the Somerset/Devon border.

^Above^ - Cute young Rabbit on the Quantock Hills in Somerset...I crawled along behind it in my van before it finally got out of the road, safe!

^Above^ - Cute Bumble Bee......OK, I'll ditch the 'cute' now..... a Bumble Bee in Devon!

^Above^ - A Buzzard near Middlezoy in Somerset.

^Above^ - A Hare in a field near Podimore, Somerset.

^Above^ - Another Buzzard, this time near Banwell in Somerset.

^Above^ - A Swift in flight at RSPB Greylake in Somerset.

^Above^ - Preening female Mallard at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Male Mallards in flight at Apex Park.

^Above^ - The fabulous Bittern in flight at Westhay!

^Above^ - Reed Warblers at Westhay.

^Above^ - The distant Marsh Harrier food pass at Westhay. The male dropped the food and the female swooped down to grab it in the air!

^Above^ - Other Marsh Harrier shots at Westhay.... they never came quite close enough!

^Above^ - Little Grebe at Westhay.

^Above^ - Singing Whitethroat at Westhay.

^Above^ - Cetti's Warbler at Westhay...finally a half decent shot of the whole bird!

^Above^ - Gadwall at Westhay.

^Above^ - Greylag Goose at Westhay.

^Above^ - Cormorant at Westhay.

^Above^ - Cuckoo at Westhay.... pity it was flying away!

^Above^ - Hobbies at Westhay.

^Above^ - Little Egret at Westhay.

^Above^ - Male Mallard at Westhay.

^Above^ - Sunbathing Pied Wagtail at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Juvenile Gull in flight at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Magpie with twig at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Male Chaffinch at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Magpie at Winscombe, Somerset.

^Above^ - More Magpies, this time at Bridgwater in Somerset.

^Above^ - Buzzard at Clatworthy reservoir on the Somerset/Devon border.

^Above^ - The Clatworthy Buzzard being harrassed by a Carrion Crow.

^Above^ - Preening Canada Goose at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Carrion Crow at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Male House Sparrow in flight at Bridgwater.

^Above^ - Jackdaw at Bridgwater.

^Above^ - Cormorant at Apex Park.

^Above^ - Swallows in Bridgwater.

^Above^ - Damselflies at Westhay. (Mating, top)

^Above^ - Dragonfly at Westhay, I think it's a four spotted Chaser.

^Above^ - Not sure what this feathery plant is, but it was beautiful! Taken at Westhay.

^Above^ - Finishing off with my favourite wildflower, a Poppy at Westhay!

Hope you enjoyed my weeks nature photography!

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Thank you for reading! :)


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