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19th September 2019 – Eastville Park, Bristol

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The beautiful weather lasted all day and so we ventured out for another walk in the afternoon to Eastville Park. Still more dragonflies. The best of the birds was a grey wagtail which performed right in front of our eyes on the lake. Lots of good photos but I couldn’t quite manage to capture the beauty of its flight as it darted off its perch in search of insects above the lake – but I had a good try.

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I really liked this moorhen too but didn’t see the little grebe others had reported.

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19th September 2019 – Stoke Park Estate, Bristol

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I haven’t had much opportunity to take nature photos recently and so I particularly enjoyed getting out to my local parks this morning (Stoke Park) and this afternoon (Eastville Park).

Here are some of my photos from this morning featuring a juvenile female reed bunting, a grey heron in flight and lots of dragonflies. This afternoon’s walk will follow in a separate blog.

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7th September 2019 – Dorset

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We felt the need to get away from the city today and where better to go than to the seaside? Weymouth, on the south coast. is only 70 odd miles from Bristol (although not the easiest of roads to travel on) and has a couple of lovely nature reserves.

Our first visit was to RSPB Lodmore but we didn’t stay long as, after a couple of hours of driving, we needed to find some toilets.

DSC03894Little egret at Lodmore

Nearby RSPB Radipole Lakes is right in Weymouth and has a visitors’ centre and toilets adjacent. We were quite pleased to see some butterflies and dragonflies and then overjoyed to hear and then see bearded tits (or bearded reedlings as they are often now referred to) – one of our favourite birds. They were only there for seconds and then gone, but long enough for us to see them in binoculars and capture with the camera.

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We moved on to Portland Bill for lunch but didn’t have much luck with birds other than a kestrel.

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DSC04050Chesil beach

We were then going to vist the swannery at Abbotsbury but the entrance fee was quite stiff and, as the weather had deteriorated, we didn’t think it was worth it on this occasion.  We then tried to find somewhere to have a cup of tea and a cake on the way home but, being England, all the cafés were closed by 4.30 pm. Never mind, a lovely day anyway.

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Abbotsbury Castle

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DSC04135Pheasants enjoying the evening sun

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4th September 2019 – Northwick Warth/Pilning Wetland

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There were a couple of redshank on the shore when I arrived and I was feeling optimistic as the light was good. However, as I walked out along the the coastal path I could see very few birds on Northwick Warth and had difficulty picking out what was on the Pilning Wetlands.  I spent a little while trying to take photos of House Martins and was distracted by a distant buzzard.

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I could see in the distance on the wetlands the great white egret, a couple of little egrets and a grey heron but all too far away for photos.

On my way back there were a couple of meadow pipits within reach.

DSC03198Meadow pipit

As I reached the first pill box (there used to be a firing range here at Pilning) I met a group of birders and had a very enjoyable time chatting to them. Some of them had telescopes and were very generous in showing me a couple of curlew sandpipers. They were among a large mixed flock of ringed plovers, dunlin and turnstones but all really too far away for me to photograph (but it didn’t stop me trying!).

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I had a little bit of time to kill before going home to watch the Test match and so stopped at Aust Warth where I saw a kestrel.

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2nd September 2019 – Stoke Park Estate, Bristol

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Only chance for a short walk around Stoke Park Estate this afternoon as I spent the morning playing golf. I probably saw more birds on the golf course than in the park but I managed a few photos and hence my blog.

The juvenile green woodpecker was particularly difficult to photograph as it was continuously in the shade and its colours are not as vivid as the adults.

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The grey heron moved often around the pond and so I had a few chances of photographing it in flight.

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The juvenile coots were very noisy.

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