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16th November 2019 – Stoke Park Estate, Bristol

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After a week of gloomy and very wet weather I jumped at the chance to take a short walk to Stoke Park this morning. It was lovely and sunny and so I took a 28mm lens to try and take some landscape photos.

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However, on arrival at Duchess Pond I saw a sparrowhawk fly in and land in the pond quite close by.  In a panic I quickly swapped my lens for a much longer one. At first I failed to change the settings from those for landscapes and failed to get any decent shots as the sparrowhawk flew off when disturbed by crows. Luckily it came back for a further bath by which time I had sorted out my settings and got some very pleasing results.

I had a quick walk around the lake and took some photos of a cormorant and coots, moorhens and mallards in the beautiful sunshine. But by then I just wanted to get home to edit my sparrowhawk photos. Wonderful.

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13th November 2019 – Bristol

Today we were going in to town for lunch but stopped off at Eastville Park for a quick walk around the lake where we saw a goldcrest, several long-tailed tits, a tawny owl, 2 grey herons, half a dozen cormorants and 5 mute swans (the most for some time). It wasn’t  great light but good for the record.

 

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Gold crest

DSC01386Long-tailed tit

DSC01393Tawny owl

DSC01433Cormorant

DSC01463Mute swan seemingly seeing off a newcomer

To make our lunch really worthwhile we headed for Brandon Hill in the centre of the city for another walk (we were anticipating a good lunch) where I had the opportunity for a few more nature photos. We saw another gold crest (no photo sadly). The stars of the show for me were the squirrels.

 

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The lunch (littlefrench_bristol in Westbury Park) felt well earned and was well up to our expectations.

We treated ourselves to a lovely bottle of Chinon (just for the memories) and had a great chat with our taxi driver on the way home!

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10th November 2019 – RSPB Newport Wetlands Reserve

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A filthy day yesterday but today a total change with lots of sunshine. However, we didn’t want to be ploughing through mud and so had a walk around the RSPB Newport Wetlands. The paths on the reserve may have been good but we didn’t see many birds. Never mind, at least there wasn’t too much editing to do.

The only bird worth recording was a robin.

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Frustrated with the lack of birds I attempted a few views across the reserve – the power of Wales.

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3rd November 2019 – WWT Slimbridge

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After a day of heavy rain and strong winds yesterday, today it was dry and often sunny.  We visited the Wildlife and Wetland Trust centre at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire; we spent most of the time in the hides but enjoyed walking through the wetlands centre and seeing some of the more exotic wildfowl in the pens, especially as there was lots of sun to enjoy. My photographs are a mixture of captive and free birds.

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DSC07606Shelduck

DSC07795Lapwing

DSC07856Greylag goose

DSC07863Mallard

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DSC08012Golden eye (captive)

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DSC08216Wigeon

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DSC08410Avocet (captive)

DSC08449Black-winged stilt (captive)

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DSC08513Bewick swan – I presume resident as there were only three present

 

 

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1st November 2019 – Eastville Park, Bristol

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Another dull day but as it’s half term it was good to avoid the crowds and have a walk around Eastville Park. I haven’t seen a kingfisher in the park for a while but with the benefit of half term we had some young eyes with us and one was spotted as soon as we reached the lake (O seems to manage to spot one every time we go here).

The trees were looking pretty good too; shame there was no sun to make it really special.

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DSC01097Grey heron

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DSC01234Female kingfisher

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DSC01322Mute swan

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DSC01292Tawny owl