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.
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.
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.
Mute 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.
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!
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.
Frustrated with the lack of birds I attempted a few views across the reserve – the power of Wales.
Locally we have had very mixed weather with frequent heavy rain and winds but at times there have been some sunny periods. On Thursday there was a window of opportunity for a walk around our local park. We didn’t see many birds but the trees still retained some of their leaves and I managed a few photos with my phone to show the glory of the park.
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.
Golden eye (captive)
Black-winged stilt (captive)
Bewick swan – I presume resident as there were only three present
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.
A dismal day today but we made the most of it with a walk around Dyrham Park where I took a few more photos of the deer. Again, there wasn’t much action and certainly no rutting.