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24th August 2019 – Stoke Park Estate, Bristol

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I walked across to Stoke Park this morning before it was too hot and before the light was too bright; so no excuses about the light today.

I was hoping to see a whinchat. My mission was soon accomplished and so I then went in search of other birds and insects.

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I was surprised to see a dozen swifts – I thought they had all departed. During the last  week I have seen house martins, swallows and swifts over Duchess Pond.

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There was a buzzard over the woods.

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Around Duchess Pond a grey heron posed and occasionally flew from one patch to another.

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There was a Painted Lady butterfly and several damselflies and dragonflies.

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The motorway was quite quiet for a change and I could have stayed all morning but, if I had, I would have had to spend the rest of the day editing hundreds of photos. So home I went and faced up to England’s dismal performance in the Test match.

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23rd August 2019 – Eastville Park, Bristol

 

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The weather has certainly bucked up today and it has been sunny and warm. Late in the afternoon we had a walk around our local park. In the full sunlight it was diffficult to pick things out but a Red Admiral butterflly and a couple of grey herons on the lake were easy enough (although difficult to photograph in the bright sunshine).

DSC08998Red Admiral

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DSC09029Grey heron scrambling out of the lake having fished its supper

DSC09052Grey heron struggling to swallow its supper

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On the way home we spotted three kingfishers flying round together near the weir. I then had the opposite challenge of trying to photograph them in the deep shade; likewise with three grey wagtails one of which was enjoying the challenge of a large beetle.

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DSC09238Kingfisher

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DSC09291Grey wagtail devouring beetle

 

 

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22nd August 2019 – Pilning Wetlands, Severn Estuary

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I was looking forward to going to Severnside today as I was anticipating seeing lots of waders but I was greatly disappointed especially as, even though reasonable weather had been forecast, it was in fact very gloomy and quite cold.

I saw lots of Canada Geese (well over 400), mute swans, black-tailed godwits (quite distant on the wetlands), goldfinch, starlings, pied wagtails, house martins and swallows and, I realised when I edited my photos, a flock of more than 30 curlews. There were a few butterflies too.

DSC08470Mute swans

DSC08511Canada geese

DSC08853Canada geese

DSC08875Curlew

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DSC08918Black-tailed godwits

DSC08836Pied wagtail

DSC08705House martin

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DSC08747A (rather faded) Painted Lady

DSC08780Common Blue

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20th August 2019 – Stoke Park Estate, Bristol

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I spent the morning painting the garden fence so I needed a treat in the afternoon. Do I really need an excuse? So, another trip across the road to Stoke Park.

Today it was the turn of the swallows. By  the marshy copse I could see reed buntings flying off to hide in the trees and a I also saw a painted lady butterfly. Around Duchess Pond there were still a few common darters (darting too much for me), some damselflies and a very distant  green spotted woodpecker.

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19th August 2019 – Stoke Park Estate, Bristol

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I played golf this morning and there were House Martins buzzing all around me on the course – perhaps the distraction was the reason I played so badly. So, this afternoon I thought I would have another go at photographing some over at Stoke Park.

I didn’t really have the success of a few days ago but it was still fun trying – more akin to fishing perhaps?

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There was also a very distant kestrel and I managed a few acceptable shots considering how far away it was.

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17th August 2019 – Stoke Park Estate, Bristol

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Not quite knowing what the weather was going to do today we had an  early morning walk to Eastville Park where we spent quite a bit of our walk sheltering from the rain. Of note we saw a grey heron on the lake and more than 40 house martins flying quite high over the lake.

DSC06596Grey heron on the lake at Eastville Park

At the weir we had a good view of a kingfisher but I was chatting to a fellow photographer and failed to get a photo.

On our return we grabbed some breakfast and then I escaped domestic chores and wandered over to Stoke Park to see if I could be any more successful.

The sun came out and I had a wonderful couple of hours photographing reed bunting, house martins and damselflies, dragonflies and butterflies. I also grabbed a photo of a green woodpecker and another grey heron. I also had another very good view of a kingfisher but again failed to get a shot as I was “chimping” at one of my dragonfly shots.

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DSC07100Female reed bunting

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13th August 2019 – Stoke Park Estate, Bristol

 

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I couldn’t resist going back again this morning to see if I could get better shots of the whinchat. Thanks to Ali from Brixham who spotted it away from the reeds I was very pleased with the results. A very enjoyable hour. Not so many different types of birds this morning (mainly reed buntings) but that wasn’t my focus. A few butterflies too.

Chuffed again.

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DSC06363Whinchat

 

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12th August 2019 – Stoke Park Estate, Bristol

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Encouraged by what I had seen in the park yesterday I went back this morning to see if I could see the whinchat that has been reported in recent days.

First of all in the marshy area I saw reed buntings again. In the same area I also saw goldfinch, common whitethroat, a bluetit and overhead a kestrel (which was almost impossible to photograph as it was against the light).

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DSC05899Reed bunting in flight

DSC05884Aggressive reed bunting

DSC05736Common whitethroat

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DSC05817Common whitethroat in flight

Just as I was about to move on I caught sight of the whinchat. It’s not that rare but I was dead chuffed to see it. I stayed for a while but that was the only sighting.

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DSC05930Whinchat

I did a loop of Duchess Pond and saw more goldfinches, a green woodpecker and moorhens, coots and mallards.

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DSC06072Green woodpecker

DSC06078Green woodpecker in flight

DSC06026Juvenile moorhen

DSC06117Coot putting its chick in place

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There were also a few bedraggled butterflies.

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11th August 2019 – Stoke Park, Bristol

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We had a brief walk around Stoke Park and managed to dodge the showers.

We caught sight of 2 reed buntings and a whitethroat in the marshy area and saw the beautiful fly past of a grey heron at Duchess Pond.

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DSC05353I managed almost 90 in focus photos of this grey heron in its short flight across the pond –  the amazing technology of modern mirrorless cameras!

Yesterday the weather was even worse but the sun shone for a few minutes and I couldn’t resist photographing some insects in the garden.

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4th August 2019 – Cornwall

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We have been away on holiday on the North Cornwall coast for the past week. I didn’t get much opportunity for nature photos except on this day when we saw some lovely butterflies.

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DSC09782Some of the beautiful scenery in North Cornwall

My favourite butterflies were the Common Blues.

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DSC09444Male Common Blue

DSC09673Male Red Admiral

DSC09512Female Red Admiral