Out and about in Oxfordshire

September 29, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

I've now spent two months down in Oxfordshire due to work commitments and have managed to spend a few days exploring new locations mainly for my love of wildlife photography. Farmoor reservoirs are on the west of Oxford and are a magnet for wildlife. Also the River Thames is close by which is also used to top up the reservoirs if they get too low. It's a great place for Great crested grebes, cormorants, various wagtails, ducks, coots and a few waders which stop over to recover during their migration.

Ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula)Ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula)Ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula)
Farmoor reservoir, Oxon.
Juvenile ringed plover at Farmoor reservoir.

Other sightings here are barn owls, hobby and red kites. 

Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Pinkhill lock, River Thames, Oxon.

Male kingfisher regurgitating a pellet, Pinkhill lock, River Thames, Oxon.

Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Farmoor reservoir, Oxon.
Cormorant at Farmoor reservoir.

I'm still on the look out for new locations in the Oxfordshire area if any of you know of any!

Not far from were I  stay is Santa Pod Raceway, the home of European drag racing. I've been visiting 'The Pod' for over 30 years now and the cars are getting faster and faster. The beauty of drag racing is you see all the race which covers only a 1/4 of a mile. But in that distance the top cars can reach speeds of over 300mph in under 4 seconds!! I managed two visits during September, the Euro finals and the Hot rod drags. Both great events. If you've never witnessed drag racing this is the place to go. 

Top Fuel DragsterTop Fuel DragsterTop Fuel Dragster
FIA European Finals 2018, Santa Pod Raceway.
Top fuel dragster Euro finals winner 2018. Anita Mäkelä on her way to 310mph in 3.87 seconds!

s Slingshot dragster burnoutSlingshot dragster burnoutSlingshot dragster burnout
30th NSRA Hot Rod Drags at Santa Pod Raceway.
Sling-shot dragster burn out at the Hot rod drags, Santa pod.

 In mid September I managed a long overdue visit to WWT Slimbridge. It had been 2 months since my last visit. Even the wardens wanted to know were I'd been! It was a dull and showery day but this doesn't affect the wildlife. On my visit a family of common spoonbills called in for a couple of days. Usually when birds are on migration and the weather takes a turn for the worst birds will shelter here and recover and feed up. 

Common spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia)Common spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia)Common spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia)
WWT Slimbridge.
Common spoonbill family. Two adults and three juveniles at Slimbridge.

I haven't managed to photograph the deer rut yet but I am planning a visit during the first half of October. Autumn is an excellent time to get out with a camera. You don't need a pro spec camera set up. You can get great shots with most new smart phones.

Autumn coloursAutumn coloursAutumn colours
St. Fagans, Cardiff.
Autumn leaves photographed using a mobile phone.

Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria)Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria)Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria)
Virginia Water, Surrey.

Fly agaric (poisonous!!)

Also watch out for fungi but DON'T eat these. Please upload your autumnal shots to my photography page, there are been some great shots recently so keep up the good work.

Thanks for reading my latest instalment.

More of my images can be viewed on my flickr page.






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