November 29, 2019  •  2 Comments

That's another month that's hurtled past. Is it me or has this year flown along? November was a great month for the Autumn colours albeit a bit soggy at times but I spent quite a bit of time foraging for fungi. You may have spotted me knelt on the floor with my backside in the air photographing the fruits of Autumn! Ha ha ha! 

Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria)Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria)Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria)
Harcourt Arboretum, Oxon.
Fly agaric. I didn't find any elves or goblins sat on them! Harcourt arboretum, Oxon.

I found a few places locally which were full of Autumn colour. Burnham beeches in Bucks and Harcourt arboretum near Oxford are great spots for fungi and varying colours of turning leaves. Trouble is it poured down on both these visits!

Burnham BeechesBurnham BeechesBurnham Beeches
Burnham, Bucks.

Burnham beeches, Bucks.

At the moment my go to place is Bushy park near London. Now the deer rut is over some great shots of the deer relaxing and feeding can be had. I've been visiting less frequent areas of the park and have managed to get some great wildlife images. Most visitors tend to hang round the main lakes for the early morning misty sunrise but I head away from the crowds and the masses of runners that use the park at weekends.

Red deer (Cervus elaphus)Red deer (Cervus elaphus)Red deer (Cervus elaphus)
Bushy park, London.
A misty morning at Bushy park in my 'quiet corner'.

During late Autumn and Winter I make regular visits to the London wetland centre which is only up the road from Bushy park. It's a good place for visiting wildfowl and the elusive Bittern. There is so much wildlife in and around our capital city. The red foxes are used to people and will walk right past you and not flinch! Also there are noisy parakeets everywhere. Some of the parks in London such as Regent's and Hyde are places I've yet to visit are full of wildlife that will eat from your hand. Herons and the parakeets are such birds which will do this! I'll get there one day.

Rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri)Rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri)Rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
London Wetland Centre.

Ring necked parakeet at London wetlands.

In mid November I went on a photography day at the School of falconry near Bedford. I had previously visited this place in Summer for an evening shoot which was great. This time I was struggling to get decent shots. The event was meant to include Autumnal backdrops which I struggled to find. I think a few other photographers felt the same but never complained (the British way!). I'll probably not bother with a return visit in the future.

Barn owl (Tyto alba)Barn owl (Tyto alba)Barn owl (Tyto alba)
Herrings Green Farm, Bedfordshire.

Barn owl at the School of falconry, Bedford.

A place I don't visit as often as I used to is the Slimbridge wetlands centre in Gloucestershire due to my relocation last year.

Over the last few months they have been revamping the place with funding from the National Lottery. They have replaced the tower hide overlooking the River Severn and they are in the process of building an walk-round aviary (opening Easter 2020). Such much wildfowl spends the Winter there including Bewick's swans from Russia and many ducks and geese from Greenland/Iceland. The bitterns like to Winter here and attract photographers from allover hoping to catch a glimpse of this elusive and shy bird. Last weekend one of the three birds spotted on site was showing very well. When they first arrive they are usually tired and hungry and will spend a lot of time looking for fish, frogs or voles.

Great bittern (Botaurus stellaris)Great bittern (Botaurus stellaris)Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)
WWT Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.
The not so shy Bittern at Slimbridge.

Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)
RSPB Otmoor, Oxon.

Yellowhammer at RSPB Otmoor, Oxon.

Next month I'm looking forward to some chilly or misty early mornings which can add a bit of atmosphere to your photography. I'll probably make a few local visits to RSPB Otmoor which can be quite good in Winter. Can be a bit hit and miss sometimes. Many a time I've visited, walking several miles carrying all my gear (my backpack weighs around 12kgs!) and not taken a single shot. That's what it can be like in wildlife photography. Over the Christmas period I will be staying with family in my native Lancashire and hope to visit some of my old haunts. Looking forward to a rest!

I hope you have enjoyed reading my latest photographic exploits.

Please continue to upload your photographs to my Photo's Page. There are some great photographs being posted.

Many more of my images can be viewed on my flickr page and Instagram.







Elaine Saul(non-registered)
Fantastic Steve keep up the good work you have a bit of everything and the best olaces for us to go to see them. Thank you
Carol Taylor(non-registered)
Thankyou for sharing, as it just makes me feel like I have been there with your wonderful photos & descriptions.Steve hope you are now feeling alot better now.Enjoy your Christmas with your family & looking forward to all your news & photos 2020.Happy New Year.
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