Are we having an early Spring??

February 25, 2019  •  1 Comment

I don't know about you but I'm enjoying this bout of warm weather we are having in the UK. It's hard to believe snow and ice were causing havoc at the start of February and now we are experiencing nearly 20°C temperatures! The wildlife all around us are adapting to. I've seen a few Brimstone butterflies fluttering about but there aren't a lot of flowers producing pollen for them. The birds are very vocal singing for a mate. I've seen plenty of hares in courtship displays in the Oxfordshire fields (an animal I want to photograph at this time of year). 

At the start of February I was in Bushy Park (one of my favourite places) photographing the deer in sub zero temperature. I love this time of year when it is cold and frosty. It makes for some great photographs and great sunrises.

Winter in Bushy parkWinter in Bushy parkWinter in Bushy Park
Bushy park, London.
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Sunrise in Bushy Park, London.

Fallow deer (Dama dama)Fallow deer (Dama dama)Fallow deer (Dama dama)
Bushy Park, London.
Fallow deer in Bushy park on a chilly morning.

I paid a long overdue visit to the wildlife and wetlands centre at Slimbridge. It was great to catch up with the regular photographers/birders. This is a great venue all year round for photographers with Winter being the most popular due to the large numbers of wildfowl and waders that stop off here year after year.

Bewick's swan (Cygnus bewickii)Bewick's swan (Cygnus bewickii)Bewick's swan (Cygnus bewickii)
WWT Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.
Bewick's swan at Slimbridge. A Winter visitor from Russia!

Winter is a good time to watch owls especially Barn owls. I've been very lucky since I moved to Oxfordshire as I've never seen so many owls. Photographing them is a bit trickier as they prefer dusk and very early morning when the light is not the best. Sometimes you can get lucky and spot one mid afternoon. 

Barn owl (Tyto alba)Barn owl (Tyto alba)Barn owl (Tyto alba)
RSPB Otmoor, Oxon.

Barn owl at RSPB Otmoor, Oxfordshire.

The two reserves in Oxfordshire I visit the most are RSPB Otmoor and Farmoor reservoirs which are great places to spot owls. Not just Barn owls but Short-eared owls frequently turn up.

Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus)Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus)Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus)
Aust Warf.
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Short-eared owl

Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Shrike Meadows, Farmoor, Oxon.
Mrs Kingfisher at Shrike Meadow, Farmoor.

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

A couple of weeks back I took a trip to deepest Surrey to the British Wildlife Centre ......via Bushy Park of course! The BWC is a great place to watch British wildlife in natural looking surroundings which also make for great photographs. On my visit the otter cubs were very playful with their parents and the foxes were doing a spot of sun-bathing.

Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra)Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra)Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
The British Wildlife Centre, Surrey.
European otter cub at the British Wildlife Centre, Surrey.

'Basil''Basil'Red fox (Vulpes vulpes)
The British Wildlife Centre, Surrey.
'Basil' catching some rays! BWC

That's about it for now folks. I hope you've enjoyed my latest photographic exploits. I just hope this un-seasonal weather continues and please continue to upload your photographs to my Photo's Page. There are some great photographs being posted.

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


Brown hare (Lepus europaeus)Brown hare (Lepus europaeus)Brown hare (Lepus europaeus)
RSPB Otmoor, Oxfordshire.
Hare at RSPB Otmoor, Oxon.


Carol Taylor(non-registered)
Lovely you are so lucky seeing all this wildlife but we are lucky to have you to share it with us.
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