Hectic June!!

June 29, 2019  •  2 Comments

Welcome to my written account of what I have been up to during the month of June. It has been a hectic month with quite a few miles covered and some fantastic locations visited. I've spent the first couple of weeks local and having a try at macro (close-up) photography with the insects that have eaten me alive! I've also been keeping my eye on the great-crested grebe family at Tring reservoir. I managed a visit to Santa Pod...again! Also spent a week up North visiting family and visiting some paces on my 'bucket list'. More on that later.

Macro photography is something new to me so went out with my trusty macro lens to photograph the local insects. There are quite a few meadows around Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire which are great for butterflies and other bitey creatures.

Common blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus)Common blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus)Common blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus)
Bernwood meadow, Oxon.
Common blue butterfly

Roesel's bush-cricket (Metrioptera roeselii)Roesel's bush-cricket (Metrioptera roeselii)Roesel's bush-cricket (Metrioptera roeselii)
Whitecross Green Wood, Oxfordshire.

Roesel's bush-cricket at Whitecross Green Wood, Oxfordshire

Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus)Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus)Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
Tringford reservoir, Bucks.
Great-crested grebe with junior shouting to the World! Tring reservoir

The great-crested grebe family is still at one youngster and two unhatched eggs.

A place I haven't visited for a while is the Hawk conservancy trust near Andover, Wiltshire. It has some of the best Bird of prey displays I have ever seen and fly up to half a dozen birds at once from eagles, vultures, kites and my favourites the owls. Another place well worth visiting.

Hooded vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus)Hooded vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus)Hooded vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus)
Hawk Conservancy Trust, Andover.
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Hooded vulture at the Hawk conservancy trust, Andover.

Common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)Common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)Common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Hawk Conservancy Trust, Andover.
Common kestrel

I know most people who read my blog prefer the wildlife photography to my love of motorsport but I'm going to sneak a car shot in! LOL!!

Outlaw AngliaOutlaw AngliaOutlaw Anglia
STP Summernationals, Santa Pod Raceway.
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Outlaw Anglia racing at Santa Pod Raceway, Bedfordshire.

Now to my recent few days spent in the North of England. The best till last!

Just off the M6 motorway in South Lancashire I visited Pennington Flash. It can get rather busy with visitors but there is a quiet corner which the wildlife thrives. When I was living in Lancashire I never visited this place for some strange reason. I wish I had.

Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Pennington Flash, Leigh, Lancashire.

Juvenile kingfisher preening at Pennington Flash

Bullfinches (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)Bullfinches (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)Bullfinches (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Pennington Flash, Leigh, Lancashire.
Common bullfinches (junior watching dad in the background!), Pennington Flash

Another place to visit in May and June is Preston Marina. It was the old Preston docks which have been redeveloped and an area has been made for the migrating common terns which breed there every year. There were around a hundred birds with quite a lot of young birds on my visit. The birds are quite used to people and will land a short distance from you.

Common tern (Sterna hirundo)Common tern (Sterna hirundo)Common tern (Sterna hirundo)
Preston marina, Lancashire.
Common tern at Preston Marina, Lancashire.

One of my main reasons for visiting the North was to meet up with my family. My dad loves the Yorkshire Dales so we arranged a trip there on a steam train. A brilliant day out with the family. I didn't take many pics but I took one of the engine.

The DalesmanThe DalesmanThe Dalesman
Carlisle station.

The Dalesman ready to travel the Settle-Carlisle Railway line

A place I have not visited for many years is the RSPB reserve at Bempton Cliffs on the East Yorkshie coast. It is home to one of the UK's top wildlife spectacles. Around half a million seabirds gather here between March and October to raise a family on towering chalk cliffs which overlook the North Sea. It was a case of where do I point my lens! I spent two days there. Next year I will stay for a few more days and book a boat trip to watch the gannets diving into the sea for fish. 

Northern gannet (Morus bassanus)Northern gannet (Morus bassanus)Northern gannet (Morus bassanus)
RSPB Bempton Cliffs, East Yorkshire.
Northern gannet, Bempton Cliffs.

Atlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica)Atlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica)Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica)
RSPB Bempton Cliffs, East Yorkshire.

Atlantic puffins, Bempton Cliffs
Northern gannets (Morus bassanus)Northern gannets (Morus bassanus)Northern gannets (Morus bassanus)
RSPB Bempton Cliffs, East Yorkshire.
Northern gannets

Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)
RSPB Bempton Cliffs, East Yorkshire.

Northern fulmar, a relative of the albatross

Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)
RSPB Bempton Cliffs, East Yorkshire.

Juvenile tree sparrow (Passer montanus)Juvenile tree sparrow (Passer montanus)Juvenile tree sparrow (Passer montanus)
RSPB Bempton Cliffs, East Yorkshire.
Juvenile tree sparrow

Bempton CliffsBempton CliffsBempton Cliffs
RSPB Bempton Cliffs, East Yorkshire.
Bempton Cliffs. On every rock ledge there is a seabird of some species

That's about it for now folks. I hope you have enjoyed reading my latest photographic exploits. Not sure what I'm photographing in July but I do know there are a couple of drag racing events at Santa Pod for any motorsport fans. Wildlife tends to quieten up during Summer. There is still plenty around but everything grows so quick so is usually hidden!

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.







Carol Taylor(non-registered)
Really enjoyed reading your blog & looking at your photos whether they are nature or cars.You have such a talent with your photography.
Frances Monaghan Rycroft(non-registered)
Good morning Steve your photos are absolutely amazingly beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey along with the photos. Much appreciated.
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