May 30, 2020  •  2 Comments

Now the current 'lockdown' is being eased in parts of the UK, I have been able to venture out with the camera to some local regular haunts such as Otmoor, Farmoor and Tring reservoirs all within half an hour of my home. It is amazing how much has changed in the past two months with nature getting on with 'business as usual'. In fact nature this Spring has took advantage of the lack of human activity. Looking at all the new birdlife visiting the garden I would say it has been a boom year for them. 

Mute swan familyMute swan familyMute swan family
Marsworth reservoir, Tring, Herts.
Lots of newlife around at the moment.

My first outing was a late afternoon visit to Farmoor reservoir West of Oxford. It can be a bit of a 'hit & miss' location with not much wildlife about or just hiding! Walking on the River Thames close by the visiting warblers were warbling away with their random tunes, occasionally revealing themselves from the reed bed. There was a few waders on the causeway looking for a tasty snack, mainly Mayflies which have been in abundance this year.

Reed warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)Reed warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)Reed warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Warnham local nature reserve, West Sussex.
Reed warbler skulking in the reeds

Dunlin (Calidris alpina)Dunlin (Calidris alpina)Dunlin (Calidris alpina)
Farmoor, Oxfordshire.
 Dunlin at Farmoor reservoir

Tring reservoirs are a good wildlife venue. In mid May I visited just before sunrise around 5am. Conditions were perfect with a glorious sunrise with light mist on the water. Ideal conditions for photography. These conditions only last a few minutes. As the Sun climbs higher the mist will burn off and the 'golden light' will be gone. It always pays to get there before the sun has risen and to witness the 'Dawn chorus'. Always worth the sacrifice of a few hours sleep just to hear it.

Common tern (Sterna hirundo)Common tern (Sterna hirundo)Common tern (Sterna hirundo)
Marsworth reservoir, Tring, Herts.
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Common tern at Tring reservoirs.

Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus)Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus)Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
Marsworth reservoir, Tring, Herts.
Great crested grebe on a misty Marsworth reservoir, Tring.

Tring reservoirs are a great location to watch swifts, swallows and martins skimming the surface for insects. 

Sand martin (Riparia riparia)Sand martin (Riparia riparia)Sand martin (Riparia riparia)
Startop's End reservoir, Bucks.
Sand martin

Last weekend I payed another daybreak visit, this time to RSPB Otmoor East of Oxford. Again I was rewarded with a glorious misty sunrise. Spring is a great time to visit Otmoor. Soon as I parked the car up I heard the distinctive sound of a Cuckoo. According to local visitors there are six cuckoos on site. I definitely saw 3 different birds. The bitterns have successfully breeded this year with the parents flying off for food at regular intervals. 

Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)
RSPB Otmoor, Oxfordshire.
Bittern at RSPB Otmoor, Oxfordshire.

Evenings are great time to explore around the Oxfordshire village I live in. It is only a short walk to the footpaths around the fields at the base of the Chiltern hills. I usually just take the macro set up and look for insects settling down to roost. The poppies are starting to appear and hopefully next month we will have a few fields full of them. A spectactular sight.

Common blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus)Common blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus)Common blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus)
Chinnor, Oxfordshire.
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Common blue butterfly settling down for the night.

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

Thank you all for reading my latest blog and thank you all for your support and kind comments over this difficult period we are all experiencing. It makes it all worth the while. I find nature is a great healer in times like this. Even just sitting out in the garden or going for a short local walk. Nature is all around us.

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.





Absolutely amazing photos, thankyou Steve for sharing them with us xx
Beautifull photo's as always Steve thank you x
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