August 30, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

I don't know about you but this year seems to flying by! It doesn't seem like 5 minutes ago when I was writing my July blog!!

Welcome to my latest update of what I've been getting up to during August. August is generally a warm month weather wise but it feels a lot like Autumn. Yesterday I was watching eagles fly at the Hawk conservancy trust and the leaves were already falling from the trees. 

This time of the year is when migratory birds will fly South for the Winter and birds from further North (Russia, Greenland & Northern Europe) will arrive in the UK. If you visit local reservoirs you may spot swallows and martins collecting 'en masse'  feeding up for the long trip back to South Africa. The reservoirs near me (Farmoor and Tring) are good stop off locations for the migratory birds.

Juvenile sand martin (Riparia riparia)Juvenile sand martin (Riparia riparia)Juvenile sand martin (Riparia riparia)
Farmoor reservoir, Oxfordshire.
Juvenile sand martin ready for its long trip South, Farmoor reservoir, Oxon.

Other birds such as wading birds and migratory raptors like Hobbies and Osprey may drop in for a quick snack on their long journey.

Hobby (Falco subbuteo)Hobby (Falco subbuteo)Hobby (Falco subbuteo)
Standlake, Oxfordshire.
Hobby. A migratory raptor from Southern Europe/Africa that breeds in the UK.

On the topic of raptors and birds of prey, I visited the Cotswold falconry centre for the first time early in the month. They have a great variety of birds and I had a great time even though it rained!!

Juvenile mottled owl (Strix virgata)Juvenile mottled owl (Strix virgata)Juvenile mottled owl (Strix virgata)
Cotswold Falconry Centre, Gloucs.

Mottled owl on a typical British Summers day! Cotswold falconry.

The wetland centre at Slimbridge is one of my favourite places to visit. I have been going there for over ten years now and I always see something different to photograph. I go that often that the centre wrote an article about me in their magazine! It is a great place to witness the Spring and Autumn migration and to get close to thousands of wild birds that spend the Winter there.

Spotted redshank (Tringa erythropus)Spotted redshank (Tringa erythropus)Spotted redshank (Tringa erythropus)
WWT Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.
Spotted redshank. A Summer visitor to Slimbridge.

Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
WWT Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.
If you're lucky you may spot a Kingfisher at Slimbridge!

Bushy park is a place I visit mainly in the Autumn and Winter but occasionally I will call in for a couple of hours in the Summer. The Royal parks can get busy so I arrive very early and leave early. This is also the best time for photography. Not many people about, mist over the lakes and a glorious sunrise. It can be quite magical when conditions allow.  Red deer (Cervus elaphus)Red deer (Cervus elaphus)Red deer (Cervus elaphus)
Bushy Park, London.

Fallow deer on a misty sunny Summer's morning in Bushy park.

After my visit to Bushy I headed to the British wildlife centre in Surrey. Another place I have been visiting for years. On these past visits I had never seen much of the grass snakes. I was beginning to think they didn't have any!! On this visit three snakes were showing well. I'm due to visit the centre early next month (September) and I bet they don't show themselves!!

Grass snake (Natrix natrix)Grass snake (Natrix natrix)Grass snake (Natrix natrix)
British wildlife centre, Surrey.
The elusive Grass snake at the British wildlife centre.

Last weekend I attended the Greenlight Nationals at Santa Pod Raceway for my motorsport fix. This was another event that was at the mercy of the good old British Summer! There was still some good racing in between the showers and it was a well attended event. During September I will be attending FOUR motorsport events so expect plenty of car photographs!

1932 Ford Coupe1932 Ford Coupe1932 Ford Coupe
27th Mopar Euro Nationals
Santa Pod Raceway, Bedfordshire.
Hot-rod under stormy skies. Santa Pod Raceway, Bedforshire.

I'm looking forward to September. As I mentioned earlier I will be attending a few motorsport events. Also towards the end of the month the annual deer rut should be kicking off. This year I'm hoping to visit new locations for the rut just for a change of scenery. Bradgate Park in Leicestershire, Petworth Park in Surrey, Lyme Park in Cheshire and Holkham Estate in Norfolk are a few locations I have in mind. September is a time when you may spot me grovelling about on the forest floor photographing fungi! So quite a lot to look forward to in the coming months.  

Thank you all for reading my latest blog and thank you all for your support and kind comments.

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