I'm sure these months are getting shorter! It doesn't seem that long ago that I published my blog for May!! On the topic of my blog, I have been thinking of publishing a quarterly blog as opposed to the current monthly one due to work commitments and lack of time. Please let me know what you think.
At the start of the month I visited my family in my native Lancashire. Whilst I was up there I made a couple of 'cheeky' visits to the wildfowl and wetlands centre at Martin mere. As some of my regulars know this is where my passion for wildlife photography started in the mid 1970's. God that makes me sound old!
Barn swallow at Martin mere, Lancashire
Martin mere is one of my all time favourite locations and has a varied habitat for all sorts of wildlife.
On my return home I called in at Brandon marsh near Coventry (a short detour off the M40). This is another fantastic reserve I have only been visiting since I moved to Oxfordshire nearly four years ago. The weather was damp to say the least but this doesn't bother the wildlife.
Jay. The UK's most colourful crow! Brandon marsh.
During the week after work I occasionally visit local reserves such as Tring reservoirs, RSPB Otmoor, Farmoor and Port meadows all within 30 minutes from home. There is plenty of new life at these reserves but as Spring turns into Summer the vegetation grows wild making wildlife not that easy to spot!
Greylag gosling. Plenty of these around at the moment.
During the month I visited Santa Pod Raceway the home of European drag racing. Typically I had booked the ticket for the wrong day as it poured down and racing was cancelled! I spent a couple of hours walking round the pits using the large puddles for reflection shots. There is always a shot to be had whatever the conditions! Bad weather can sometimes work in your favour is something I try and get through to clients on my tuition courses.
Puddles can help to create great images. Santa Pod Raceway.
In mid June my friend Zoe invited me to her home county of Somerset. Somerset is a place I seldom visit and its only a couple of hours away.
We visited a few reserves such as RSPB Hamwall, Westhay and Catcott but the highlight was seeing and managing to photograph a little owl. I've seen plenty of these in the London parks but they are difficult to get close to and as their name implies, they are 'little'!
Little owl. The highlight from my visit to Somerset. They always look angry!!
Roe deer and fawn on the Somerset levels.
In mid-June I visited Bushy park and later on in the same day the British wildlife centre. I like to be in Bushy around day break then leave around 9AM before the hundreds of visitors arrive. Day break is my favourite time of the day to be up and about and for photography. It is so peaceful and this is when wildlife is most active. When the tourists arrive everything goes into hiding! During warmer weather many of the deer can be seen cooling off in the parks ponds and also young deer (fawns) can be seen at their mothers side.
A Red deer fawn enjoying a dip in the pond. Bushy park, London.
Red squirrel at the British wildlife centre, Surrey.
On the final weekend of June I made yet another trip to Bempton cliffs on the East Yorkshire coast! This time I had pre-booked a 'Gannet diving' photography boat trip with Yorkshire coast nature. The weather looked promising for the weekend but on the day of the trip the good old British weather had other ideas! Heavy rains and strong winds rolled in mid morning so the trip was cancelled on safety grounds. I've not got good 'sea legs' at the best of times especially when it gets a bit choppy. Never mind I might book another in a month or so. Still plenty of birds on the cliffs with many of the breeding pairs on eggs or chicks have hatched.
It's been a good year for the puffins at RSPB Bempton cliffs.
The Black-browed albatross is still wowing the crowds at Bempton.
It's not just seabirds at Bempton. This meadow pipit was making itself heard!
Next month I am yet again off to Bempton cliffs. I am seriously thinking of moving to that 'neck of the woods!! Such a stunning part of the UK.
Also in July there are a couple of motorsport events at Santa Pod raceway I will be attending and that's about it for next month.
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