My photograph of the month for September

My choice for my photo for September was clear. This little moment of urban wild was a real highlight for me.

Walking along a path in the rain, housing estate lining one side and the river the other, I stumbled on this handsome frog. Sat proud in the middle of the path, I got down low to capture the frog in its urban surroundings.

Once I had photographed its best side, the frog hopped off to the damp safety of the nearby river bank, leaving me with a this photo and a spring in my step!

Frog

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Welcoming a wasp to my picnic!

In July I had a rather tasty picnic, it gave me the chance to observe some rather cool behaviour by scavenging wasp! Early in the summer season, wasps are on the hunt for food, anything meaty for their grub sisters. That might be an unfortunate insect, or a scrap of chicken from my picnic!

The drum stick was up down on the plate, for just a moment and this opportunist wasp decided to tuck in! I watched with fascination as it gnawed off an impressive chunk of the meat and then the small insect flew off with it between its legs.

No my friend didn’t continue to eat the chicken, but yes it was left for other wasps to help themselves!

WaspWaspWasp

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My photograph of the month for August

With the beautiful sunny weather of August and a new camera to play with, I had a lot of fun with photography this month. My only problem was when I came to do this blog, I had a lot of photos to chose from. In the end I settled on this photo.

I was photographing the Banded Demoiselles along the canal when this little beauty positioned itself perfectly on a stem of grass. Underneath, almost hidden, a patient spider waited. The demoiselle was only there for a moment and then off it flew, dancing in the gentle summer’s breeze.

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Jean’s garden

I went to visit with family recently. Their garden is beautiful! Jean has clearly worked very hard to make it look so gorgeous, and it is great for wildlife. The bees and butterflies love her garden.

I was also a few days after I had gotten a new camera, so it was a great way to test my new equipment.

Here are some of the photos I took of the bright colours, flowers and wildlife I found. I hope you enjoy Jean’s garden as much as I do!

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Birdfair 2019

The Bird Fair has been something that I have wanted to attend for many, many years. There has always been one reason or another that has meant I couldn’t go. But, 2019 was my year! I was able to enjoy both Saturday and Sunday at the huge conservation event held at Rutland Water Nature Reserve.

Believe me when I say I could not have been more excited and the whole experience did not disappoint! A week later I am still buzzing with enthusiasm. I would recommend it to anyone who loves wildlife and conservation.

Firstly, I got to meet my wildlife hero, Chris Packham … I was shaking for hours after that, amazing!

I saw Nick Baker and Bill Oddie talk about The World Land Trust at the Saturday evening event. I am big fans of their work so it was a honour to see them enthuse.

I also attended a few daytime events, a fascinating talk about the wildcat reintroduction project, the inspiring Bird Photographer of the Year and, best of all, ‘Inheriting the Earth: Next Generation’; an uplifting panel of eloquent young people with a huge amount of knowledge and interest, campaigning for the natural world.

Throughout the two days I investigated all the stalls in the marquees, soaking up any and all information I could get my hands on. More than a few pin badges were bought! I also enjoyed a few samples of beer! My library has been added to (again)!

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the process of a goldfinch being ringed at the BTO ringing demonstration tent. I have a whole new appreciation of goldfinches and I can’t help but smile every time I see one now!

So now it is time for me to sit back and relax with all my new reading material, I will leave you with a few photos of my first (but not last) Birdfair.

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My photograph of the month for May, June and July

I know I have let my monthly blog of my photography slide for the last few months. So this month I’m going to play catch up. Here is my photos for May, June and July.

May
Having a picnic outside in the sunshine, I began to feel like I wasn’t alone! Looking around I realised a large number of rooks had gathered … waiting … watching. It’s fair to say that they were likely waiting for any left behind crumbs. It did have a feeling of the scene from “The Birds”!

May

June
The month of 30 Days Wild, so much wild and so many photos. It was great! It was difficult to chose my photo for June, it was this colouful Painted Lady that won!

June

July
The weather was rather tough this month, either cold and wet or stiflingly hot. But with the heat, there was sun, so I did make the most of the lovely sunny days. I had the opportunity to watch a flock of starlings having a bath and a splash. It was so much fun to see and photograph.

July

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#30DaysWild – highlights from 2019

Here are my highlights from #30DaysWild 2019. Moving house, while working full time and joining in with 30 Days Wild wasn’t easy, but it was very worth it!

One of the best things I have done all month is putting up the bird feeder in my new home. It didn’t take long for the birds to find it! I now have regular visits from Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Robins, Blackbirds, Sparrows. I also have Collared Doves and Wood Pigeons hovering up the dropped crumbs. Winding down from a day at work, I now find myself sitting with my cuppa and watching my new feathered friends!

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#30DaysWild – Day 30 – Landscapes and wildlife of the Severn Valley Railway

An annual tradition is to attend the Severn Valley Railway 1940’s weekend. It is a lot of fun, full of human history, beautifully engineered engines, stunning scenic landscapes and if you look closely, fabulous wildlife. Not forgetting the pint and chips whilst overlooking the river!

It has been an extraordinarily hot day, but it has also been a great one!

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#30DaysWild – Day 29 – Oak tree of life

I stopped today to admire the grandeur of an old oak tree, yet it was the little tiny lives being lived on the bark that got my full attention.

The whole trunk was alive, from the ants heaving their heavy prey to their nest, to the ladybird larvae wandering cross the cracks in the bark and the weavil who eyed me with care as I took its portrait. It was a marvel!

I was only with the tree 10 minutes but I was blown away by the diversity of life that was supported by the bark of the tree trunk. So much more life in the branches and leaves above that I can only imagine!

 

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#30DaysWild – Day 28 – Finding wildlife in a cemetery

Cemeteries are interesting places to walk – carefully and ornately carved gravestones, the names of loved ones who have passed, and of course the wildlife that have chosen to live there.

I occasionally visit an inner city cemetery, just to see what life I might find. Today my stroll took me through an old but large cemetery, some of it very well kept, other places had been left untended and become a home to birds and insects.

I watched butterflies, bees and hoverflies on wildflowers and bramble. I heard woodpeckers, bullfinch, wrens and blackbirds singing. I admired the colours of the many wildflowers that decorated the graves alongside the planted roses and placed bouquets.

Cemeteries are a special habitat, so diverse with wildlife, a little piece of urban wild.

 

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