15 December, 2007


A Peregrine spooked the local avifauna for a few minutes this morning. It flew out of Houghton Regis Chalk pit - a regular wintering site in recent years.
This is the fastest animal in the world - it can reach up to 200mph. Its name means "Wandreing falcon".

13 December, 2007

Jingle Bells, Batman Smells ...

... but the Robin did not fly away ! (I won't write the rest of this childhood adaptation of a popular Carol)

07 September, 2007

Dunstable STW

A Water Rail skitted around the scrape often persued by the local Moorhens.

Two of six Green Sandpiper ventured close to the camera.

This Migrant Hawker spots its next meal.

This pair of Wigeon arrived today.

Collard Dove.


A juvenile Common Buzzard splits away from a group of four others.

A Comma takes in the last rays of the day.

A Common Darter does likewise.

03 September, 2007

Rainham Marshes RSPB Reserve

A juvenile Red-backed Shrike was just outside the reserve viewed from a public footpath along the bank of the Thames.

The current visitors centre will eventually become an educational building. An interesting strucure indeed - my first thought was 'yuk' ! (and remains so).

A Wood Sandpiper was just a bit too distant.

A distant Northern Wheatear.

A few Little Egret were dotted around the reserve.

This Ruff showed well from the hide.

My best view of a Water Vole. This is a top site for these declining creatures.

Roesel's Bush Cricket Metrioptera roeselii. A scarce cricket, mainly found near coasts but increasing inland.

A Migrant Hawker.

A distant shot of the QEII bridge which carries the M25 motorway over the River Thames.

A nice spot, overall, difficult to believe it's not far from busy London.

27 August, 2007

Dunstable STW

Starting bright but clouding over by lunch, much cooler too. The Blackwit has left the building. A dozen Common Swift feeding over the lagoons with all three hirundines present too. A couple of Yellow Wagtail through; Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Hobby and Common Buzzard seen. Missed a brief view of an early returning Water Rail.

A pair of Wardown Park Whooper Swan are still present.

One of two loafing Grey Heron.

Speckled Wood

Small White

Yesterday, a fresh looking Shaggy Inkcap ...

... now looks like this

26 August, 2007

Dunstable STW

Present for five days this Black-tailed Godwit proved difficult to approach - too many nettles !

Somewhat easier to photograph was this Painted Lady - the tip of the left antenna is missing.

A male Banded Demoiselle.

25 August, 2007

Willen Lake, Bucks

At Willen lake, Milton Keynes, a Wilson's Phalarope was too far to DLSR but this Hobby performed well outside the hide.

A Grey Heron waits patiently.

15 April, 2007

Spain: April 2007 Part 1

This Alpine Accentor showed well down to six feet.

Record shot of Alpine Swift

A flock of Bee Eater fed by the roadside.

A chance encounter of Black-eared Wheatear on a roadside fence.

Black Redstart

A Black Kite with some carrion.

31 March, 2007

Red-rumped Swallow at Brogborough Lake

Found late yesterday evening - Red-rumped Swallow. The cloudy start to the day gave low light levels. Eventually the sun came out, but by then the bird was ranging further, and higher. If accepted, it will be the third record for Bedfordshire.

Red-rumped Swallow

Red-rumped Swallow

26 March, 2007

Dunstable STW: Migrants at last

A Clear night to the south with fog locally - could we see some migrants ? Well, once the fog had cleared three Sand Martin flew through and a pair of Little-ringed Plover appeared. Residents included an obliging Kingfisher which posed briefly, and the 'plastic' pair of Whooper Swan took time out to preen.