Staying home

  • February 24, 2015 8:34 pm

I’m very fortunate to live near some lovely countryside, with two small nature reserves just a few minutes walk away from home. This weekend I decided to explore these instead of heading to the Fen. The closest reserve is an area of heathy common, with short rabbit grazed turf, and prickly gorse bushes. There’s a boggy area with a small stream, where I found a Little Egret hunting. I watched as he paddled in the shallow water stalking and striking his prey. He wandered up the bank and paused in the frost to take a look at me, before moving off back to the stream to resume hunting.

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, in frost, Norfolk, Winter

I watched for a while longer, but the first dog walkers of the day appeared, so I headed over to the other little reserve, and area of wet meadow. This is such a contrast to the common, open, lush and green. Incredibly peaceful in the early morning sunshine, I sat and watched as the frost slowly melted. Flights of Woodpigeon crossed the vast blue sky, and a team of quacking ducks circled overhead. A male Reed bunting balanced atop a reed stem watching me. Definitely well worth exploring, hopefully I’ll get the time to get to know the local wildlife a bit better!

Back in the garden this Collared dove sat on the fence…

Collared dove, Streptopelia decaocto, perched on garden fence, Norfolk,

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First signs of Spring

  • February 15, 2015 5:53 pm

All has been rather quiet of late down on the Fen, no meaningful images in the last few weeks, which is somewhat disappointing. Yet there are the first subtle signs of spring all around. On my way there this morning a Skylark rises into the air on trembling wings, belting out his intricate song. On the Fen, a woodpecker drums and a Chaffinch’s song tumbles from the hedge. No deer around again today, and the Bearded tits are becoming ever more elusive. I hear them and catch a glimpse through the reeds, but that is all. Soon they’ll be moving off to their breeding grounds. There’s not much else around except for a Little Egret paddling amongst the flooded rushes, and the overwintering pair of Stonechat’s skip ahead of me along the path.

I couldn’t post a blog without a photo, so here’s a Snowdrop from the garden. The local verges are already twinkling with these little beauties, looks like spring is on it’s way.

Snowdrop150215DM3336

 

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Footprints in the mud

  • February 2, 2014 5:17 pm

Winter is a great time for searching for tracks and signs of animals. These prints appeared in the garden recently, and setting up the remote camera showed they belonged to a rather handsome Muntjac deer. He’s a regular night time visitor now, finishing up the apple I put out for the Blackbirds.

Muntjac deer, Muntiacus reevesi, foot print, slot, track,  in mud, Norfolk,

Muntjac deer, Muntiacus reevesi, foot print, slot, track,  in mud, Norfolk,

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Muntjac in the garden

 

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