Posts Tagged ‘photography


Tatty Royal

We have not had still air since the end of May. The wind has always played a part in every day during June and last week we had some pretty squally nights. This is detrimental to one particular butterfly. Male Purple Emperors roost at the very top of trees; high in the canopy. Females are, of course, a little more sensible and settle down for the evening on lower foliage, where they wont get bashed about as much.

I’m thinking of claiming back my licence fee. The BBC clearly stated the weather the other side of Peterborough was going to be quite sunny on Monday. We decided to see if we could find Tania a Purple Emperor. When we arrived on site the wind was howling, the sky was gun metal grey and there was even the occasional shower. Lordy, this is what Trumpton would call ‘fake weather!’ A seemingly impossible task but we tried. We walked and walked and searched and searched. After just over 4 miles we’d seen little other than two or three Silver Washed Fritillaries , a motionless Purple Hairstreak and a plethora of Ringlet and Meadow Browns.

It wasn’t until early afternoon when the sun pierced the clouds with a shaft or two that we saw a couple of White Admirals. This was the cue for the appearance of his royal highness.

Some of us have seen our best days. I for sure am one. My youth has long gone; but I like to think I try to look at least half well turned out. However, this royal chap fell down onto the path like a drunk Prince at an Epstein ‘lock-in’. Dishevelled or what? he had certainly had a night seven sheets to the wind.

A token for the day came on the walk back; my first ‘valanciana’ Silver Washed Frit of the year.


Snap me! Snap me!

This little fella just wouldn’t leave us alone as we were sea-watching the other day. He was just so desperate to have his photo taken he even hovered above us repeatedly.


Adding Up

It’s that time of year again. A walk on the heath revealed a few adders including this georgeous female. Normally when there’s a stick in the way I bend down and remove it … I gave it a miss this time.


Riverbank Tales

Apologies for not posting for a while. Things have been hectic here for reasons I’ll explain another time.

During a tour the other week I’d seen this rodent sneaking about in the undergrowth on the walk to the beach but didn’t get any good shots. It was far too quick for me. On the walk back in poorer light it was slightly more accommodating. I’ve never seen a Water Shrew with dark underparts before. It through me a little. Normally they have white underneath. However, the white ear tufts are conclusive enough.

Charming little creatures these. I think the ladies that stepped over me as I was photographing it laid flat out on the ground thought I was a bit loopy. Maybe they’re right.


Peace and Quiet

I was sat alone in a hide on the coast here last week. To be honest I was just enjoying the peace and quiet and having a bit of a reflective moment. When I was jarred into life by the appearance of this little chap almost in my face. He popped out of the reeds right in front of me. He heard the camera shutter go off and ran back in as suddenly as he came out. Seeing Water Rails in good light is always a treat so when he came out again I just put the camera down and enjoyed him for a while.


Something stotally different

A Stout Stoat. When I took these photos I thought I was watching an adult Stoat that had a clearly demarcated black tail tip, with young. It’s been brought to my attention these are in fact Weasels! – What I’d been watching was an interaction between Weasels and a Stoat. I’ve learnt something – every day’s a school day!


What you lookin’ at?

Everything seemed to be staring at me on tours recently. Snipe, Bearded Tit and even this Beewolf got in on the action.


Bit of a Chough

We had more Chough on the Wales trip in August than I’ve ever seen in previous years. Could there be a bit of an upturn in numbers do you think? Is this maybe why there have been one or two extralimital records in the UK this year? I guess it’s possible. Any which ways it’s a charming, amusing corvid that I particularly enjoy watching.



New Tours

Upcoming Tours for 2019/2020

Sat 5th Oct 2019 Norfolk Coast Migration: A search of hotspots along the coast for migrant birds – meet in West Runton or on route £49
To book email

Sun 20th Oct 2019 Minsmere Migration: Migration will be well underway by October – meet in West Runton or on route £55 or £49 if meeting there. To book email


Sat 15th Feb 2020 Goshawk & other Breckland Specialities: Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Hawfinch and Woodlark among others – meet West Runton or on route £55 To book email

20th February to 24th February 2020 Southern Scotland Tour 5 Days visiting Lancashire and southern Scotland hot spots for winter birding. £698 More Details and booking instructions Here

13th to 15th March 2020 Norfolk’s Speciality Birds Long Weekend 3 Days visiting the Brecks, the North Norfolk coast and the Broads in search of all Norfolk’s speciality birds including Bittern, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Crossbill, Hawfinch, Lesser Spotted Wood Pecker, Woodlark etc Staying in a lovely Norfolk Hotel £466 More Details and booking instructions Here

Sat 21st Mar 2020 Minsmere Specialities: Dartford Warbler, early spring migrants, Black Redstart among others – meet in West Runton or on route £55 or £49 if meeting there To book email

16th to 20th April 2020 Scottish Birders Special Tour . A concentrated tour seeking birds unique to the Highland Region. £799 More Details and booking instructions Here


Sat 25th Apr 2020 Essex Birding Day: Abberton Reservoir and surrounding area for early spring and very late winter migrants £59 or £49 if meeting there To book email

Sat 2nd May 2020 Minsmere Migration: Bird migration will be well underway by the beginning of May – meet in West Runton or on route £59 or £55 if meeting there.To book email

8th to 14th May 2020 Birders Tour to Mull A 7 day day tour exploring the Isle of Mull off the Scottish West coast calling in at Yorkshire and Lancashire birding hotspots. £1680 More Details and booking instructions Here


Sun 24th May 2020 Hertfordshire Butterflies: In search of the Duke of Burgundy, Small Blue and Dingy Skipper butterflies – meet in West Runton or pick up enroute £65 To book email

27th May to 4th June 2020 UK Mammal Tour A 9 day tour covering the north of the British Isles searching out some infrequently seen mammals. Taking in Northumberland, East and Northern Scotland as well as the island off Mull £1867 More Details and booking instructions Here

Sat 6th Jun 2020 Badger Evening: An evening at a Badger Sett – No meal just hot drinks included – meet at a prearranged central Norfolk site £30 To book email

Sun 7th Jun 2020 Norfolk Orchids Photography Workshop: A day concentrating on photographing Norfolk’s beautiful rarer orchids – meet in West Runton £55 To book email


Mon 8th Jun 2020 Marsh Fritillary Day: A day trip to Lincolnshire to see one of our most beautiful butterflies – meet in West Runton or pick up en-route £59 To book email

12th to 14th June 2020 East Coast Seabird Weekend watching and photographing the seabirds of Yorkshire, the Farne Islands and Northumberland. £462 More Details and booking instructions Here


Sat 20th Jun 2020 Black Hairstreaks and Wood Whites: A day in Northamptonshire to see one of the UK’s rarest butterflies and others on the wing – meet in West Runton or pick-up on route £59 To book email

Sun 21st Jun 2020 Norfolk Hawker and Swallowtails: A day seeking out Norfolk’s two most iconic insects: meet in West Runton. £55
To book email

Sat 27th Jun 2020 Nightjar Evening: Meet in West Runton for an evening watching Woodcock and Nightjars £35
To book email

Sun 28th Jun 2020 Photographing Suffolk Orchids: A day concentrating on photographing Suffolk’s beautiful rarer orchids – meet in West Runton in Suffolk or on route £55 or £49 if meeting in Suffolk. To book email

2nd to 6th July 2020 Birds and Wildlife of the Jurassic Coast on the Isle of Purbeck and the Dorset coast looking at birds of heaths and cliffs as well as Dragonflies and butterflies. £998 More Details and booking instructions Here

Sat 11th Jul 2020 Large Blue Butterflies: A day trip to Gloucestershire to see the largest of British blue butterflies – meet at West Runton or on route £69 To book email

Sun 12th Jul 2020 Purple Emperors: A trip to Northamptonshire to see this most dazzling of British Butterflies – meet at West Runton or on route £59 To book email

Sat 18th Jul 2020 Norfolk Butterfly Day: A quest to see half of the UK’s butterfly species on just one day – meet in West Runton £55
To book email

Sat 1st August 2020 Norfolk Wader Day: A tour of the Norfolk coastline searching for waders returning south after breeding in the arctic – meet in West Runton £49 To book email

Sun 16th Aug 2020 Brown Hairstreak Day: A tour to Suffolk in search of the most elusive of butterflies: the Brown Hairstreak – meet in West Runton or pick up enroute £55 To book email

Sat 3rd and Sun 4th October 2020 Norfolk Migration Weekend: A weekend along the coast looking for migrants – meet in West Runton: one day £49 both days £90 To book email

8th to 16th October 2020 Bird Watching on the Isles of Scilly 8 days during searching for and watching migrating birds on the beautiful Isles of Scilly. £1749 More Details and booking instructions Here

Sat 17th Oct 2020 Minsmere Migration: Autumn bird migration will be at its peak meet in West Runton or on route £59 or £55 if meeting there.
To book email


Sat 31st Oct and Sun 1st November 2020 Norfolk Migration Weekend: A weekend along the coast looking for migrants – meet in West Runton: one day £49 both days £90 To book email

7th & 8th November 2020 A Photographic Weekend in Wales:2 days in Wales Looking for the country’s special wildlife. Kites, Bottlenose Dolphins, leaping Salmon, Chough etc £289 More Details and booking instructions Here



Falling for an Emu

I wanted to photograph Emus. They are just about as close as a bird gets to a dinosaur. Having been told Tower Hill on the Victorian coast was a good place to see them we made an early morning visit in July.

We saw one almost immediately. Several more followed. I pursued one up hill through the Wattle bushes to watch it where it it fed peacefully. I had been told not to get too close to Emus by several people; apparently they can be quite vicious.

As I was happily photographing ‘my’ Emu I became aware it was paying more than a passing interest in me … or more likely my camera. I’m guessing it saw its reflection in the lens. I took a step or two back to bid a retreat when I lost my footing. Down the hill I went. Not a soft landing! Luckily the bird didn’t treat my horizontal repose as a sign of weakness; have you seen the size of the claws on these things!

When I recovered it was feeding happily again; …but I’m sure I heard it laugh!


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July 2020


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