Monday, 22 December 2014

Starling murmuration at Otmoor

Yesterday I went with Alex of Appleton Wildlife Diary to Otmoor.  It was my first time seeing the starling murmuration and it was amazing.  The birds were very loud and arrived in large numbers.  I've never seen anything like it before.  I hope to go back soon.

My shot of the day.

My movie can be viewed here on Vimeo (click to view)

I also photographed shoveler ducks pinwheeling.  I have now learnt this is the way they feed.

Here are the lapwings:

Oxford Times article

I was in the Oxford Times recently in an article about volunteering at Chilswell Valley.  Here I am lifting bundles of cut reeds with a fork.

You can read the full article here.

Radley Lakes photo of the month

It was a nice surprise to see that one of my autumn photographs was chosen as the Radley Lakes photo of the month.  Here you can read why it was selected:

The October photo of the month is an autumn shot taken at Thrupp Lake by Ben aged 12 and shows a butterfly sitting on a leaf. It was chosen by Jane Brown, a member of the Friends of Radley Lakes executive committee. Jane loves walking and gardening and her favourite place to go when it is cold and frosty is Thrupp Lake.
Jane said, 'I chose this because I really like the patterns on the butterfly and leaf in Ben's autumnal photo'.

Hedgehog talk

On Monday 8th December I went to a talk by Hugh Warwick run by the Oxon Mammal group all about hedgehogs.  I was surprised to learn that hedgehogs have declined by 37% in the last ten years. 

I have been very fortunate to capture footage of a hedgehog visiting my garden using my trail cam.

In the garage I have been busy making my own hedgehog house and hope to use it next year.

Hugh talked about Hedgehog Street and the need to leave gaps in fences down your whole street so a hedgehog can travel around.

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Photographic Competition

So pleased to have come second in the 12-14 year old budding photographer category with my photo of a red-headed cardinal beetle.

Results here

Wild Winter Wander at Chilswell Valley

After the muddy walk up the hill, Andy Gunn (BBOWT) told us more about the reserve and why it is so special.  The calcareous fen is good for wild flowers but the reeds are over growing and needed to be cut back.  It was good to show my family what we have achieved so far with the volunteering.  It was a surprise on the walk to discover a newborn calf.  The tour of the site ended with hot drinks around a fire.  I can't wait to go back again soon.

Mum's shot of the Oxford Spires visible from the reserve

Frosty morning bird walk at Farmoor

I was kindly invited by Mike Kosniowski of the Abingdon Camera Club to join a bird watching session at Farmoor Reservoir.  It was a very cold and frosty morning and when we arrived the mist was coming off the water with sun behind it.

We saw so many birds including little grebe, meadow pipit, cormorant, grebe, redshank, common gull, redwing, long tailed tits, fieldfare, reed bunting, common snipe, jack snipe, dunnock, coal tit, greater spotted woodpecker, bullfinch, kestrel, little egret and more.

Little grebe



Little egret