Snettisham,Norfolk.July 2008.

I set off early to get to Snettisham at first light predominately for the waders, hoping the water would not be too far out. On arrival it was fairy close in but not as near as id hoped. I set about getting a good position and waited for the sun to hit the mud flats where the birds were.

It was a spectacular sight and one i never tire of watching, but capturing an image of how you see it is another matter. Where the light was still low and having a slower shutter speed created a blurred effect which did good to show it as a mass of wings and bodies mixing as one. Virtually all knot with other species thrown in, once they start to take flight it must be hard not to react with them, although a few godwits couldn't be bothered.

After the first few shots were bagged i carried on trying to get this effect of a mass as they took off, and it only became more intense when the low sun warmed up their colours, fantastic to watch and no matter how far away they were, when they grouped up i still stopped to watch.

Once the water line had gotten out of sight i decided to just sit it out and take images of whatever came past me, being partially obscured the birds did not notice me most of the time. This held true for a marsh harrier which flew overhead being mobbed by terns and gulls. It was so sudden and near i had to wait for it to get a bit more distant as the lens would not focus down that close.

One bird that did notice me was a spotted redshank, it seemed so inquisitive with my presence it would land close enough to start with and then proceed to walk even closer.It was not bothered by me snapping away and graciously posed for a while.

Keeping still and waiting for the little egrets to come my way took some time but one eventually came close.They are so wary and are off straight away once they've seen you.This one bird was so intent on feeding it had not noticed me. And it gave some great views before it came within stones throw and then once spying me was gone in a flash.

Fen Drayton,Cambs.July 2008.

Due to the new bus route construction going through the spot where i wanted to try for some images of warblers, i had to be content with a nice walk round instead. Myself and sarah followed the river ouse and did a spot of dragonfly watching.
We saw a couple of spanking male ruddy darters, really bright red in colour. There were a few pairs of banded demoiselle present with quite a few males flying up and down the river.

On one patch of vegetation i found a large group of crickets sat up on the leaves, they turned out to be dark bush crickets with male and females present. The one pictured here is a female.

There were quite a few larger dragonflies about with brown hawker and emperors and black tailed skimmer, but the one i tried to get an image of more so was a male scarce chaser. Because of it flying up and down the same territory and vanishing at times, it was awkward to tell if it was just one or two present. You can see the dark scraping marks halfway along the abdomen caused during mating by the female clasping on.

July 2008.

A very obliging Ruddy Darter in my garden gave me the chance for some close up images once i sussed out its favoured perches, it was just a case of waiting.

All images of Ruddy Darter.

Broom GP's, Bedfordshire.July 2008.

Tufted Duck
I took a morning stroll around broom before it got too hot to lug my gear around. As it turned out the sky was cloudy and took a while before the sun started to break through. There were good numbers of tufted duck on the first pit and no sign of the little grebes this year although they were on the larger pit.
I spotted reed, sedge warbler, common and lesser whitethroat but was unable to get any images, there were good numbers of the commoner species and the common terns were vocal as usual. There were good numbers of damselfly and dragonfly about and very active in the now increasing heat.
Common Blue Damselflies
Blue Tit
Six Spot Burnet
On the furthest working i got some lesser black backed gulls but no waders except a pair of oystercatcher flying over, it turned out mostly an insect walk but still enjoyable. Now the sky had cleared and the temperature risen i headed back off home.
Black Tailed Skimmer.(f)
Black Tailed Skimmer.(m)
Common Darters

Grafham water and Mothing at home.July 2008.

I spent a few hours walking around grafham with the family, although there wasnt much to photograph. The terns were feeding further out on the water as was most species. A few great crested grebes were closer in mind you.
On the way to the lagoons we spotted a southern hawker dragonfly sunning itself, and upon walking around the lagoons a male ruddy duck was picked out. None of these for some time then 2 within the same month.
Southern Hawker
I finished up trying to check through the damselflies amongst the grasses but only seemed to find common blue's. The weather then turned decidedly dark and grey and so it was time to move on.
Common Blue Damselfly

Yellow Shell
During time off work i set up the moth light in the garden again and i was able to get a few new species not seen before. Just one hawkmoth,a privet, flew in or should i say dived in. They make a loud thud when landing and the noise announces their presence before you see them, how they dont damage or kill themselves on entry is a miracle.
Maidens Blush
Scarce Footman
Beautiful Hook-tip
Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing

Beeston Bird ringing. July 2008

Olive Moth
After missing the last bird ringing session Sarah and i were eager to get to this one. We had been told that this was normally the most productive one of the year and so expectations were high, and we were not disappointed.

Single Dotted Wave

As usual the moth trap had been put out the night before and some of the species were photographed before the first birds were brought in. There were a couple of moths i had not seen or photographed before so that was a good start.

Derek with the largest catch of the day

The first batch of birds had a few of the commoner species normally caught but amongst them were a pair of great spotted woodpeckers, with one of them making an absolute din.But lovely looking birds up close in the hand.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Female Blackcap

Nearby to some of the nets the owners, Roger and Poppy, owned some meadow land and with a couple of small ponds it proved to be great for all sorts of wildlife. A pair of kingfishers were seen and heard when checking nets so Derek and a couple of us set up some mist nets in the hope of catching one. And on the way back to the house some marbled white butterflies were spotted .

Marbled Whites
Whilst awaiting for birds to net themselves we all decided to check the meadow area and at least 8 marbled whites were counted and on closer views you could tell the females apart from the males by the light brown beige lower underwing. They were also seen egg laying on the grasses too which was a sight not seen before.

Marbled White


There seemed to be good numbers of gatekeeper butterfly along with ringlets and meadow brown, with just one or two small skippers present. The grass areas bordering the hedge lined wooded area seemed to be teeming with small frogs and toads. There must of been several hundreds nearing a thousand, they were everywhere.


Small Skipper

The nets were checked after a short time and the kingfishers were seen nearby and miraculously one had flown into the mist net. It was a new species to be caught at beeston and everyone was elated at seeing one of these beauties in the hand so close. The behaviour it showed was weird, it would turn its head around as if in an hypnotic state not unlike a snake charmer and cobra it was truly weird.


With it being a special bird to ring it was duly photographed firstly in poppy's hand and then in my Sarah's, sarah loves all wildlife and birds especially but would not hold one, except for the barn owl i kept some time ago. And the same as some other species of bird when it was laid on its back it calmly stayed there not in any way wanting to move. On returning the kingfisher to where it was caught to our amazement the second kingfisher had also been trapped.

Kingfisher in Sarahs Hand


As the day drew on the number of different robin individuals rose over a remarkable 50 birds and the second ever lesser whitethroat was caught and ringed too. Where the kingfishers had been released there were a couple of dragonfly around, one being an emperor and the other a brown hawker which earlier had gotten caught up in a mist net. Myself and derek untangled it and a few choice words came from me before i let derek free it. The bite on those things bloody hurts, as derek found out as the last wing was freed.