Category: Photography

Charlie the cuckoo 0

How I captured a cuckoo – with my camera

I started writing this blog post about Charlie the cuckoo as part of the #30DaysWild challenge but a health hiccup set me back. Some things had to go and it’s been my blog that suffered while I concentrated on the things I love most, writing and taking photos. This does, however, mean that I have lots of great photos to share and a nearly completed novel. There’s nothing quite like a health scare to make you live life to the full. I’d never seen a cuckoo before To me cuckoos have always been an elusive bird, something that is often...

Winkle on Elmer Beach taken as part of the Wildlife Trusts #30DaysWild challenge for World Oceans Day 0

#30DaysWild – Day 8 – The Ocean

As today, June 8th, is World Oceans Day it gives me a good excuse to share a couple more of my photos from Elmer Beach on the South Coast. To me there’s nothing more wonderful than walking along the beach on a warm day and watching the sea roll in. I’m fascinated by waves (I can watch them for hours!) but do try and look closer at the marine life around me, including sea birds that rely on foraging for bugs when the tide goes out. As you saw in my previous post, on Elmer Beach I discovered colourful anemones...

Mandarin duck family taken as part of the 30 days wild challenge with the Wildlife Trusts 0

#30DaysWild – Day 7 – Mandarin Duck Family

I’ve had a busy day but really wanted to share this lovely family of Mandarin ducks with you. They breed at the same location, Waggoners Wells near Grayshot, Surrey, every year and I’m so excited to see that this year they have six healthy ducklings. It was a really gloomy day hence the photos aren’t too hot but it gives you an image of the whole family – except Daddy Duck, who was nowhere to be seen. I spotted the Mandarins just after they’d finished their feed time and needed a rest. Once they get on the water they are...

Sea anemones as part of the Wildlife Trusts' #30DaysWild challenge 0

#30DaysWild – Day 6 – Sea Anemone

When the Met Office predicts gusts of wind up to 40 mph and flags up a yellow weather warning it’s wise to stay indoors and rest on your laurels – especially when trees are falling down and branches are tumbling close to your head. I did brave the wild and windy elements but I haven’t downloaded my photos yet, so I’m cheating a bit and sharing a couple of photos of some lovely sea anemones I found last week when we visited Elmer beach on the South Coast. If I’ve got it right these are Actina equine and in real...

Cotton-Man Farmer part of my #30DaysWild challenge for the Wildlife Trusts 0

#30DaysWild – Day 5 – Cotton-grass farmer

When the wind blows and the rain falls the best way to go wild is with one’s imagination. I saw this little fella making his way home, scythe over his shoulder, keen to get warm by the fire. ‘Good day,” he said, “My name’s Cotton-grass Farmer and I farm near the bogs and marshes around Thursley Common.” “Good day to you, sir,” I replied, “you look very fine in your long white smock. May I take your photo for today’s random act of wildness?” He stood straight a moment then stroked his beard and went on his way. He might...

Blue Damselfly taken as part of the Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild challenge 0

#30DaysWild- Day 4 – Blue Damselflies

I spent today chasing blue damselflies in a blustery wind. This probably wasn’t the wisest way to spend a Sunday with my camera because the wind kept buffeting my subject out of shot every time I lined up to go click. Watching them was fun but the females proved shy and kept playing that cute game called ‘let’s hide behind this blade of grass every time you point that camera at me.’ They do it all of the time. I’ve been known to chase them round and round the same blade of grass for ages without getting one shot. Crickets...

Large Red Damselfly 4

#30DaysWild – Day 3 – Damselfly

Today’s random act of wildness was to wait patiently while this Large Red Damselfly flew backwards and forwards trying to catch her lunch. At last she caught it and settled to munch her bug. She kept twitching and the wind swayed the leaf she’d rested on from side to side, but eventually I managed to capture a shot of her spitting out the wings. Yeach, don’t want to eat those nasty wings. I imagine that once she’d also dismissed the black outer wings there wasn’t much left to eat at all. Little wonder she only rested for a short time...

Two bugs mating 0

#30DaysWild – Day 2 – Bugs

Yesterday, sitting in my little patch I dare call a garden, taking in the sunshine, I spotted something shiny winking at me from one of my hardy geraniums. Taking a closer look I found these two bugs mating so rushed indoors to grab my camera before they ran off. They were still there when I returned, far too busy to want to fly away – although they did keep moving around when I got too close. My bug book wasn’t much help at identifying them but a quick internet search turned up a fab website with lots of pictures so...

Baby Greylag Geese 6

30 Days Wild Challenge

Can you do something wild every day in June? The 30 Days Wild Challenge is organised by the UK’s Wildlife Trust but you don’t have to live in the UK to join in. All it involves is paying attention to wildlife every day throughout the entire month of June. Listen to birdsong, walk in the woods or take your laptop outside when you’re writing up a report or sweating over your latest novel. In fact, you can do anything that gets you closer to nature. Surrey Wildlife Trust’s (SWT) patron, the Oscar-winning actress  Dame Judi Dench, has appeared in a...

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Wild Wednesday – Bank Vole

Yesterday was so overcast that we gave up looking for anything exciting to photograph and started making our way back to the car for a coffee when this little fella popped out of his home to say hello. I only spotted him because the ground was uneven and I was watching where to put my feet. This little bank vole is no more than two inches long and the cutest rodent you’ll ever find. His home is under tree roots and when he first met my gaze he watched me take a few shots before scurrying away. To my surprise,...