Wildlife and walking

Some of you may have seen my very first “live” video on my Facebook page this morning. I’ll be honest with you, its something I had dreaded doing. For some reason I had a real fear of putting myself out there, on video, telling the world “This is where I am right now, this is my life”. But I wanted to share something with you all, my past clients, my potential clients, my friends and family, and those that just like my photography. I wanted you to see me, as a real person. Not just someone on the end of an email or message.

So for this first glimpse into my world, I decided to share something that I love. Just me, my camera, the fresh air and the wildlife. One of my favourite places in the world. I don’t get to walk there as much as I once did, life has got a whole lot busier these past few years. But that just makes me appreciate it all the more.

Today was a good day. The sun was shining, although it was still cold. In some places the frost still settled on the long grass and the fallen leaves.

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But the wildlife was out in force.

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Sometimes I can walk this route, hear the birds singing in the trees but not see anything at all. But not today 🙂 Today it was as if the birds knew I hadn’t walked there for a while, so they came out to greet me. At the start of my walk I could see the rooks in their trees, all squabbling and flapping around. As I walked further I could hear a Great spotted woodpecker drumming on the trees. I didn’t glimpse one today, they are quite elusive. But I know they are around.

Green woodpeckers were abundant. Herons were flying around between the trees where they nest and the canal. Lots of small birds were flying from tree to tree, or pecking around the ground.

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A little owl was roosting in a tree. I have seen them many times now, but I always get that little thrill of excitement when I spot their little forms huddled on a fence post or in a hollow tree. Such tiny little birds, so well camouflaged and not at all easy to spot!

But my real treat came when I reached the dam. Its my favourite place to be. To just sit on the bench and watch the water, or stand by the fence and hope to catch a glimpse of a weasel or stoat (both of which I have seen there previously), a fox, or the terrapin that lives in the canal there. Or, if I’m really lucky, my favourite of all the creatures I encounter there. The kingfisher. There is a nesting pair that live and fish on this stretch of canal. They are very active, and often you will just hear a tell-tale piercing whistle and then see a flash of blue as one darts by. But sometimes they will sit for a while and fish.

Today when I arrived there was no sign. I settled down to wait, and a Little egret came down to join me, so I contented myself with photographing it.

As I turned to leave I caught that unmistakable blue and orange plumage out of the corner of my eye. There sat the kingfisher. Closer than I have seen him for a good while. He sat just the other side of the fence, and seemed unconcerned as I stood and watched him. The light was against me, he couldn’t have chosen a worse spot from that point of view! But I did my best to capture him. Then I just stood and watched as he dived into the water and caught a fish. Then all of a sudden he let out that whistle, and off he flew. Leaving me feeling happy and content, that he had allowed me such a good view of him and had seemed so comfortable with my presence.

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