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Fradley Junction And Nature Reserve
February 26th 2012

Had a lovely day today visiting Fradley Junction and the nearby nature reserve. Nice and Sunny but a tad chilly and we saw a nice variety of wildlife such as Tufted Ducks, Great Tits, Robins and the mysterious Terrapin, and topped it off with tea for two and a bacon sandwich at the Kingfisher café. Sorted! :)

Venus, The Moon And Jupiter
February 25th 2012

Tonight Venus is nicely close to the Moon, and together with Jupiter they make a triangle.

The Moon and Venus 25\02\12

Jupiter (top) Venus and the Moon 25\02\12

The Willows
February 24th 2012

At The Willows small nature reserve in Norfolk there were a nice group of Goldfinches flying around, and the wife spotted a squirrel snug in a tree.

Crocus In Focus
February 20th 2012

A sign of Spring being close, some Crocus flowers coming up in the rockery.

Garden Jackdaws And Magpie
February 19th 2012

The local paired Jackdaws and almost a decent Mapie shot, it flew off too soon as usual.

Fradley Nature Reserve
February 11th 2012

We had a nice walk around the reserve and saw lots of wildlife. Earlier on while driving home from town we saw a Fox and stopped the car while I took a few distant shots, then at the reserve we saw another one running across a track into the long grass. There were around 20 or more Blackbirds foraging in the dead leaves on the woodland floor, and a Buzzard kept sweeping through the trees with it's loud cry which alarmed the Blackbirds. I also saw a Great Tit, Blue Tit, a Nuthatch and Robins. There were a pair of Ducks that had nice colouring, the male was Black and white and the female a pale cream and brown.

February 10th 2012

A video of the family of Blackbirds that visit our garden and others at various places.

Female Blackbird
February 10th 2012

Today's Garden Birds
February 9th 2012

I was watching the Dunnock for quite a while, and a second one appeared with it on the Cherry Tree. Both male and female Blackbirds paid a visit and lots of House Sparrows. I had an early sighting of a Blue Tit and a Great Tit, and lastly after hearing the Sparrows frantically flapping and flying off in a hurry I saw a Sparrowhawk in the garden opposite, as soon as I moved it flew off so I didn't get a clear shot, but you can see the unmistakable markings on its breast in the photo at the bottom of this entry.

Tonights Full Moon
February 7th 2012

Blackbird Paying Another Visit Today
February 7th 2012

Female Blackbird In The Snow Today
February 5th 2012

Garden Birds On A Snowy February Day
February 4th 2012

Some photos of todays few visitors on a cold snowy day in February. Including a first confirmed sighting of a Fieldfare (top), a Robin, Starling, female Blackbird and a Dunnock on the rockery.

January Garden Birds
February 3rd 2012

I've seen a variety of birds in the garden during January. There's a paired Jackdaw couple that I like to watch, they are very affectionate towards each other. Long Tailed Tits have made an appearance along with Great and Blue Tits and also a paired couple of Collared Doves. At least 2 different Robins are regulars as are the usual paired couple of Blackbirds. I saw my first Redwing in January too, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was in the vicinity yesterday. The Starlings are very nice to watch, especially with their large vocabulary of different ambient sounds. The odd Chaffinch has also paid a visit along with Coal Tits and I have see a Dunnock regularly. A little Wren is in and out of our garden quite a lot too. The Rooks are also good fun to watch, we had 5 in the nearby Cherry Tree on the day of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, it's cool the way they sit with the Jackdaws, Crows and other Corvids. I was also pleased with my shot of the Moon (bottom) with a Starling in the foreground.

January 26th 2012

A nice sunny start to the day with my favourite bird paying a visit to the garden, before it all went cloudy and very wet.

January 16th 2012

I was watching these 2 Jackdaws for a while today, seen here with a Rook which flew down beside them. Partnered Jackdaws are very affectionate towards each other, it was very interesting to watch them.

Morning Birds
January 14th 2012

The first bird I saw on this cold and frosty morning, high up in the Cherry Tree opposite our garden. I thought it was a Song Thrush at first but it's actually a Redwing, not a bird I've seen before as far as I know.

Middleton Lakes RSPB Nature Reserve
January 13th 2012

We had a nice late afternoon visiting the reserve. A very muddy place but with great views and scenic areas.

Waning Gibbous Moon
January 13th 2012

Venus following the Sun After Sunset
January 12th 2012

After looking out of the window and seeing a nice Sunset, I grabbed my camera and walked to the end of the road to see if I could get a snap. Planets Venus and Jupiter are both visible at the same time at the moment.

Catching some rays
January 12th 2012

Starlings and a Pigeon enjoying the warmth of the Sun at the top of the Cherry Tree.

Wolseley Bridge Nature Reserve
January 10th 2012

I finally got to see a Kingfisher today. Unfortunately I couldn't get a close up photo, there was a 100 yards or so of grassy field and a narrow river between us and this Kingfisher refused to let me get any closer, but it was a joy to see the low Winter sun illuminating its bright blue and orange feathers as it fluttered along the riverbank, occasionally diving for a fish. I actually saw a 2nd Kingfisher on the other's tail as it flew into the trees and my wife saw a 3rd. Quite an eventful day for snapping opportunities considering the gloomy weather :)

The Robin was very chirpy and after I had taken a few photos he was still there so I fired up the video on my camera to capture its song.

Winter Walk At Wolseley Bridge Reserve
December 27th 2011

An extremely mild Winter so far and it was nice to walk around the reserve for a while. The light was dark but I managed a few snaps including a not bad shot of a Wren.

A Year In Photos
November 15th 2011

A video I created that is made up of photos taken in Staffordshire over the last year, showing the changing seasons.

Autumn Photos
October 30th 2011

A nice walk through Cannock Chase in Staffordshire During early Autumn.

Below is a Google Map of Cannock Chase.

View Cannock Chase in a larger map

July Photos
July 2011

The Sun setting over a garden Sunflower, a Garden Warbler, the closest I've had a little bird fly next to me, and other photos from Summer 2011.

Trent And Mersey Canal Ride
April 20th 2011

Another beautiful Spring day. I enjoyed a pleasant cycle ride, chasing Orange Tip butterflies along the towpath of the Trent & Mersey canal in Staffordshire, with the Genesis Trick Of The Tail album as accompaniment. I also had a nice view of a large Grey Heron that was disturbed by a traveling barge but it had gone by the time I got close enough for a photo. I've seen deer crossing the canal on this route too.

Garden Birds
All year round

During the warmer months I like to lounge in the garden and watch all of the different birds that pay us a visit. Blackbirds are regular although have been scarse during the Autumn as most birds are due to moulting. Since I bought a decent camera I like to take snaps of them. We've seen some spectacular sights of Buzzards flying overhead or perched in the garden.One day whilst sipping tea on the lawn there was a sudden loud flapping of wings from the tall Cherry Tree right opposite our own Cherry Tree. Glancing above and slightly to the right we then saw around 3 birds hastily vacating the same tree with a frenzied flapping of wings. It looked like 2 Wood Pigeons and maybe a Collared Dove, appearing mainly as large grey blurs because the moment was so fast. But then right after that, a bird of Prey, probably a Sparrowhawk swooped above the tree and circled around and gently glided over our garden, right above us and close up. A very beautiful sight and quite graceful despite the Sparrowhawk's intentions. Marvelous!

Our Tamerisk Tree
Spring and Winter 2010

It's foliage is deep red in early Spring and later turns a pale rose colour. During Summer it has turned to green and by the end of Autumn yellow. I like to sit beneath it during warmer climes, chilling with some music in my ears and Earl Grey tea. Below you can also see a photo taken in Winter when it was iced over.

A Frosty December Morning
December 3rd 2010

I looked out of the window on this morning to a very scenic view, and it looked so nice I had to go for a walk around the block to take some snaps. The Sun was evaporating the snow and causing the air to be filled with tiny ice particles that glittered in the direct sunlight, it was beautiful, I haven't seen that before. A romantic idealism would imply that Jack Frost's faeries had been out sprinkling their dust all over the land.
Due to the damp atmosphere there was a halo around the sun, quite large and it made a nice spectacle. I walked across the fields near to our home and took a few photos, it was a very nice scenic Wintry walk

Garden In June
June 27th 2010

Wild Flowers
5th June 2010

One thing I like doing is identifying wild flowers on returning home. Pineapple Mayweed, Buttercups, Hawthorn and Speedwell.

Blooming Garden
June 2nd 2010

We're now in June and our garden is starting to display more bloomage.  It's still a fraction of the lovely Summer blooms but it's starting to look nice now.  We bought a few more Alpine's today for the rockery, and whilst sipping my coffee and relaxing in the garden I took a few snaps.

A few hours later the Sun is getting lower in the sky and casting longer shadows as the day begins to fade. It's been a nice day of chilling and watching the creatures come and go; There was the Blackbird who brought his youngster into our garden to show it our supply of food. The little mouse that lives in the rockery furtively glancing and snatching food from the Blackbirds food tray, as were the Starlings with their young, until the Blackbird squawked them away from his personal stash, the Starlings then later being very cautious and checking to see if the Blackbird was around before snatching food, and also later being frightened by the little mouse. Poor thing, only wanted to feed her kids and got hushed away by a Blackbird and spooked by a small mammal until she flew off with a squawk empty beaked as if it was all too much.

Coombes Valley
May 26th 2010

One of my favourite places to be is Coombes Valley RSPB Nature Reserve in Staffordshire. Bluebell laden woodland tracks, colourful meadows with fluttering butterflies, a wooden bridge over a gentle stream and a high vantage point for observing soaring raptors.