Whilst I haven’t blogged about it in a while I have been making regular visits to the local nature reserve over the last month. June seems to mark the start of a quiet period that I noted last year, the last few visits have revealed very little to point a lens at.
Sadly on a recent visit I found a roe buck corpse tangled in the fencing that’s in place to stop the cattle falling in the river. The body seemed reasonably fresh as there was no sign of any scavenging or decay. I called the ranger to let them know and he also shared my disappointment at such a find.
On my last visit the grass was really starting to grow, which for me is a problem. I suffer from hay fever and whilst I take medication to help I still suffer a lot at certain times of year. Last night resulted in my worst reaction for years, this combined with the slow down in sightings means I will be staying away for a month or so. Hopefully once the pollen season is over I will be able to head over again.
In the mean time I intend to investigate another local site which is reported to be home to badgers, and possibly Kingfisher. With any luck I’ll be able to find something there and there won’t large amounts of long grass to cause me problems!
Well I finally got a new lens. A 300 2.8 VR ii and a set of teleconvertors. It’s heavy, but it’s a cracking lens.
The first time I took it out about a week ago I went to see the roe deer and took a monopod to help with the mass. In honesty it seemed to make it worse as the load is so top heavy, meaning I couldn’t keep the lens still enough for even the VR to take up the slack. The end result was I didn’t really get anything worth sharing.
The positive side of this outing was I met the ranger who was kind enough to point out the site boundary which I have never been sure of and also confirmed my suspicions on the location of the Barn owl nest in previous years.
Well it seems spring genuinely is here and it wasn’t s false alarm. On Saturday evening I had couple of hours available in the evening so went to see if I could find the roe deer.
Upon arrival I was quickly deflated as the cows where still in the field the deer frequent meaning I was probably out of luck. However I have often seen them along the river so decided to try the tow path along the other side to see if that worked.
On the walk round I spotted this Small Tortoiseshell butterfly, a sign that spring really has sprung.
A Small Tortoiseshell butterfly at the side of a path at SWT Manor Farm.
I spent another evening over at the reserve this evening. It would seem I am starting to get the hang of this wildlife thing as I not only found a single female deer almost straight away I also managed to get with in a sensible range, about 30m, without drawing attention or alerting her.
With the later evenings thanks to the clock change I was able to spend an hour at the local reserve. Things didn’t begin overly well as the cattle have been moved to the field where I had seen the roe deer previously but I started a lap anyway.
Near the start is a small ring of brambles with a grass opening in the middle. There are a few clear animal tracks in the grass so I followed one and heard the rustle of an animal moving in haste. I backed off and decided to try look from the other side.
After a brief walk I heard the noise again and there in the undergrowth a fox looked back at me.
A fox hides in thick brambles and stares out at me. This was manually focused as the camera wanted to focus on the brambles. Easier said than done on my Sigma 70-300.
After a stressful couple of weeks at work this weekend I took the opportunity to get out and explore my local nature reserve for an explore and to see what I could see. Getting out more here was a goal I set my self at the end of 2012. The idea was to get a better feel for the land and try spot where the wildlife was gathering and their routes. Continue reading
As this has been the first nice evening in weeks I took the opportunity to walk round to the Surrey Wildlife Trust reserve manor farm.
There have been reports of some great wildlife in the evenings here so I wanted to see it for my self, and tonight I got to!
A roe deer in the long grass at Surrey Wildlife Trust Manor Farm reserve
Another Damselfly at SWT Manor Farm. There was a few of these flying around in the tall grass around the hide.
A damselfly taken from the hide at Surrey Wildlife Trust Manor Farm. A lovey hide with a great view of the river. This sight looks to have great potential should it ever stop raining. The log book shows everything from deer to cormorants to owls and buzzards.