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Keeping Up Appearances

Grey Wagtail

Keeping Up Appearances

I love watching wildlife along the Basingstoke Canal near where I live. Last week I had a delightful encounter with one of the grey wagtails that live alongside the canal. It’s the perfect habitat for them and they thrive here! I always see them on my short outings but this time I was able to get much closer than usual, getting to watch my little friend preening his feathers and singing joyfully. They’re fabulous little birds, full of character with such pretty plumage. The experience brought me so much joy, I decided that he would be the star of my entry for this week’s Wex Mondays challenge!

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Unlocking The Landscape Part 2

Grey Wagtail looking for food

Unlocking The Landscape Part 2

The sapphire-jeweled kingfisher isn’t the only precious bird on the Basingstoke Canal! In the golden afternoon sunlight a gilt streak skims the water’s surface and lands on the lock gates, tail bobbing, head twisting, seeking out the insects along the shallows. The Grey Wagtail is a favourite bird of mine and I have been watching them along my local stretch of the canal for some years now. They’re very distinctive with a slate-grey back and bold yellow underside! They breed very successfully in this insect-rich environment and I hope to be watching them interacting with their fledglings again this year.

Part of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Landscape. If you missed Part 1 of my series exploring the many elements that make up the local landscape of the canal, you can view it here

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On The Edge

On The Edge

Daily Prompt: On the Edge
Photographers, artists, poets: show us ACTIVITY.

Today is World Photography Day! My dad, an inspiration for my photography, is having a holiday from work, so mum and I took him down to the Basingstoke Canal so that he could see for himself some of the beautiful wildlife and nature that I’m often posting on here.

I was so thrilled that one of the grey wagtails, a male I think, was hunting by the lock and posed briefly for us. I love watching these wonderful birds and it was great to be able to share this with my dad. Hence, this is my chosen image and subject for World Photography Day 2013.

Here are a few of my other favourite photos from today.

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Elusive

Elusive

There are a few grey wagtails that I’ve spotted by the Basingstoke Canal and I’m trying to find out how many individuals there are along the stretch that I visit.

I have seen two together but I wasn’t able to capture the moment. They’re very elusive! I managed to find a concealed spot from where I could watch this female for a little while today. It was lovely 🙂

Photographing her was a challenge as she stayed in a very shadowed area but she didn’t stay still for a moment! This image was taken at 300mm f5.6 ISO 3200 at 1/80sec.

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Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

After a visit to Guy’s Hospital in London today and plenty of staring up at The Shard, Simon and I went along to Hyde Park for some much needed rest and relaxation in the sun.

I completely forgot to bring my bird food along but we were still treated to a fabulous array of wildlife, including this lovely little grey wagtail.

This is rather special for me as I’ve been longing to photograph the UK’s other wagtails, aside from the pied wagtail. I’ve spotted the greys and possibly a yellow alongside the canal but only ever a glimpse!

I’ll have a full album up on my Facebook Page as soon as I can! It will have images of The Shard, swans and cygnets, many kinds of geese, herons, squirrels, butterflies, ducks, flowers, sculpture………

………. Hyde Park has a lot to offer!