ShareMondays2018 – A Photographic First

Brown Argus at RHS Wisley Gardens

ShareMondays2018 – A Photographic First

For ShareMondays and Wex Mondays this week is this perfect little brown argus butterfly in the grasses at RHS Wisley Gardens last week. This was the first time I have seen this species at Wisley, the first time I have been able to positively identify the sight of one in the UK and the first time I have photographed one! I was very excited. Then I realised that there were two! I almost did a little dance but my legs had seized up from trying to crouch. A great species to be able to add to my Big Butterfly Count this past week.


Watching Wisley’s Wagtails – Dinner Time

Dinner Time

Watching Wisley’s Wagtails – Dinner Time

Wisley’s young wagtails are on a steep learning curve now. They’ve fledged! This series of images is created from stills taken from a video I shot last week on Tuesday. The adults were still busy feeding their five offspring in the nest and the plant pot (yes, they outgrew the nest and spilled out into the pot!). By Thursday only two youngsters remained in their pot. Now they’re all outside getting used to the big wide world. The adults will continue to provide food, while encouraging the fledglings to find their own meals. I’m on my own steep learning curve with video files! This is the first time I’ve used HD video to create stills. There’s a lot to take in and quite a few different methods to use. I think I need to refine my techniques a bit more but it’s not a bad start! This is my entry for this week’s Wex Mondays challenge. Good luck to all entering


Watching Wisley’s Wagtails – Feed Me!

Feed Me!

Watching Wisley’s Wagtails – Feed Me!

There are five hungry little chicks in the nest in the Wisley Growers Glasshouse! Joe and I are continuing to collaborate in filming and photographing these little bundles of fluff as they grow to adulthood. These images were taken last Monday when the chicks were a mere four days old! By Thursday they had already grown significantly and I could see the start of feathers forming. I have been away over the weekend and strongly suspect that when I get back to see them tomorrow they will be practically spilling out of that neat little nest! The biggest chick is always the one to open up it’s beak widest and quickest but all five are getting regular feeds from the adults and seem to be doing really well. I can’t wait to see them again! This adult’s eye view into the nest is my enty for Wex Mondays this week and I hope to update you all further next Monday.

Hungry Wagtail Chicks


Watching Wisley’s Wagtails

Pied Wagtail Nesting in The Glasshouse

Watching Wisley’s Wagtails

Earlier on this year I got to know one of RHS Wisley Garden‘s Glasshouse gardeners on an RSPB birdwalk (wheel in my case!) around the grounds. Joe and I often chat when I’m visiting the glasshouse and he told me about the pair of pied wagtails that nested in his growing area last year. Birds are far from stupid and the pair have returned to the safety of the glasshouses to nest again. I was delighted when Joe invited me to visit, behind the scenes of the public glasshouse, to see these wonderful little birds bring up their latest brood.

It gave me an idea fo a project that might be just the right motivation for me to finally overcome my difficulties in mastering Premiere Pro. As well as photographing the birds, I’ve started to do some short videos that I hope to edit together to create a little educational documentary about the Wisley Wagtails. I hope that it can be used in the Clore Learning Centre, attached to the Glasshouse to inspire the many children who visit Wisley every year. I think grown-ups will rather like it too!

Last week the female was brooding a total of five precious eggs. It’s an unusual situation for a bird lover in that these adult birds are used to staff walking right by them, even moving their nesting pot around, while pruning and watering. I wouldn’t usually get anywhere near as close to a nest for fear of upsetting the adult birds! The shrub in the pot they have chosen has now started to wilt as it can’t and won’t be watered while the birds are in the nest. The plant will be a sacrifice to the safety of the birds and the joy of being allowed to watch the chicks grow.

I’ve been back today….

There are five beautiful baby wagtails which hatched last Friday!

Watch this space each week for further wagtail tales.

This is my entry for this week’s Wex Mondays challenge. Next week I hope I can share the fluffy chicks with you all!