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ShareMondays2019 – Pre-flight Check

Pre-flight Check

ShareMondays2019 – Pre-flight Check

I was driving down to RHS Wisley Gardens on Thursday afternoon when I spotted this kestrel circling the field opposite Wisley Church. There’s a small lay-by that I pulled into as the kestrel approached. I was absolutely thrilled when it took a perch on the cables nearby! I didn’t want to spook it, so grabbed the long lens, wound down the passenger window and managed to get a few images as it surveyed the surroundings, before taking back off to resume the hunt. A magical moment! Often when I spot wildlife from the car there’s nowhere to pull over and be able to watch or photograph what I’ve seen. This has to be my ShareMondays moment and I will add it to the Wex Mondays challenge too. Have a great week everyone!

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ShareMondays2019 – Hang On!

Hang On!

ShareMondays2019 – Hang On!

I tried a few different creative processing styles for this little long-tailed tit, but in the end I think maybe less is more. Photographed at Tice’s Meadow Nature Reserve on Saturday for this Monday’s weekly challenges from Wex Photo Video and Fotospeed.

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Bunting On Bracken

Bunting On Braken

Bunting On Bracken

It’s NOT a snow bunting but it is in the snow. It’s NOT on reeds but it is a reed bunting! Bird watching can be ever so confusing 😉

Reed Bunting in the snow

These were taken on Friday morning in Bushy Park, with a smattering of snow. The bracken is a hiding place for lots of small insects that the birds are feeding on. There were bunting, wrens, robins, great tits, blue tits, chiffchaff  and stonechats all flitting in and out of the bracken near Heron Pond. They can be hard to spot! I listen for the song and look for movement to find my subjects, but sometimes you don’t know they’re there until you’re almost on top of them and they take flight.

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ShareMondays2019 – OH!

OH!

ShareMondays2019 – OH!

Definitely the largest fish I’ve ever seen one of the Bushy Park herons catch! Pretty sure it’s a common carp. After successfully evading the Heron Pond anglers and keeping itself warm in the dense reed-beds on a frosty night, I think the last thing this fish expected was to be gobbled up for breakfast. It actually gave it’s captor a few firm tail-slaps around the face, for good measure, on the way down! OH! Well, my mum coined it and I couldn’t really call it anything else. So with a busy Monday ahead, this is my entry for all three of the Monday photo challenges including Wex Mondays and Fotospeed. Have a great week everyone!

Hunting Heron

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Sensory Delights

Christmas At Kew

Sensory Delights

It’s the first proper week of the WexMondays challenge and for this week only we can include images from throughout the festive period! I thought I’d focus on the light installations that I went to at both RHS Wisley Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. They were both beautiful, but I was most definitely inspired by the incredible artists who created the various installations at Kew! The experience of both sound and light working in context with the surroundings was simply stunning. My favourite pieces were from artists at Ithaca Studios in Brighton and TILT from France.

 

I’m leading with a piece that captures elements of the final display at the Palm House at Kew. It’s a multiple exposure created from four different parts of the display, blended together using Nik Analog Efex. From across the lake a story of Wintertime enfolded before our eyes. Illumination of the glass Palm House, laser beams and a jaw-dropping projection onto a screen of water from the fountain in the pond, all accompanied by seasonal music and a bit of a crowd sing-a-long to Let It Go from the film, Frozen.

RHS Wisley Garden lights

 

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Mistle Thrush In Bushy Park

Mistle Thrush Guarding Mistletoe Patch

Mistle Thrush In Bushy Park

I have seen so many beautiful things this past week and I would love to share much more with you today but, I have to restrict myself! Mostly it’s because I’m involved in some ongoing creative projects that are a bit “hush hush” for now. It’s all very exciting! You will all get to see the outcomes of these but I have to keep you in suspense for a little while longer. Anyway, speaking of beautiful and exciting, here is a wonderful mistle thrush in Bushy Park. It was one of a pair, fiercely protecting it’s patch in the Woodland Gardens. It’s guarding a bounty of mistletoe in the treetops! When pairs of mistle thrush guard an area like this in the Winter, it usually means that they will nest in the area come February. So thrilled to see this behaviour! I really hope that I will be lucky enough to watch this pair on other visits to Bushy Park and see if they will nest successfully.

 

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On An Island

Claremont Island

On An Island

Such a beautiful scene, the last glorious tones of Autumn, really needed a stitched panorama to get in all the details! This is Claremont Landscape Gardens, managed by the National Trust, near Esher and Cobham. A wonderful place to explore, relax, have a cuppa and feed the birds (please bring proper bird seed or duck/swan pellets that are available at most garden centres).

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The Last Post

Bugler On The Tower Gate

The Last Post

The bugler stands in silent remembrance on the Tower Of London Gatehouse. We remember, we thank, we grieve, we wish it had been the War To End All Wars. We regret. We must change.

Bugler On The Tower Gate