Sunday, June 21, 2015

Rare Bird - possibly

I was out the other day and taking pictures of chicks at watermead park. As is often the case all the water birds gravitated towards me hoping to be fed.

1/320 @ 6.3, iso 400, 200mm

When I took this not particularly good pic of a chic, I knew there was an adult on the edges and planned to crop her out at home. When I looked at her on the computer there was something that made me think it might not be a Mallard hybrid and I planned to go back a few days later to see if I could get some better pictures of her.

1/640 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

In the mean time, her offspring seemed to get very tired from charging around after tidbits and curled up to sleep in the middle of the pool.

1/100 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

The return visit was successful and she swam towards me as soon as I arrived.

1/100 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

 So I had plenty of time to get more detailed photos of her.

1/125 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

I cant be totally certain, perhaps someone will tell me if I am right. But looking at the pale cheeks, brown cap and dark bill with a pink tip makes me think it is a Red Crested Pochard. A bird that is very rare this far north.

1/800 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm
By way of an easily identified bird, here is the Heron that is nesting by a weir not 2 metres  from the footbridge.

All taken on a Canon EOS 7d and EF 100 - 400mm L series lens

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Birds at Watermead Park

We went for a trip round Watermead on thursday and found I could get the Trike through all the gates I was worried about. It attracted a lot of attention as well, luckily it has the website for them written on the frame. I don't mind the free advertising, they are a good company to deal with.

There were a number of young waterbirds about, some playing, others demanding food, all being closely watched by the parent birds. Like this cygnet. Its mother was just out of shot and the father was with its siblings.

1/2000 @ f6.3, iso 200, 400mm
No young here, just a Great Crested Grebe performing its ablutions, it's hard to tell which way is up with this one.
1/2656 @ f6.3, iso 200, 400mm
Another male Mute Swan was keeping a close eye on Skipper as he went past. No need to worry though, Skipper kept as far away from him and his young as was possible without falling into the lake on the other side of the path.

1/2656 @ f6.3, iso 200, 400mm
A fly past from a group of Mallards was a distraction for a while. They went round skimming the water surface three times.

1/4000 @ f6.3, iso 400, 180mm
The star of the afternoon was this young Heron. He was fishing on a small weir where the river Soar leaves the canal and turns towards Wanlip. He was no more than eight feet from me and in full view, as was I, but he made no move to leave. The camera didn't bother him, he just carried on fishing.

1/800 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/500 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/1328 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm
We were returning to the car park when this Mallard chick came towards us obviously expecting to be fed, and when we didn't feed her she started rolling and washing herself. 

1/500 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm
Seeing the Mallard chick, these two Canada Goslings dragged their parent across for a free feed only to be disappointed.

1/1328 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm
Then it was like rush hour, the Coot chick tried his luck.

1/800 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm
As did another Gosling.

1/1600 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm
It was good to be photographing birds again, I thought they had all left Leicestershire.

All taken on a Canon EOS 7d, and EF 100 - 400mm L series Lens

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Reds came out of hiding


We haven't seen the reds at Bradgate Park for a while but on thursday it was a nice day and despite the crowds they came out to show themselves.

First we came across this young fallow deer, soft fur and vacant look, not sure what to do next.
1/640 @ f6.3, iso 200, 400mm
This one was a little older and looking for fun.
1/500 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm
This Mallard female was throwing a good reflection into the small pool.
1/320 @ f6.3, iso 200, 400mm
Then there were the Red Deer, antlers still covered with velvet and not fully grown.
1/800 @ f6.3, iso 200, 400mm
The three stooges here came swaggering in our direction, but they weren't after us. We were a long way off.
1/1000 @ f6.3, iso 200, 400mm
He looked up to see what was happening.
1/1000 @ f6.3, iso 200, 400mm

All taken on a Canon EOS 7d, EF 100 - 400 mm L series lens

Friday, May 15, 2015

Have a little fishy - Thornton 13 May 2015


This is an interesting sequence that played out in front of me as stopped for a rest by a bench. I was hoping for some Dabchicks, but this Great Crested Grebe was worth seeing. I think the other Grebe was hoping for a share but was disappointed.

1/1328 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/800 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/800 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/1000 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/2000 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/2000 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/2656 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/2000 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/2000 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/1600 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/1600 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/1600 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/1600 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/1600 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/2656 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/2000 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/2000 @ 6.3, iso 400, 400mm

All taken on Canon EOS 7d, EF 100 - 400mm L series lens

Don't forget to look at my books www.johngwynant.blogspot.com

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Bradgate Park 7 may 2015

It has been a long time coming but this week's visit to Bradgate Park found a Little Egret in the ponds and it was making a success of fishing. Maybe it'll stay around for the season and bring in a mate.

1/320 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/320 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/640 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/640 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm
There aren't many fallows with antlers about at the moment and a lot of those that are have their heads down chewing.
1/400 @ f6.3, iso 400, 150mm
This one decided on a bit of hill climbing, it was steeper than it looks.
1/640 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm
The way this one looked at the camera, I thought it was asking "What you looking at"
16400 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm
All taken on Cannon EOS 7d, EF 100 - 400mm L series lens

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Fairies and Scaries

Welcome to my first collection of new Folk tales. I have tried to include something for children of all ages.

If some give you a warm feeling inside, I hope others make you hide behind the sofa or laugh out loud.

They are all separate stories, so you can read them in whatever order you please and not get confused.


Available on Amazon as ebook or paperback

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Thursday April 2 - at Bradgate park

There were a lot of people about, so not much in the way of wildlife. Some of the deer herds were settled in the deer meadow where the public aren't allowed. So I took them from the road.

The Fallow deer were having a laid back day while the sun was shining
1/500 @ f6.3, iso 400, 180mm

1/320 @ f6.3, iso 400, 180mm


The Red Deer Stags were out displaying their magnificent headgear while the females grazed

1/500 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/500 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/500 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/500 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/320 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm

All taken on a Canon EOS 7d, EF 100 - 400mm L series lens