A pictorial diary of my walks around the parks and wild areas of Leicestershire, and occasionally farther afield.

If you're new to my blog, you might like to have a look at the pictures in the older post as well (click on button at the bottom of the page).

I am also a writer, using the pen-name John Gwynant, and I'll occasionally announce my latest book release on the blog.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Egret at Bradgate Park

There wasn't much activity from the park's Deer and we were on our way out when this Egret flew past in fishing mode.

1/2656 @ f5.6, iso 800, 400mm

1/2000 @ f5.6, iso 800, 400mm

1/2000 @ f5.6, iso 800, 400mm

1/2656 @ f5.6, iso 800, 400mm

1/2000 @ f5.6, iso 800, 400mm

1/1600 @ f5.6, iso 800, 400mm

1/1600 @ f5.6, iso 800, 400mm

1/2000 @ f5.6, iso 800, 400mm

1/2000 @ f5.6, iso 800, 400mm

1/2000 @ f5.6, iso 800, 400mm

1/1600 @ f5.6, iso 800, 400mm

1/1600 @ f5.6, iso 800, 400mm

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A busy Day at Swithland stump

To be more accurate it was a busy couple of hours sitting in my car watching the feeding stump in the car park.

I didn't expect much when I set up, there was a lot of disturbance from people walking and driving through. But the wildlife gave me a surprise and I too 178 pictures, some of which are here.

1/100 @ f6.3, ISO 800, 400mm

When we arrived two squirrels were already playing round and over the stump. They ran off as we pulled up.  When all had settled we had a visit from a squirrel, it looked like a juvenile.

1/50 @ f6.3, ISO 800, 400mm

Another was watching him from the undergrowth, not sure if he should show himself or not.

1/64 @ f6.3, ISO 800, 400mm

Next was a Nuthatch, he was happy with the meal worms we'd laid out.

1/64 @ f6.3, ISO 800, 3900mm

The Nuthatch having shown it was safe, a nice pair of Tits flew in. Not a matched pair though, a Great Tit and a Coal Tit who weren't too easy in each others company.

1/80 @ f6.3, ISO 800, 390mm

They were followed by a surprise, I caught a glimpse of this bird a few weeks ago but he didn't stop for pictures. On this day he landed and made the most of the food. The Greater Spotted Woodpecker is a striking bird and this one looked like he was going to stay while the food was there.

1/100 @ f6.3, ISO 800, 390mm

He stood guard against all comers and even had a running battle with one of the squirrels. This one took one look at the woodpeckers beak and changed his mind.

1/125 @ f6.3, ISO 800, 375mm

They both vacated the stump after that and a female Blackbird came for a look, but she picked up the food that had been dropped to the floor.

1/125 @ f6.3, ISO 800, 375mm

Later another Squirrel arrived and you can see it is a lot fatter, I thought maybe a parent coming to sort the Woodpecker out for fighting with its offspring :0)

1/125 @ f6.3, ISO 800, 390mm

Maja returned with Skipper and I was telling her everything I had seen when the Woodpecker returned. After he left I said, "all we need now is the Jay." it was only a couple of minutes later that he poked his head round the stump.

1/100 @ f6.3, ISO 800, 380mm

After a good look round he hopped onto the stump and helped himself to a feed.

1/50 @ f6.3, ISO 800, 380mm

and just to round the day off, a Jackdaw came in for a feed.

All taken on a Canon EOS7d with EF 100 - 400mm L series lens.

Monday, May 8, 2017

two birds in the bush 8 5 17

An Egret watching the deer at Bradgate Park.

1600 @ f6.3, iso 1600, 400mm

Farther along the road opposite the Deer Barn at Bradgate park, 
this Pheasant was being followed by his harem. 

1368 @ f6.3, iso 800, 400mm

1368 @ f6.3, iso 800, 400mm

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

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Xmas

Here's a couple of my Robin Photos to wish everyone a Merry thingummy and a happy new whatsit

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Bradgate Park

The first wildlife we saw when we entered the park was this Heron striding purposefully along the banks of the Lin. Not sure what he had spotted but he must have been after something.

1/1328 @ f6.3, iso 800, 400mm

The Fallow Deer seemed to stop in just the right place, and look at the size of that Oak tree.

1/200 @ f6.3, iso 800, 400mm

A Red Stag feeding up for the Rut no doubt.

1/640 @ f6.3, iso 800, 250mm

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

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Swithland Woods

On the off chance we visited Swithland Woods on Thursday and while Maja walked through the woods with Skipper, I stayed in the car and was rewarded with a mixture of wild life calling at the stump.

The Blue Tit was first, being fairly common that didn't surprise me.

1/250 @ f 6.3, iso 800, 400mm

The next visitor was a surprise, I've never seen them around here before. It is a Marsh Tit and he kept coming back as did other.

1/200 @ f6.3 iso 800, 400mm

Later there was a moment of tenderness between two Great Tits. They both appeared to be adults so not a parent and chick -  a bit late in the year for that anyway.

1/640 @ f 5.6, iso 800, 400mm

The Nuthatch wasn't his usual feisty self, usually he rules the stump, but this time he flitted back and forth a few times but was in evidence as much as usual.

1/50 @ f6.3, iso 800, 400mm

The table cleared quickly when the squirrel arrived, but some got used to him and returned for a quick mouthful.

1/160 @ f6.3, iso 800, 400mm

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

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mixed bag at Bradgate Park

A trip through Bradgate Park proved more interesting than expected. About ten Pied Wagtails descended on the field at the back of the house, I'm not sure of the collective noun for Pied Wagtails. Maybe a Crust or a waggle or some such, does anyone know.

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

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

The Stags seemed to be resting, maybe storing up energy for the forthcoming rut.

1/800 @ f6.3, iso 800, 160mm

I couldn't resist this "chocolate boxy" pose of a young Fallow Deer

1/250 @ f6.3, iso 800, 100mm

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

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Bradgate Deer

It's been a while since the last post, my health and the weather keep getting in the way.

Anyway here are couple of Fallow deer taken a few days ago in Bradgate Park as we drove through on disabled day. They were close to the road through.

1/500 @f6.3, iso 800, 400mm

1/500 @f6.3, iso 800, 400mm

Incidentally I notice that the Bradgate players recently put on a play "The Hound of The Baskervilles." With the recent change in dog laws in the park, I wonder if the "Hound" was kept on a lead :o)

Both pictures taken on Canln EOS 7d, EF 100 - 400mm lens

Saturday, June 11, 2016

I'm back!

There haven't been many entries lately because of my poor health and being confined to the house. Here is a couple I took last week when Maja took me through Bradgate Park on the disabled drive through day.

That's not the Herons nest in the picture, but I think it was hoping there would be some Coot chicks in there for tea.
1/250 @ f6.3, ISO 400,  400mm

A young Fallow stag, in need of some growing and some antlers.
1/320 @ f6.3, ISO 400,  200mm

Both taken on Canon 7D, EF 100 - 400mm lens

Friday, April 29, 2016

Bradgate Park

Sorry this has been a long time coming, with my bad health, the terrible weather and a lack of birds, everything seems to have ground to a halt. But yesterday I managed to get out to Bradgate park and took some pics of Widget - the Widgeon who thinks he is a Mallard and various of the deer.

1/200 @ f6.3, ISO 800, 400mm

Fallow deer on a cold day when there are few tourists and they can relax.

1/250 @ f6.3, ISO 800, 300mm

1/250 @ f6.3, ISO 800, 300mm

1/250 @ f6.3, ISO 800, 260mm
All taken on Canon 7d, EF 100 - 400mm L series lens

Friday, March 25, 2016


Two Mallard with a grievance, having a right ding dong 
If you look closely you will be able to pick out the other contestant

1/800 @ f5.6, ISO 800, 400mm
Canon 7d, EF 100 - 400mm L series Lens

1/800 @ f5.6, ISO 800, 400mm
Canon 7d, EF 100 - 400mm L series Lens
1/800 @ f5.6, ISO 800, 400mm
Canon 7d, EF 100 - 400mm L series Lens