Sunday, 20 August 2017


It's been hard work to photograph anything of note this week, everytime Birdfair is on the birds vanish, looking through my records as I do when I'm struggling to locate anything it's always a but quiet this time of year.
A juvenile Night Heron would have been lovely but even though on a garden pond for nearly a month and with the species breeding for the first time in the UK down Somerset way....well I'm gutted no access was allowed and any information about the bird surpressed. That really pisses me off. I 'get' the private garden aspect  BUT not the surpressing. The bird surely would visit other areas (canal, river and lakes are numerous nearby), money could've been raised for charity, a chance to get visiting birders to sign a petition to stop a railway terminal being built nearby all a missed opportunity. I've like others have withheld locations, bird locations for sensitive reasons as you can't account for the odd idiot. BUT a highly important bird like this needs to be out there, either word of mouth or the like. It's hard thing to judge and normally either way you go, you get a barrel of abuse.
We're loosing our county recorder Mike Alibone over something similar. People have got their knickers in a twist with me as I won't reveal the location of the nesting Osprey BUT I've put images out there, it's down to those who are desperate for whatever reason to observe at the nest (which there is no need, it's on a safe location) to GO out there and do a bit of old fashioned detection work or as the ol'timers call it...BIRDING.
A slow week as I've said the Dunlin and Ringed Plovers were still on the verges of Holowell Reservoir also sporadic visits from the Osprey but fly overs and no fishing attempts. Hard place to tog' waders, no hides, no real cover, my partner loves me coming home in mud surprised she hasn't got me doing a lie detector on Jeremy Kyle, yep on your belly crawling time and wait......and wait
Back-lit Ringed Plover
 A walk by lol, followed by a kip, obviously copying me. Seriously it went to sleep.
Not interested in sleeping birds so swivelled round, more mud on my belly for these two
Summer Leys was quiet apart from the railway line and Mary's Lane which was buzzing with freshly fledged juvenile Warblers including great views of Lesser Whitethroats and Willow Warbler (Mary's Lane by the small wooden foot bridge onto the reserve) and juvenile Bullfinch. Railway line was heaving with juvenile Long Tailed Tits being the most prominent and mixed in with Blue Tit and Great Tits but also plenty of of Chiffchaff and great views of the secretive Cetti's Warbler.
Only half usable image though was a family of Grey Wagtails on the dam at Sywell Country Park, things were that desperate I found myself at Sywell CP more herberts then wildlife here :-(
Skipping back to our county recorder, Mike published this on his website. A really useful tool of Northamptonshire birding locations with an interactive map. I'm posting a link as some of you might find it useful, I did during a quiet week. Using it to locate some areas even I wasn't sure of the location (Polebrook and Borough Hill peeking my interests for future visit), THANKS MIKE AND ONE OF MANY REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NOT HANG UP YOUR MANTLE... PLEASE.
Click here and have a play
The highlight was last night, with all the rain I sneaked a look at the big hole in the ground and had a sneaky look and the other big hole in the ground near the A45.
As I trudged back to the camera not having pushed the shutter button once three deer popped into the field I was crossing.
At the time, I was thinking Muntjac but they didn't look right and was thinking Chinese Water Deer. I've only see CWD's twice, years ago and distant at Cley and briefly at Woodwalton Fen.
They certainly brightened up and dull evening especially as they were seemingly unconcerned with my presence and were busy grazing and playing

It was an amazing fluke encounter and an animal I wasn't expecting to see and another to add to the list of 'odd' visitors to the county for the summer.
Yeah they have the cutesy factor but I have to wonder if they survive, A45 and main roads, their lack of fear, poachers in area, fox hunting and pheasant shooting might have an impact but wonder what damage they're going to cause with British deer in high numbers can the countryside bear the brunt of the damage?
When these animals escape why is there no big fine levied at the culprits? Woburn Safari Park isn't miles away from here so probably originally escaped from there.
As I said they were hardly fearful this is full frame and uncropped with the 500mm yet they still came over down to about one and half metres, my lens can't focus on anything less two and half metres and was wondering if I was going to stroke one!

Of course I tried once I had every possible photo/image I could think...selfie time lol.
Sadly it


  1. Hi Doug. I'm amazed that those deer were so confiding. Most species of deer that I've encountered run off at high speed as soon as they notice they've been spotted! A great series of images!

    Best wishes - - - Richard

    1. I'm sure they're youngsters which probably helped lower their fear. But even I couldn't believe how close they came