Tuesday 21 May 2024

Deeping Lakes Black Tern flock

Been a spell since a flock of Black Terns has graced Deeping Lakes, which was such a good site for this stunning passage bird, back in the day. This flock of six birds spent the afternoon of the 11th May on East Pit, until dusk. 

Friday 3 May 2024

Arctic Terns at Deeping Lakes

It's been the best spring for inland Arctic Tern migration for a fair few years and today, a lunch time visit to my patch, Deeping Lakes, produced a flock of 42 newly arrived Arctic Terns. This is the biggest flock I have seen on the patch and pretty impressive, considering that only one bird was seen in the whole of the Peterborough area last year. 

After bird flu hitting the UK population so hard in recent years, I did wonder if I would ever see Arctic Tern at Deeping Lakes again- so this flock was an absolute treat and one of my patch highlights of the year so far!

Spring SEO

As spring unfolds, I typically cast my lenses towards my local Long-eared Owls. This year, however, my focus has shifted slightly- from the long to the short. The Short-eared Owls, usually a delight in our fens during the winter, have extended their stay into the warmth of May. 

Since mid-April, my regular visits to the local fens have become ritualistic in seeking out Short-eared Owls and I have been watching three individuals regularly. I have got to know them, like I do the local Long-eared Owls and it's been fantastic. These Owls, unlike their more reclusive relatives, are diurnal and provide ample opportunities for photography during the softer light of the golden hours at dusk. 

Tuesday 30 April 2024

Male Marsh Harrier

A superb looking adult male Marsh Harrier. It's been great watching it sparring with an immature male, that's been trying to move onto it's patch. 

Sunday 28 April 2024

More Spoonbill

 More from when the Spoonbills visited Deeping Lakes, last week. 

Thursday 25 April 2024

Otter family

Just over a month ago, as dusk settled, I stumbled upon a mother Otter and her two cubs. Though my view was brief and partially obscured, it was great to see such a young family for the first time. It wasn't until another evening, armed with a thermal imager, that I caught up with them again. They were playing and messing around and making chattering noise I had never heard Otters make before.

Fast forward to last week, during one of my customary pre-work walks, I found the family in a moment of separation, One of the young cubs had strayed from the safety of it's mother and sibling. Their reunion was filled with squeaking and then lots of running up and down the river bank opposite, but often out of view and never great for the camera. 

As they swam upstream, the mother Otter took a moment to attend to her cubs, grooming and scent marking. However, their tranquil moment was abruptly interrupted by the unexpected presence of another Otter- a dog Otter intruder under the bank I was stood. The ensuing commotion, filed with chatter and alarm, culminated in the trio bravely chasing off the welcome guest. 

The rest of the week passed without an encounter, which of course made this, all the more special.

Tuesday 23 April 2024

False eyes

Been spending a bit of time photographing this Little Owl this month. Check out the false face on the back of the head, a fantastic defence against predators for this diminutive Owl. 

Sunday 21 April 2024

Here, Hare, Here!

The Brown Hare is an iconic species of the British countryside, and I spotted this particularly confiding individual when driving through the south Lincolnshire Fens, a few weeks ago. This region is known for it's expansive agricultural land, which provides an ideal backdrop for the hare. 

Friday 19 April 2024

Spoonbills visit the patch

Mike Weedon found these two Spoonbills on my patch on Monday morning and thanks to his early call, I managed to get fantastic views before work. Spoonbills have been nearly annual since 2017 to my patch but this is the earliest record in the year during that time. These birds were present until mid-morning on Wednesday. 

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Young Otters

I assume these two Otters are both youngsters, making their way on their own but it's possible it's a mum and fully grown youngster. Regardless, they were typically fearless of me, as they fed in the rapids of the Welland. My first prolonged encounter of the year of these wonderful animals.