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More Bird Spotting, this time with photography
This morning we took Dracopup up to Knighton Wood/Lord's Bushes at Buckhurst Hill. We chose this because we wanted to give him a long walk this morning, as he is due to go into the vets' tomorrow to be castrated, which will hopefully lower his testosterone levels, and it had been raining like crazy, so we decided on an area where we could stay under the trees.

However, by the time we got there, around ten o'clock, the sun was coming out, and within minutes the sky was blue. I had taken the Lumix more in hope than in expectation, but the light levels were good, and the Mandarin Ducks which have recently arrived on its large pond/small lake (probably from Connaught Water in Epping Forest)decided to show themselves.

Mandarin in Full Sail

They may not be original natives, but they are wonderfully photogenic.

Mandarin Dance

Mandarin Paired

(Click through if you want to see the whole set.)

However, that wasn't the main thrill of the day. That was when we were walking past one of the smaller ponds deeper in the woods and saw a water vole swim out to the island and scurry out of the water. I was more intent in pointing Ina in that direction so that she saw it too than trying to get the camera ready to photograph it, so I didn't. However, this is the first time I have seen a water vole in the wild for many years. Of course, there aren't any mink (the main problem for the water vole in this part of England) in these woods, so it is unmolested. I now need to find out if they are recently recorded in Lords Bushes. It was wonderful to see, though, and caused much excitement chez us.

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Lovely ducks - they don't look quite real, do they?

And congratulations on the water vole.

Our local wildlife trust has just spent ages relocating a water vole colony due to the enlargement of the reservoir their stream fed. Of course, the place they were going to put them turned out to have water voles of its own...

Wonderful photos. I think I prefer getting opportunistic photos than planned ones. I really must make camera carrying more of a habit! :)

If I don't take the camera, sure as shooting there will be a great photo opportunity!

However, wildlife mainly needs a certain amount of planning... (at least taking the longest lens I have if there is likely to be any.)

Wonderful pictures! And congratulations on seeing the water vole.

Water Voles are really cute, but they have declined enormously in the UK due to polluted water then breeding mink which escaped from fur farms. Due mainly to The Wind in the Willows there is a lot of awareness of their plight and affection for them, and they are slowly regaining numbers and range with a lot of help from humans.

Gorgeous ducks (and the photos so clear: plumage, reflections in the water); I so enjoiy your photos.

Great news about the water voles, too, incl the re-housing.


I looked at the flickr set, too, which has more, but couldn't run the slideshow: as always of recent months, it opens a few tabs, shudders, closes them, and ignores me [yes, I do everything it tells me], it just opens tabs, shudders, closes them and ignores me. A real pain. We haven't been able to think what to do about it. Buy a new laptop?

Thank you.

Can't help you on the Flickr problem, I'm afraid.

Ah, that must have been confusing. A few words seem to have been kicked out: it's Adobe Flash that won't load, performing as described. (Flickr was fine except no slideshow for me; look at pics one by one.)

Sorry about that!

New laptop coming up, I can tell you: if I actually shut the whole thing down, once it's restarted (say 10 mins) it can take another 20 mins or more to get a Word doc open. *big sigh*

I need a new laptop myself - but my problem is physical I spend all my time watching the power lead to make sure it doesn't suddenly cut out.

Oh, gorgeous photos! And yay to the water vole.

I'm awfully chuffed.

What's more, the water vole is not listed on the survey and vision plan for the woods.

Edited at 2009-12-08 09:17 am (UTC)

Watervoles are splendid. How good to know they're there.

Isn't it? It also says a lot about the cleanness of the local spring-fed ponds.

Oh they do look pretty. I almost regret not moving out that way.

No you don't. You're still a big city girl. Congrats on finding a suitable flat, by the way.

I am. Though in Summer I'll be wishing I lived somwewhere greener.

I meant to go and photograph the parks in their autumn shades but time is running away with me right now.

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