The last day of October 2020 brought a dull and grey morning and some heavy rain over lunchtime and early afternoon in West Berkshire. But around mid afternoon it cleared up and the sun came through, giving some nice autumn afternoon sunshine. As soon as the rolls I had started baking at lunchtime as the heavy rain stopped me from going anywhere were finished I grabbed my camera to try and get a few shots. I only had about an hour before the sun went too low and no time to go far, but I managed to catch these Goldfinches on a tree in its autumn colours (and some bonus Starlings on the top of a bare tree branch):
As usual click on the pictures for the large size gallery view. I hope you enjoy and like the pictures, I must admit I’m quite pleased about the first picture, managing to catch the Goldfinch just in the hole in the autumn leaves (there were also plenty failed versions of that picture…).
Having only taken pictures from my windows for a few weeks I ventured out along the Kennet and Avon Canal when the lockdown restrictions were eased a bit. I stopped near Frouds Lane to try to take a few pictures of birds crossing the canal. That wasn’t very successful. I was just about to leave when I got lucky, although not with a bird. I noticed some motion on the other side of the canal and suddenly a Grass Snake swimming across the canal came into view:
I must admit I didn’t know that snakes can swim until I saw this one doing it. This snake had to cross the canal twice (and did it quite easily it seems): It came across only to realise that on the other side was a retaining wall about 2 ft high, so it couldn’t get out. It had a brief look, then turned around and swam back where it disappeared into the undergrowth (no wall on that side). The tongue was nicely visible several times and the head nicely reflected/mirrored on the water. I hope you like and enjoy these pictures. I certainly enjoyed the moment and watching the snake.
During the first several weeks of the Coronavirus lockdown I wasn’t able to go out with my camera. As I live in a flat and therefore don’t have a garden I couldn’t even go out into the garden and take pictures there. Still, I did have my windows (including the door of my “fake balcony”) and I managed to take a few pictures from there. Here are some of the better ones:
Nothing spectacular, Blue Tits, Great Tits and Sparrows are what I mainly see from my window. But also a distant Heron at the top of some trees around a nearby pond. Also some insects collecting pollen. And a beautiful clear Moon in the afternoon light.
A few weeks ago I booked a ticket for a concert by Ross & Ali in Emsworth in the south of Hampshire. That’s about an hour and 15 minutes drive from where I live in West Berkshire. As the concert took place on a Saturday I thought I should combine the long drive with something else. And decided it was time for another visit (there third if I counted correctly) of Titchfield Haven nature reserve.
A variety of birds was around, in particular quite a few ducks. Some of the pictures I took in this gallery:
Unfortunately didn’t see a Kingfisher this time, hope to see one again next time. A lot of the waders kept quite a distance, not sure if that was seasonal or just coincidence. The Marsh Harriers did’t come as close as I had hoped, but were still nice to watch in the distance. Quite a few Magpies around, hopping in the marsh outside one of the hides. Also saw a Fox brazenly making its way through the reserve, I think at one point it made a half-hearted attempt to get a bird (either a Goose or a Cormorant, can’t remember), but wasn’t successful. Unfortunately didn’t manage to get any decent pictures of it, at the time I was more focused on watching it through my binoculars (it was quite far away and better to see through the binoculars).
Before leaving for Emsworth for the concert I had a nice meal at The Osborne View (of course a burger). It being March it was too cold to sit outside, but I managed to get a table with a nice view over the Solent. I hope I can sit outside again for one of my next visits.
It was a very nice sunny spring day in West Berkshire today, so I went for another walk in the countryside near the village. I had hoped I might still be able to see some Bluebells, but couldn’t really find any. Didn’t see anything spectacular, so here are three fairly mundane pictures of a big tree, some cattle in the sunshine and a butterfly on a leaf:
(Click on the pictures for the larger versions)
I hope you had a nice weekend as well, hopefully spring and soon summer continue to be nice.