Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Images from the garden, riverside and park

Grey wagtail by pond

I was standing at the kitchen window when I spotted this shy wagtail searching for insects and taking delicate sips from the cascade. I knew it would fly off if I opened the door or window so I decided to photograph it through the glass in spite of some loss of image quality.

Grey heron in the park

After the miserable weather of the previous week we had several days of glorious sunshine and I decided to take advantage of the lovely light and head for the park. It was surprisingly empty for such a sunny afternoon and there were no dogs off their leads to chase the wildlife away. I spotted the heron stalking purposefully through the grass. It wasn't the least bit phased by my proximity.

One of a number of lakes in the woodland gardens

I've been told that a kingfisher can sometimes be seen here but as yet I've not had the pleasure of spotting one at this location. Occasionally I hear the metallic call of a the halcyon bird and see a flash of electric blue disappearing downstream elsewhere in the park. Perhaps, with persistence, I'll be fortunate enough to spot one for longer than a second! At least I sometimes see them at home. Earlier this spring one landed on a mooring post outside the kitchen window and sat there for about a minute. I couldn't get over how tiny it was and yet how stunningly beautiful.

A familiar face checks me out

I mustn't get blasé about seeing the foxes on a regular basis but it's great to know that there's a good chance of spotting them. I'm also pleased to see that they're still cautious around people but they are becoming quite an attraction so they will soon become habituated to humans and maybe that's not such a good thing.

A red deer stag declares his "love" to no one in particular

As the rutting season gets under way it's fascinating to watch the stags fight each other for dominance, making forays to steal the occasional doe from another male's harem. This one was calling and grunting as he trotted by but there were no females in sight. I noticed that he occasionally paused when he heard a rival stag "roaring" in the distance.

Garrick's temple to Shakespeare

We haven't been out in the boat much recently because of the wet or dull weather so we couldn't let this opportunity pass us by. It was a lovely sunny late afternoon and we took our usual route upstream and around some of the other islands in the vicinity. The temple is just upstream from us and was built by the actor David Garrick in tribute to Shakespeare. It was restored a few years ago and is now open to the public on certain days.

Autumn colours reflected in a pool

How quickly the leaves are turning flame coloured. It seems like only last week that everything was still green, but I do love to see the lovely colours of the leaves on the different trees.

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