Black Terns at Grafham Water. August 2009.

There had been a report of 40+ Black terns at Grafham, so I started the search just after 7am. After picking out a couple of Black terns and time taken capturing other stuff on camera I decided to concentrate my search for the Black terns. I set up next to a hedge line and waited. Most of the terns were travelling against the wind from just beyond where I was, and feeding their way across to the opposite side of the reservoir before flying back across and starting again. They would eventually pass me in the hope of being close to capture on camera.

They were not to venture as close as the Common terns, tending to stay further out on the water, I had definitely seen double figures but could not be definite on the numbers due to their moving around. They had a definite 'jizz' as they flew and fed, totally different to the Common terns and harder to pick out due to their smaller size. I did manage to get some images of a couple of Black terns that were using the floating buoys alongside the Common terns, most were content on feeding though. A great few hours and my first images of Black tern to date.

Grafham Water. Cambridgeshire. August 2009.

Being able to get a few hours out and about I decided to head to grafham. Knowing there were Black terns present I thought I would try my luck and see if I could get some images. Before I set up for the terns I tried my luck in with the Sand Martins as they skimmed across the waters surface picking off insects. Not an easy task I can tell you, trying to track them was hard enough let alone getting an image.

But I stuck at it and came away with a few images worth keeping. I had a juvenile Great crested grebe showing well giving me some images and I grabbed a couple of shots when one of the parents came towards it offering a fish. The Black headed gulls were noisy with one individual especially so, and claiming rights to one particular perch would see off any gull that came too close. But as it scrapped with one bird it got hold of its bill and they both tumbled down only for the victorious gull to entangle on a length of barbed wire for a few seconds before freeing itself.

Close to the car park I viewed a Spotted flycatcher as it flew around catching insects, a sight I hadnt seen for a long time, and getting less common every year. There were good numbers of juvenile Pied wagatils everywhere, taking advantage of the huge numbers of insects present.

I was still finding it hard to get out and about with so much going on at the moment, so I spent a few hours at the Lodge RSPB. Mind you when I got there to get some fungi images the bloody mist descended so not as bright as I'd liked. Finding good specimens was a challenge as quite a few were either munched on or trampled on by the resident sheep, which decided to pick the same areas to feed as myself every time I laid down on the floor. There were good numbers of Bollettes around, and on the previous evening sarah and I had looked for small emerging natterjack toads. We spied a couple that were smaller than your fingernail on the little finger but there were plenty of tadpoles still. A solitary frog emerged on a couple of occasions only just breaking the surface.

August 2009. Bedfordshire.

With an hour to spare I took to the garden to get some macro images. There were plenty of hoverfly species about to try on. And shown below is a real weird one, only a few millimetres in size I hadn't seen one of these before, mind you its easily missed.
There were quite a few 7 spot ladybirds about, part of the huge invasion that's been happening recently.

Willington, Bedfordshire. August 2009.

I spent a couple of hours at Willington, first thing, getting back into the swing of things after a lengthy lay off. A few common terns present and a few green sandpipers.
There were quite a few young goldfinches around and what seemed to be good numbers of green woodpecker. Plenty of butterflies everywhere and on the way back to the car at least 2 young wrens clambering around waiting for the parents to feed them.