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Displaying 1 - 20 of 2078

Several of these around ivy along the entrance path

Quite common on heath areas

Frequent around the car park

At their best in mid-summer

<p>Also found in our garden and encouraged to be so as it is popular with moths at night</p>

I was alerted to the birds presence by their typical, very high-pitched squeaking, high in a scots pine and as I tried to find a bird, one flew down to a lower branch right in front of me; unusually it kept still for a couple of seconds and I got my first sharp shot of a goldcrest after years of getting nothing but blurred wing-tips.
Not sure who was watching who but as we turned away from the pond, where we had been attempting to photograph water voles, there stood a sika stag as if to say, "I'm more interesting than voles!"
I had watched the tall grass on the roadside verge where I work for a couple of weeks and last years tall, dead stems of grass, hogweed or even a road sign were gradually being covered in chrysalis. I hadn't seen the caterpillars and had little idea what they were until 10th June, when 90% of them hatched before 9am. Amazingly, many mated as they emerged.
There were so many moths emerging it was difficult to know what to point the camera at next
I had been trying move closer to a perched buzzard, when a bird suddenly erupted from virtually under my feet and flew off in a wide arc very low over the heather. Despite getting only the slightest of glimpses and nearly giving my cardiologist some work, my best guess was a nightjar. I stood stock still and scanned the ground and there only 18 inches from my boots were two wonderful eggs. I took a quick photo a left the area.
Having seen the eggs the previous day, I returned to the same spot with my longest lens and took half a dozen pics of the adult bird (most likely the female) sitting on the eggs. I was so excited by the pictures I didn't even think of going back to take pictures of the chicks. Of course, I'm kicking myself now but still very pleased with what I got.
In this closer pic of the adult you can see that her eyes are open and she clearly knows of my presence but she also knows that if she opens her eyes wide, it will destroy her magnificent camouflage. Note the line of thick "whishers" around her bill.
Whilst looking for orchids I almost fell into this nest. The only reason I know it's a skylark's is because the adult bird made itself very plain by calling as it left the nest. I have no idea how many chicks are in the nest although I've read that it's usually  between 3 and 5. The site of a skylarks nest is so unusual I have included it despite the nest probably being 100 yards inside Wiltshire.
I have no idea why but every winter Chesil Beach between Ferry Bridge and Portland is packed full of skylarks. You become aware of them not because of their usual wonderful song from great height but because there are hoards of them scurrying amongst the pebbles and thrift. This pic shows off the skylarks small crest very well.
In this shot of the skylark, it's markings are clear although the small crest is down.
Despite being very common in the Winter months, I just adore dunlin. They are always on the go and are fantastic to watch on open water as they run back and fourth up and down the sand with the waves, as if they were children daring each other not to get their feet wet. Their rather dumpy appearance on the ground changes dramatically when they take off in any numbers; it's breathtaking as they fly fast and low in formation, swerving back and fourth like so many brown and white paper darts. Wonderful little birds but so annoyingly similar to so many other small waders, especially in the winter when all the summer plumage on all species has faded to so many shades of grey and brown.
As if the appearance of dunlin in Winter wasn't confusing enough you knew you could rely on their dumpy body shape to stay the same, right? Wrong; this is the same bird as in my other pic but it's now the tall elegant variety. I have no idea why it did this but it made me take a second look.
Very similar to a dunlin but not quite as active, a little more elegant looking and a slightly longer down-curved bill. This was a solitary bird feeding with a group of turnstone at the waters edge.