In and around Letcombe Regis – March/April 2015

I have been rather busy recently and hence the delay in getting another of these put together. The weather improved as we moved to spring and so I am able to take the camera out more. The mornings get lighter and the evenings darker and the wildlife are busy setting about spring time activities.

Wild Deer

March and April were both good months for spotting the local wild deer. The are easily spooked so always a challenge to get a shot before they see either the dogs or myself and then I have the dilemma depending on how close they are as to whether I think I should grab the dogs in case they think about chasing (which they have never done yet) or get the image!

These deer were in the fields beyond Letcombe Regis. A young stag in the middle.

digital photographer_0045These deer were near the Ridgeway near Letcombe Regis.

digital photographer_0048These images were taken on a walk on the outskirts of Hendred.

digital photographer_0046 digital photographer_0047This herd was seen on a walk on the Ridgeway near Letcombe Regis.  A lovely group of young stags! It was a shame the rape was not in full bloom!

digital photographer_0052I spotted this single deer near Letcombe Regis… those living locally may recognise the landscape.

digital photographer_0051Birds of Prey

Not a very exciting collection of images but I am always in awe of any Bird of Prey and could watch them for hours. These kites were taken around Letcombe Regis.

digital photographer_0039Kestrels are very shy little birds so I am always please if I mange to get some images. This one was hiding in the blossom on the way into the Nature reserve, Letcombe Regis.

digital photographer_0042This one was on the road to Letcombe Basset near College Farm…

Digital Photographer_0040 digital photographer_0041Occasionally I see Kestrels around the recreation ground in Letcombe Regis, but they are quick to fly off when you see them.  This one was in one of the trees near the football pitch.

digital photographer_0057This one was perched on the Cricket Sight screen on the recreation ground.

digital photographer_0058This next picture was a rare caputure I have never seen one on the ground before looking for carrion. Taken by the Cricket Pitch on the recreation ground.

digital photographer_0064Other Birds

There always a lot of Canada Geese around the village. Sadly I have not seen any goslings this year. Taken behind the Recreation Ground.

digital photographer_0063Taken at the pond on the Deer Farm.

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Robins, again very shy birds but so beautiful and such lovely calls. Both images taken near the deer farm.

digital photographer_0055 digital photographer_0056I see Yellow Hammers every year but this year I have not seen so many and they take flight quickly when they see you coming. Such a colourful bird.

digital photographer_0053Thurshes are again very shy birds but also very graceful… this was taken on the recreation ground.

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Game Birds

Partridges, lovely beautiful birds, very good at hiding and very shy….

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The Solar Eclipse 2015

A major event for March… images taken from my garden.

digital photographer_0043Letcombe Village

St Andrews Church in Letcombe Regis had a new roof and looked very smart this spring with the Daffodils.

digital photographer_0065Deer Farm

Coming out of Winter and looking a bit scruffy with mud covered winter coats. I always look forward to the arrival of the newborn calfs.

digital photographer_0050Thank you for reading my post. Some of my images are available on Postcards or Greeting cards at the Richmond Homes, village shop and tea rooms. Thank you for reading my post.  www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk

In and Around Letcombe Regis – Jan/Feb 2015

If this is the first time you have seen the In and Around Letcombe Regis blog then welcome. I am always out and about with the dogs and mostly have the camera with me and so I decided to document my findings for others to see.

The Winter months are always quieter on the Wildlife front for me. Mainly because the weather is usually bad and I only take the camera out when it is dry.

Birds of Prey

The Red Kites are always about and its nice to catch them soaring around on a nice sunny day.

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This next image was taken on the foot path by Blandys Farm.

Red KiteThere are also quite a few Buzzards in the area but they are a little quicker off the mark to fly away when they are spotted. Especially as I always have my two dogs with me. This was one I spotted up on the Ridegeway. He wasn’t going to hang around for long once he saw me.

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Kestrels can also been seen hovering above the long grass hunting or sitting in bushes. This one image was taken at Wooley they are hard to get close to so these are usually taken on full zoom on my lens and they cropped in to. This bird was taken at Woolley. I don’t think I have ever walked over here and not seen one or two.

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Short Eared Owls

I got a tip off that some Short Eared Owls had been seen up on the Ridgeway so as you can imagine I couldn’t resist going to have a look for myself. I went up several times. The first time I was very lucky and they were flying up and down the gallops but were quite some distance away.

Short-eared owls are medium sized owls with mottled brown bodies, pale under-wings and yellow eyes. They are commonly seen hunting during the day. In winter, there is an influx of continental birds (from Scandinavia, Russia, Iceland) to northern, eastern, and parts of central southern England, especially around the coast. They are of European conservation concern and so are an Amber List species. Click anywhere on text to be taken to RSPB Website with further information.

Summer dogs_0051I could watch these birds all day. The image above was taken around 3pm in the afternoon as these Owls will hunt during the day.  Disappointed that I did not manage to get very closer shots I went out a few days later and managed to get some lovely images of the birds in flight.Summer dogs_0064

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They become a little bit of an addiction so I would walk the Ridgeway regularly. Some days they can be seen others not a sign. It’s always nice to be able to capture them in different surrounding and on this particular day I got some of them flying low in over the long grasses.

Summer dogs_0053 Summer dogs_0052My last sighting of them for this winter was on a lovely sunny day.

Summer dogs_0059Summer dogs_0065Local Deer – A slightly nicer winter for our Local Deer, the ground not so went and not too much snow. They were looking really well. Sadly no photos of any wild deer for this period.

Summer dogs_0050Little Egret

It is alway so nice to see the return of this lovely bird to the village and most often spotted by me either at the pond on the farm, the nature reserve or the Cress Beds, this year there were 3 hanging around. They are very shy so stealth mode is always required to get close enough.

Fishing on the Nature Reserve

Summer dogs_0044In flight on the nature reserve, usually because either the dogs or I have been spotted.

Summer dogs_0043Heron

The top image is the Heron making a quick get away and the bottom one was taken on the side of Richmond Lake.Summer dogs_0045Other birds

Jackdaws and Crows, there are certainly a lot of them around the village. These two had found a meal.

Summer dogs_0061Thrush – such a lovely bird but very shy. I often see one on the recreation ground by rarely get close enough to photograph it. This day I was lucky. Such a beautiful bird.Summer dogs_0060Thank you for reading my blog post and I hope you have enjoyed the images.

In and around Letcombe Regis

There is not usually a day where I go out with the dogs and don’t take the camera, generally if I don’t it is because the weather is not suitable. I amaze myself with what I see whilst out and about and even more so what I manage to capture on camera when I have two loose dogs with me. These days however, I may put my new pup on the lead to ensure that he doesn’t spot what I have and decide to take chase!

I decided that it would be nice to share the images that I take, I sometimes post on my facebook page but not everyone has or wants to do facebook so I thought a good way was to do it through my blog.

To start of I thought I would share some of my favorite images for 2014. A wet start to the year did not get me off to a good start.

Red Kite

Everyone can see these beautiful birds of prey flying around but I never tire of them. I am a little more picky these days as to whether I can be bothered to point the camera, they have to be near enough to make it worth it. I generally take my Canon 7D with me and have my Canon 100-400L lens attached.

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Kestrel

Kestrels can often be seen in the area, hovering or sitting watching the long grass for prey. This shot was taken down by the recreation ground in Letcombe Regis.

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Buzzard

There are quite a few Buzzards around the area. I often see them around the deer farm and by the chalk pits and more recently in the Nature reserve.  This particular shot was taken in the Letcombe Nature reserve. Well hidden in the trees.

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Mr Fox 

Run, Run as fast as you can….

I did not see Mr Fox around as much as I previously have done in 2014. There is a very big dog fox that lurks around this area I have had quite close encounters with him but often busy getting dogs down before taking a shot and missing the opportunity or they run the minute I raise the camera to take my shot in which case I get the tail end, which is what happened here. So I added a little figure to make it a little more fun!

Heron

Heron

I expect quite a few of you have seen the Heron, he hangs out in various places. He likes to bask in the sun on the fields between the Letcombes, loves the cress beds and the nature reserve and Richmond lake. I have also seen him by brook next to the village green and have captured him a few times by the water hole at Blandys.

This one was taken early morning on the nature reserve.

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This one was en early morning at Blandys.

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Out in the open between the Letcombes.

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Little Egret

Another frequent visitor to Letcombe is the Little Egret, this bird frequents the village every year and hangs around most of the places that the Heron does. They are even more shy than the Heron. This image was taken down by the recreation ground.

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Local Deer

Something I look forward to every year is the fawns!  Have been privileged to witness several births, all out of luck rather than judgement, but always a special time.  I love this first image, with a fawn only a just born and the bunnies having a race around them. Rather like a scene from Bambi! The second image shows how quickly the fawns grow, taken later on in the year.

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Little Birds

Well there are plenty of them around but they are small and not so easy to capture. My favorite small bird is the Wren, very shy so difficult to photograph but also so sweet. Both these images were taken along the new foot path running along side the Blandys fields.

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Rabbits

There are a lot of rabbits about, and they are maybe not the most interesting of the wildlife around but sometimes the light is just right or they are doing something a little different that I can’t resist taking the images.

This image was taken in the long grass up by the Chalk Pits above Letcombe Regis early one morning.

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Sometimes they are just comical and in the next image it looks like they are having a little chat about life… I wonder what it is like to be in a rabbits world?  This image was taken in the corn field next to the Chalk pits.

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Wild Deer

There are quite a few different herds of wild deer around not to mention numerous Muntjac deer. The Muntjac are more tricky to photograph, they are very very shy, smaller and quick!  This next image was taken by the Chalk pits in Letcombe Regis. A lone stag. He stopped, looked at me and the dogs for a while and decided it would be best to take a run for it. (They always do!)  I was quick on the draw this time and got some lovely in flight images.

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I often venture a little further a field for my walks and go to the Hendreds, there are fallow deer here which I often see and was lucky enough to get this one jumping out of a wooded area into the corn field. You can see that it has another deer running just behind it.

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Hares

I love Hares, I could watch them for hours, and 2014 was a good year. All the images taken were taken locally but I would prefer to not to say where as Hare coursing although illegal is still a sport for some.

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This image was selected by the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers as a finalist in the Nature Category for Photography of the Year. It was taken early one morning. Sadly I did not win but made it to the top three in this category.

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I got my first sighting of a young hare last year. So sweet watching him interact with its mother. I hope he managed to make it to adult hood.

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A few odds and end to finish up with. I invested in a Macro lens in 2014 so had a little play with it. The bug is an oil beetle which was taken in my garden. The Dragon Fly was taken at the lake at Baulking. The Poppy was taken on my normal camera down at the recreation ground in Letcombe Regis.

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I hope you have enjoyed the images and a little look around the local area. Many thanks for taking the time to read this post.

SWPP – Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers – Two Highly Commended Images

Each month many photographers enter SWPP monthly image competition trying to achieve a Gold Award. I try and participate as often as I can. This time round I got two Highly Commended given to two images.

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In the Pet Portrait category I entered this one of Dylan. The expression is key in this one.

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This image of the Stag roaring was entered into the Nature section. It was taken at the Deer Farm at Letcombe Regis.