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

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National Wildlife Trust

I recently entered the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trusts, its always hard to know what to enter in an open competition but I had taken this image on the nature reserve in Letcombe Regis recently. It took several attempts to get the bird in flight coming out of the nest box, they are very small to focus on and extremely fast. So nice to see the boxes in use.

Oxford Festival of Nature Wildlife Photo Competition

I was very pleased to receive an email earlier in the week stating that I had gained 2nd place in the Wildlife Category.

The images will be displayed at the Wild Fair at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History on the 13th June,

Summer dogs_0131Thank you for taking the time to read my post. www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk

Nominated for The Societies’ Photographer of the Year 2014

This week I got great news that one of my Nature images, that gained a Gold Award with the Societies in July this year has been shortlisted for The Societies’ Photographer of the Year 2014. The Societies is Europe’s largest all-welcome association for the serious photographer.

I am thrilled to have been shortlisted for the award this year. We are blessed in and around Letcombe Regis to have wonderful  countryside and an abundance of wildlife. My nominated image of the Hare won a Gold Award in the Societies Monthly competition earlier in the year and was taken in Letcombe Regis early one morning in June this year.

I will be competing for the prestigious award of “Nature Photographer of the Year” and The Societies’ “Photographer of the Year,” with the winner being revealed at The Societies’ 2015 Convention Awards Dinner held on 17 January 2015 in London.

Please check out  www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk.

Red Kites

Birds of Prey are a real passion of mine and I am lucky to live in an area where there are plenty of Red Kites and Buzzards so get the opportunity to photograph them on a regular basis.  All the images in the post were taken in or around Letcombe Regis, Wantage, Oxfordshire.

The red kite disappeared from England and Scotland at the end of the nineteenth century.

Red Kite

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In 1989, the Nature Conservancy Council (now known in England as ‘Natural England’) and the RSPB launched a project to reintroduce the red kite back into England and Scotland.
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Chicks were brought over from Spain under strict regulations and reintroduced into the Chilterns. The first successful breeding in the UK was noted in 1992 and since then numbers have increased to approximately 400-500 breeding pairs.

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Kites are still actively monitored

Red Kite

Red Kites can often be seen being chased by crows. This image gained a Silver Award with the SWPP.

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Some Red Kite Chicks were fitted with wing tags and ringed they contain a unique identification number and colour coding which identifies where the chick was released and when. If I see a tagged bird I report it and often get sent the details back. This bird White/Blue 69 was one of a brood of three nestlings tagged at Park Wood near Oundle, Northants in June 2010.  It had also been recorded in a pre roost gathering at Fermyn Hall Park 7th October 2010.

Tagged Red Kite

The kite will adapt its diet according to local conditions – it is an opportunistic feeder and a scavenger – feeding mainly on carrion.  They can often be spotted in fields hunting. Here are two kites in a stubble field searching for Carrion.

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Kites are often seen chasing each other and flying in unison. This often takes place between pairs bonding, although sometimes there seems to be no particular reason for this, except for ‘play’ which may improve flying skills.

Red Kites Playing

The wing span of the Red Kite is between 5-5.5 Ft

Red Kite

Thank you for reading my post. http://www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk.