A Spring walk with my camera

It’s a beautiful morning and I’ve come to the wood to collect the memory card from the trail camera. I park at the south-east corner of the wood. As I enter, barely twelve steps in, I see a tiny bird that I take to be a wren. When I get my glasses on it I see it’s actually a goldcrest. That’s a good start! It flits around restlessly defeating all attempts to get my camera focussed on it. I eventually give up. A blackbird clatters away; a robin sings away but I can’t see it. Blue and great tits move around high up in the trees. I wait. The blackbird eventually returns and lands in the ivy on a nearby tree. It keeps flying out of the ivy, hovers and darts back in at a different point. It’s feeding but it’s not clear what on. I watch for a while then move on.

I walk down the southern ride. I can hear great spotted woodpeckers drumming on boths sides of the path, staking out their territories. A green woodpecker’s laughing call comes from the left, it’s probably on the field edge. As I walk down the ride, wrens fly up and away over the brambles at various points. I near the pond and flush a great spotted woodpecker which flies past me and onto a nearby tree on the other side of the ride. It taunts me with a really good view, but I’m too slow with the camera and it’s gone.

I enter the wood heading for the trail camera; in front of me a bird lands on the trunk of a tree – it’s a nuthatch. I get my camera on it but it’s not being co-operative; it keeps hopping out of sight around the other side of the tree. I perservere, and eventually get some shots. probably won’t be too good as it’s a bit far away.

I continue into the wood. There’s a dunnock in the brush near the pond. Then I see a yellow butterfly flitting around – it’s a brimstone (I’ll see a lot more by the time the walk’s over). I don’t know if it’s early to see them. I hope they’ve not been brought out prematurely by the warm sunshine. As I stand there, a great spotted woodpecker flies into the top of a tree not too far away. I creep towards it and eventually get a photo but it’s really too far away.

I continue through the wood towards the next ride. I hear robins, great tits and chaffinches but don’t see them. I do see more than one pair of blue tits though. This next ride is now good and wide, and is one part of the wood that is already looking better than it was originally. A few brimstone butterflies are taking advantage of the improved woodland edge. I eventually get a picture but it’s not worth the pixels it’s recorded on.

I slowly return to the car, enjoying the bird sounds and the sunshine. As I enter the trees on the path back to the parking bay, a bird lands up in a nearby tree. I think it’s a nuthatch, but when I get the glasses on it I see it’s a treecreeper. An end of walk bonus! It’s co-operative, and I get a reasonable photo.

I return to the car satisfied. That was a hour well spent. Now to see what’s on that memory card…

3 thoughts on “A Spring walk with my camera”

  1. Wonderful! And great – inspiring – photographs, too (whatever you say about their quality!). Would have made a great Guardian ‘Country Diary’ column. Thank you for making my day!

  2. Thank you Chris for sharing that wonderful time in Oakley wood. Your experienced eyes and ears give us great encouragement to spend time and wait patiently for wonderful experiences.

    Liz Sheehan.

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