Welcome to my birdwatching blog. This blog will contain stories about my bird watching trips, interesting bird news and other tales that may or may not be bird related. I want to make it useful to the avid birder as well as those who may only have a passing interest in bird watching. I enjoy photographing bird life, common and rare through a spotting scope, not that they always sit still long enough for me. Being on the outskirts of North East London, my reports will not only cover my local patch of Redbridge/Waltham Forest, but also dip into deepest Essex, Suffolk, Kent and Norfolk.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

When the birds take a back seat.

No, I can’t quite work it out.

This year has been a bit of an epiphany for me. Here I was aiming for a 200 count for my bird list of 2013 and with only 145 noted, I’m gaily jaunting around meadows ripping my legs to shreds shooting all manner of butterflies. dragonflies and moths until they’re coming out of my ears. Any bird that appears on the horizon is but a distraction – not that I’m missing much. The summer months are slow when it comes to birding; not that there aren’t great birding opportunities to be had. Plenty of waders are being seen, Two-barred Crossbills are turning up and sea-watching is starting to get interesting (oxymoron anyone?)

So a bit like when the football season ends my attention turns to cricket. It is slower, takes longer and requires a completely different mindset but underneath the rules and the whites, its a team sport and that”s all that matters. The same is true of birdwatching and the art of watching butterflies and dragonflies.

To be honest, I find birdwatching a little boring in the summer. It’s too hot with scope-crippling heat haze. Wildfowl are moulting, most other species go dead quite and well, thats enough. My sudden interest in Odonata and Lepidopterology, big words for such little fellows has come about because of others around me. The people I work with at the LVP are well versed in these areas and their enthusiasm and knowledge has rubbed off on me. Add to that the ability to take real close up shots of these fascinating creatures and suddenly, you have an exciting challenge on your hands.

Comma, Hadleigh Downs
Marbled White, Hadleigh Downs
Common Darter, Hadleigh Downs
Emperor Dragonfly, Hadleigh Downs
Peacock, Lee Valley Park
Red Admiral, Lee Valley Park
Common Blue Damselfly
Of course we are now staggering out of the heat of high summer and the early mornings have started to feel fresh with that distinct smell of autumn (I can’t explain this so don’t ask) This means my attention will soon turn back to the birds and this weekend, a long overdue trip to Kent with my mate Ed.

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