Sunday, 31 March 2013

Biss Meadows

Having moved fairly recently into Trowbridge I have been desperate to explore my new surroundings and find the best wildlife spotting places. Sadly because of an over-long winter this exploration has been long over due. But finally, on a fresh, blue-sky Good Friday I went off to Biss Meadow just a 10 minute walk from my flat. It's amazing to think of this place so close to the town, in fact part of the meadow walk is right next to the Tesco car park but you wouldn't know it. All you can hear are the birds and the river rushing over the rocks and of course kids and dogs as it was a holiday.

This little guy was the first bird I was able to capture. Because I only use a 250mm lens I have had to crop into most of the bird photos and sharpen them up on the computer. But I think they've come out pretty well considering. I just wish I had a 300mm or 400mm telephoto lens for this sort of thing! Oh yes, you might want to know the bird's name: he is a Long-Tailed Tit

Well even if the weather hasn't quite clicked to it being spring at least the trees have.

These are apparently pussy willow, also blooming despite the cold. I wonder if they're called pussy willow because of the "fur"?!

The Biss River, a tributary of the Avon, that runs through Trowbridge, still looking a little cold and wintery...

A bird I have tried countless times to capture on camera but he's always too fast for me and my autofocus! So finally here he is, the beautiful kingfisher. Again the photos are cropped into so the quality isn't too good but it's better than I expected!

Debris from the recent flooding, I think...

Looks like this football has been placed in a nest...

It was a beautiful clear slightly-warmer-than-usual morning but by 3pm the clouds were rolling in and the wind was tipped with ice!

But the sky still broke through the clouds...

More pussy willow

The sun!

This is the first time I've managed to capture the sun's rays shining through the clouds.

Although the quality of this photo is not good I just love it because the Great Tit stands out beautifully. I couldn't get any closer to him because of the marshy land!

Told you pussy willow was photogenic! :D

I had to look up this little guy in my bird book. From the little black stripe across his eye I was able to rule him out as a wren or a nightingale (sadly!). He is in fact a Willow Warbler (I think!). See his forked tail? Although it is very possible that this is in fact a rarer Radde's Warbler. The eye-stripes are more distinct that the willow warbler's and I think he's a bit more "plump-bodied" as the bird book says. The yellow on his belly is also more distinct! Any comments would be most helpful

I spotted this little guy on my way back along the opposite bank of the river (I was hoping the kingfisher would be about so I could get a clear shot!). This is the wren. I have heard them so many times but before yesterday I don't think I'd actually seen one. Of course I didn't know it was a wren until I looked it up in my book while editing the photos.

Is he hiding from me!?

Well that's just rude. First he hides, then he turns his back on me and sticks his tail in the air! Well the tail was the identifying feature that confirmed to me that he was a wren, so thank you little wren for turning your back on me...


And then this little guy was swimming in the river under a bridge. I didn't get a decent shot of him under the bridge due to low light issues.

So all in all a good, productive photography trip and it didn't even take that long to get to! When the weather finally warms up and the flowers decide to make an appearance with the bees and all the summer insects, I'll definitely be returning to Biss Meadow.

If you would like more information on Biss Meadow click here

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