I spent Sunday morning at New Fancy View in the Forest of Dean, watching goshawks – it’s one of the best places in the country to see these large and comparatively rare hawks. As I was leaving, I was distracted by a lizard (see below), but after it skittered off, I decided to snap the other birders as they watched one of the goshawks… and as they pointed and watched avidly, I thought – hang on, I’d better check this one out – and put the camera down just in time to watch a goshawk cruise and wheel overhead, by far the closest and most spectacular view of the morning. Such are the vagaries of watching wildlife!
The lizard was an added bonus – a first for me, I think, and a very obliging one at that. I discovered later that this one had shed its tail (as can just be seen in the photo) so it must have had a narrow escape recently.
Last Sunday, in honour of Mothering Sunday, I took my mother to see a notable display of wild daffodils, at a wood just outside Newent. It’s easy to take daffodil displays for granted, given how widely they are planted by town councils wanting to prettify their towns – but these are genuinely wild ones.
A few weeks ago, I went down to Slimbridge, ignoring the weather forecast, and thinking that bright sunshine at 9 must mean a good day ahead. Two hours later I realised I could not have been much more wrong, as the rain poured down. “Well,” I thought, “there’s nothing for it but to photograph the pintails”. These handsome ducks are quite common in winter around here, but I hardly ever saw them up in the north east, so I’ve become more alert to them since returning south. As it happens the subdued light of a cloudy and rainy day gave great conditions for photographing the ducks – plus which they swam close to the hide where I was located.