Nature notes: this week’s nature and wildlife photography, 28 June 2020

Highlights this week include reed buntings, lesser whitethroats, a contemplative brown hare, and the moorhen chicks.

It’s midsummer, and in an average year my photographic mojo hits rock bottom at around this point. Finding decent light for landscape photography involves ridiculously early starts, so I usually don’t bother – or, to put it another way, by the time I manage to drag myself out of bed at six o’clock it already feels like mid-morning. But this year I’ve found a different focus for my photography, and to my surprise there has been no dip in my enthusiasm.

This week I haven’t been seeing as many of the great tit and blue tit fledglings, although I’ve heard them from time to time, chirping from the hedgerows. I think they’re getting more independent, and therefore more keen to hide from human onlookers. It has, however, been a great week for the whitethroats. I’ve captured a couple of images of male common whitethroats I rather like, and I’ve observed several pairs of lesser whitethroats, which for some reason have suddenly become far more vocal than in recent weeks. The sedge warblers are also very active at the moment, although they’re more difficult to observe as they flit through the dense undergrowth.

The reed bunting pair have showed up on several mornings too and I’ve been watching them gather food – perhaps for a second brood of chicks.

I saw the moorhen chicks once this week. That’s right – chicks plural! Last week I only spotted one of them, but on Monday morning I saw three at the same time, pottering about and pecking at food in the water.

The week’s most special encounter was undoubtedly the brown hare that I saw on Friday morning. I’d seen several hares in this area before, but none so close. It was sitting in the middle of the road, preoccupied by something happening in the next field. As I crept closer, I soon found out what that something was. A kestrel and a buzzard were skirmishing, circling warily around each other and occasionally diving in to flap and squawk (in the end, the kestrel gave up and flew away). While the hare’s attention was occupied, I managed to capture a few images.

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All images © Alex Roddie. All Rights Reserved. Please don’t reproduce these images without permission.

By Alex Roddie

Award-winning outdoor and nature writer, editor, author, and photographer.

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