Tuesday, 30 July 2019


After an early morning visit to Sainsbury's on Monday and seeing the weather would be the last decent day for a while I went the short trip to the NT property at Baddesley Clinton again.

I can get the grounds to myself if I get there early and I did that morning in very pleasant weather.The inner courtyard of the house which has been great getting close to some Swallows was very quiet and they could only be seen high in the sky.

Lots of Nuthatches were calling but they were all high up in the trees so no shots.The first bit of action was when I caught up with two young Goldcrests with which I had the usual battle to get some shots. No keepers but great fun and lots of swearing as they kept hopping around. These are the only shots I managed. 

It was a good job I found the pair of Spotted Flycatchers in Abbey Fields because for the first time in many years none nested in the grounds here.

The only other shots I managed before the visitors started wandering around were of a young and friendly Grey Wagtail.

Friday, 26 July 2019


In order to avoid the worst of the heat I set off pretty early in the morning to the churchyard in Abbey Fields Kenilworth hoping that the Spotted Flycather chicks had not fledged yet.

I checked out the nest first and was pleased to see that the chicks were still there and being fed by the parents.

Also in the same location were some very active Swifts (I reckon 20+) so I thought right I'll get some shots.Half an hour later after a lot of swearing I gave up far too fast for me these days and not a single shot that looked like a Swift. Great to watch though specially when they come close.

It was a bit cloudy so when I turned my attention to getting some more shots of the Spotted Flycatchers I was not too confident of getting any decent ones.However  I was yet again reminded that bright sunshine is not necessarily the best condition for getting decent shots and I managed some pretty good ones.

On two occasions I watched both parents teaming up trying to catch a butterfly.Some great flying and wonderful to watch so close. 

Also went to Baddesley Clinton NT  property but it was far too hot to stay long.Did have time though to check on the Swallows that nest on the main house.The only pair that turned up this year have bred very well and there are at least 8 birds flying around now.Here are some shots of the youngsters. 

Sunday, 21 July 2019


Went to Kenilworth again this morning to see the Spotted Flycatchers I found there early last week.Got there pretty early to try and avoid the 8.00 AM Eucharist in the church.

It's great when you get to the spot you expect to find the birds and there they are. In this case both parents were catching flies from perches on the gravestones.I was a bit worried the chicks had fledged because then they are much harder to find.

Managed a few shots before the park got too busy. 

Here is a distant and heavily cropped shot of one of the parents feeding the young.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019


After completing some household chores this morning I was feeling pretty grotty but as it looked being very nice weather  I forced my aching body and into the car and set off to another spot where I found some Spotted Flycatchers last year. 

When I got to the place I didn't head to where I saw them last year but was distracted by at least a dozen Swifts (my first of the year) whizzing round some houses in a completely different part. I then spent quite a while trying to get shots of the Swifts.So how did I do then ? Terrible is the answer.They are difficult to shoot when you are young so for an old goat no chance. Here are my least bad shots. 

The Swifts had the habit of disappearing every so often so I took the chance of checking out a little bird that had been hopping about on a bit of flat roof.Rattled of a distant quick shot and look what it was : A Spotted Flycatcher. No way would I have looked there when searching for one I could not believe my luck.

The Swifts were forgotten and |I devoted my attention to the Spotted Flycatchers one of my favourite birds.Got some decent shots.


After a visit to Sainsbury's on Monday morning I again went over to the NT property at Baddesley Clinton.The main reason was for yet again trying to find some Spotted Flycatchers (They have nested there for many years now) but I'm afraid I failed once more.Beginning to think for the first time for many years I was going to miss out on seeing any.

Did manage to get some decent shots of a Grey Wagtail though.

The Goldcrests weren't playing ball and did not show at all. The two Swallows were zipping around the main house as usual.I found out that  they have bred successfully because I found their nest the location of which could not have been in a busier spot where all the visitors to the property pass within a few feet.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019


Did a bit better this week on getting some shots mainly in the grounds of Baddesley Clinton NT.

Spotted this Pied Wagtail on the house main roof searching for nest material.

Failed yet again to find any Spotted Flycatchers at the spot they have nested for many years in the grounds of the NT property so I am worried now as I should have found them by now.Went after shots of a Goldcrest again and did OK but as usual it was real battle.Great fun though.

Did spot this butterfly which I think is a Marbled White.

Bet not many photographers have taken a shot of a Robin perched on the head of a Lion.

Another shot of the same Robin which was taken through some double glazing as it perched on a garden seat.