Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Saturday, 4 April 2009

A trip to Sandy

The RSPB Headquarters, Sandy. I never seem to see loads of different birds here, but it’s just somewhere I love to go. Only trouble is, I always seem to spend a fortune in the shop, and today was no exception. Oh well, you can’t take it with you……

But, to the birds…..

As I pulled into the car park on a cloudy, dull morning two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were enjoying the nuts in the feeders outside the shop. I parked up, grabbed my camera, and raced back. Gone! 'Good start', I thought.

There were a few Goldfinches helping themselves to the seed in the feeders, and a Greenfinch waiting his turn. I grabbed a shot of him, and a Nuthatch singing in the nearby tree; but as you can see, it wasn’t a particularly good morning light wise, for pictures.

I pressed on to the hide, just down the road. It was early, so I had it to myself. The squirrels were raiding the nuts, and doing a good job of keeping the birds away.

But I managed to get a few shots

Blue Tit




A Chiffchaff made a quick appearance in the bushes, came down a bit for a quick picture, then left.

Yea, not good I know. You can just about make him out. He’s the speck in the middle of all that lot.

I wandered off to the ‘Heath’ area, and the sun began to greet me as I made my way down the path. There’s a couple of small ponds along the way, so I stopped off to see what was about. Joy! Newts! I haven’t seen any newts in years, and here was a herd of them swimming around in one of the ponds. I took loads of pictures, but here’s just one,

I carried on towards the gardens at the Lodge, the headquarters of the RSPB. Last time I was here I caught a fleeting glimpse of a Kingfisher flying over the pond scrutinising the fish; but not today. Jackdaws were flying around, a few Brimstone Butterflies; but unusually quiet. The flowers were all blooming nicely though; Rhododendrons looking special, and Daffodils making a colourful carpet.

It won’t be long before the Bluebells add their dash of colour to the pallet.

I turned back to the ‘Quarry’ trail; up and down the steps, thoughtfully made for the visitors. All this fresh air and walking was beginning to take its toll, so I headed back towards the car, and stopped off again at the hide, for one last look. The squirrels had gone elsewhere, and left the birds to feast on the offerings.Then my personal favourite came running through the long grass to see what had dropped from the feeders. A beautiful female indeed.

Her mate, a stunningly handsome individual, quickly followed her

and they began enjoying the feast laid before them.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Pheasants; such beautiful birds.

When they’d had their fill, they quietly left……

and I did too.

An enjoyable day.

I'd like to say a BIG thank you to Tricia for helping me to sort this post out so that the pictures show larger when clicked. If it doesn't work, it's my fault; I've done it wrong :(


  1. Hi Keith - what a wonderful visit with a great selection of birds. Those pheasants are really strutting their stuff.

    Just glad to be of help and others in the past have helped me - that's what's so great about the blogging community.

    With three exceptions the pictures all enlarge. The first 2 pics, and the Chiffchaff pic don't enlarge. Nearly there though! :) I've had another idea - I'll send you an email.

  2. A good day out Keith. The male Pheasant is stunning - often overlooked but how could you not become engrossed by those colours.
    Have you checked out Roy's blog at
    http://fenlandwalker.blogspot.com/ - he was also at Sandy?

  3. Thanks Tricia, and your help. Nearly there :)
    Really got a soft spot for Pheasants. Used to have one that ate peanuts from my hand where I used to live. It was on a shooting estate, and he used to hide in my garden when they were shooting.

  4. Cheers Frank, they are stunning birds.
    I did see Roys blog earlier. What a coincidence that he was there also. I may have walked past him; and he was photographig the newts too. Small world as they say. :)

  5. Lovely, lovely photos, just beautiful! I feel a visit to Sandy coming on before too long, you have really whetted my appetite! Thank you I really enjoyed sharing your day.

  6. Sandy looks a great place to visit. Lovely photos of birds in natural settings. The Newt shot came of really well - not easy when things are underwater.

  7. What a wonderful outing you had and you got some awesome shots!..I love them all, the pheasant wins the prize for stunning color! I have seen only one in the wilds and he was a very lucky escapee, probably quite lonely too, in Brooklyn NY.

  8. Thank you ShySongbird. It really is worth a visit. I always enjoy it.

  9. Thanks John. They get some interesting birds there quite frequently, but I usually manage to miss them, although I did see the Waxwings when they were there a few months ago. A first for me, so very pleased. :)

  10. Thanks Dixxie. Beautiful colours on the Pheasant, stunning birds, especially when the sun catches them.

  11. Great shots, Keith. I used to post smaller photos to save space in my Google online album but when I see your enlarged photos, it makes such a difference!! The enlarged photos are great without being "too" large.

    By the way, daffodils are still green here, their flowers will be shown in a few days, and rhododendrons will bloom no sooner than in May... Spring is definitely more active in your neck of the woods. :-)

  12. A very nice Post Keith. Really good shots of the Siskin and the Pheas.

  13. Thanks Petra. Spring is certainly racing along here at the moment.

  14. Thanks Roy. The Pheasants are such photogenic birds I think.