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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Sunday, 13 February 2011

Summer Leys

A couple of Wednesdays ago, I met up with Trevor, of Three Counties Herald. It promised to be a sunny day; but was still dark when we set off to our destination; Summer Leys, in Northamptonshire.

As we got to the car park, and grabbed our cameras, it was slowly getting light; and the sky was clear. Perfect.
We sat in the first hide, as it gradually got lighter, and watched a large flock of Lapwing flying around. They’d briefly settle, then take to the air again.
A Redshank wandered along the edge of the small island, a few Black-headed Gulls flew around, and plenty of Tufted Duck were out on the water. Amongst them, a couple of Goldeneye, and on the far bank, Trevor picked out a Little Egret, picking his way through the reeds.

We moved on to the next hide, but not much to see on the water from there, so we walked round to the far side, and the next hide. A Pied Wagtail was making his way along the waters edge, but very little else about.

At the side of the hide, someone has hung some fat balls and seed feeders in the trees, and these were attracting groups of Reed Buntings, Blue Tits, Great Tits and Chaffinch.

Further along the lake, a group of Teal were feeding close to the edge; and a few were jumping into the air, and then settling again.

Maybe some sort of courtship; not sure.

The next hide along, has a few bird feeders, and is also famous for its population of Tree Sparrows.

We weren’t disappointed. Plenty of Tree Sparrows, Greenfinch,

Blue Tits,

Robins, a few Mallards taking advantage of the spilt seed; and a brown rat too.

We walked around the rest of the lake, and it was such a change to see some sun. A circuit done, and we settled back in the first hide, for another look, at what was about.
A Wren made a brief appearance, in a shaft of sunlight,

and some Wigeon were swimming about in the sunlight.

I even managed some video of a couple of male Goldeneye, throwing their heads back, as they displayed to some females.

A great morning, in great company.


  1. Keith, as you know I miss your posts. I am amazed and delighted by your stills. Can't wait for you to get a pro video like John's. Why is it I can never get a decent bird shot. Yours and Bob's are always crystal clear. Trevor posted a Wren the other week, he can do it too. Oh Hum! I'll keep trying if you keep posting. I really love the Wren.. quick we blighters.

  2. Thanks Adrian. I should be back to some sort of normal, whatever that is, now my computer is back, and mended. Just the chore of putting everything back on it now.
    I'd love to get a video like John's; I'll have to keep saving lol
    That Wren was a lucky shot; they don't stay still for long, do they lol

  3. Great set of pictures and video from a most enjoyable day out Keith. Super Wren photo and Goldeneye display. A good day all round.

  4. Thanks Trevor. Yea, it was a great day wasn't it.

  5. Well ti is nice to go birding with a birding pal and to have a so nice sighting day. Beautiful pictures Keith. I especially like the teal set!

  6. Why do you put the brilliant one on this blog? These are the best I've seen. The Wigeons, the Tree Sparrow and Pied Wagtail are magnificent.

  7. Great visit thanks Keith :) Looks very nice there ! The Sparrow is beautiful - my fav :))

  8. Lovely shot of the Tree Sparrow Keith, I just dont see them.
    The Wren is great as well

  9. Thank you Chris. It's a great place to visit; always plenty to see there.

    Thank you Bob. Glad you enjoyed them.

    Pescalune, thank you. There's not many places over here where we can see the Tree Sparrow, but there are some good numbers at this place.

    Thank you for stopping by Adam, and leaving a comment.

    Thanks Roy. I have to travel a bit to see the Tree Sparrow. Such a lovely little bird.

  10. Hi, I am in full agreement with you, but this web site requires a postal code - I suspect british.... so I couldn't put my name on the petition.

  11. I always look forward to your posts with great anticipation, Keith, and you never disappoint. Beautiful images and interesting video.

  12. Thanks Ginger. There's certainly a lot of signatures at the moment.

    Linda, thank you. Glad you enjoyed them.

  13. Those Goldeneye males look very funny, Keith, throwing their heads back. Nevertheless, no doubt they would find our customs of impressing one another funny too! :-)
    It must have been a great outing.

  14. Beautiful images as usual. a really nice post.

  15. you know. I love all the birds of the universe and specially I love to see your pics, the are so excellent ! thank you, big hugh Kathrin

  16. Thank you Petra. The Goldeneye put on a great display to attract the females, I was pleased to see it, and capture it. Yea, I'm sure they'd find our customs strange lol

    Thanks Adam, glad you enjoyed it.

    Thank you Kathrin. Enjoy the rest of your evening :)

  17. What a rewarding day. Glad the computer is up and running. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River.

  18. Great collection as usual Keith. I love the Tree Sparrow...probably because I have never seen one ...well at least since I started Birdwatching. They are very scarce down the Southwest. Glad you have got things back to normal.

  19. ...it was a great trip! I loved the photo of the wren...the Tree Sparrow...and the Blue Tit, and the little mouse in the video was beyond cute!

  20. Another cracking set of images Keith, you can seee the difference the light makes in the last two shots

  21. Nice serie, always love your blue tits image ;)

  22. HI Keith ... looks like I am pulling up the rear here, been out since early this morning !!
    I really like the photo of the Wren so cute!!
    The Goldeneyes sure do put on quite the display
    nice going !!
    Hugs my friend!!

  23. Thank you Gary. A great day in the countryside, with great company. Can't beat it. :)

    Thanks Trevor. They are a lovely little bird, with their cheek patches. Computer is gradually getting there. So much to put back on it though lol

    Thanks Kelly. It's one of my favourite places to visit.

    Bob, the sun shone for us all day. It was so good to see.

    Thank you Dominic. They are such acrobatic little characters.

    Thank you grammie. Hope you enjoyed being out. :)
    The Goldeneyes are really entertaining to watch, when they display like that.

  24. I can see you had a good time there Keith and you took some lovely photos, so nice to see the Tree Sparrow, they used to be so much more common when I was little.

    I really enjoyed seeing the Goldeneyes displaying. I don't see them very often and have never seen that behaviour.

  25. Thanks Jan. It was a perfect day. :)

  26. What a great day. Your feathered friends were certainly happy to greet you and put on a fine display. Thanks for sharing them.

  27. Thanks Hilary, glad you enjoyed them.

  28. What a wonderful outing more fun with a friend right? You got some amazing action shots on the water and I love that little Tree Sparrow!

  29. Thanks Dixxe. The extra pair of eyes help :)
    We had a great time, and the weather was perfect.

  30. That was a wonderful series, thanks