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Stover Country Park

Robin at Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

When Robin and Blackbird meet

Within bird species there’s a strict pecking order. It’s played out in battles over territory, food and mates. Robins are some of …

Stock Dove at Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Stock Dove

Slowly, very slowly, I’m getting closer to a decent photograph of a Stock Dove. I need to get closer. I need to …

Blackbird at Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Black Blackbird bird

I love how scaly male Blackbirds look in the sunshine. This one has a few white feathers. It’s leucistic to a tiny …

Robin at Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Sorrowful Robin

Robins are quite different from the common public perception. Here’s one with an injury after a rival had drawn blood. The poor …

Beech leaves - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Beeches on the turn

Trees have hormones just like people. As the length of days shorten, so leaves produce less of a hormone called auxin. That …

Carrion Crow - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Carrion Carry On

There’s a Carrion Crown on the handrail of the small bridge across the canal. It’s a dark, iridescent blue against the dense …

Coot - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Calling Coots

The Coots at Stover Country Park are busy. I can see their nest in the bushes, barely above the water level. They …

Blue Tit - RSPB Lodmoor - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Checking for Sparrowhawks

The life of a Blue Tit is short and full of peril. Their average lifespan is between two and three years. The …

Mandarin Duck - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Mandarin

The RSPB say there are 2,300 breeding pairs of Aix galericulata, the Mandarin Duck, in the UK. I’m very glad about that. …

Blue Tit at Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Acrobats

This doesn’t look like a finely tuned athlete to me: There’s nothing to give you the impression of suppleness or strength or …

Blackbird at Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Brown Blackbird

Blackbirds are stunningly attractive. The plumage of the females is exceptional. It’s so subtle. Unlike the males. The males are definitely dressed …

Spring at Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Spring

Early in the morning the light is a cool blue There are signs of spring everywhere: The light warms to an amber …

Mallard at Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Purple flash

This female Mallard duck is showing a very distinctive wing patch. It’s called a speculum. No, not that kind of speculum, it’s …

Nuthatch at Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Nuthatch

Nuthatches rarely find huge quantities of food in the wild. It’s only when they find a treasure-trove of fabulous food left by …

Blue Tit - Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

A Blue Tit master of chiaroscuro

Bird photography is all about closeness and light. Sometimes the two arrive together and provide the perfect combination. This Blue Tit shows …

Robin - Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Marilyn

It’s not 1am. It’s not New York. It’s not 1954. I’m not Billy Wilder. There aren’t 100 male photographers here. There aren’t …

Marsh Tit - Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Marsh Tits

I usually only get to glimpse Marsh Tits. They are small, quick, beautiful and elusive. Unlike other Tits they seem to be …

Long Tailed Bushtit - Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Travelling family

There’s a Long-Tailed Bushtit family moving through. I can hear them calling their strange ‘Zeee’ contact call overhead. Aren’t they fabulous? Everyone …

Common Buzzard - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Buzz #2

I’m still admiring the Stover Country Park Buzzard. It’s a glorious bird and seems oblivious to the crowd of people on the …