The best laid plans of mice and men! I know I said I was going to try and improve my blogging timescale but unfortunately, (or fortunately) I have had more pressing duties.
However, having said that lots of good stuff has happened in the past couple of months. One of which was me actually getting down to my local Nature Reserve (Magor Marsh) at 5.30 am twice! It has been quite a while since I was able to get out at that time of day, and the light at that time is just so wonderful and unique. It was so quiet, I was the only one there (or so it seemed) and all you could hear was the waking of nature. That is until the the US Presidential Air Corp moved in. Suddenly it was like I was a war photographer in Viet Nam! The noise those low flying helicopters make is considerable to say the least. Of course they were all in town for the NATO Conference which was happening in Newport (Wales) during July 2014, and is about 5 miles from the reserve. But they were soon gone and it was back to just me and a warm glowing ‘Pink’ sky.
Saw lots of Dragon and Damselflies about and of course the great Kingfisher which I have posted at the top of the page. I just dropped by the Bird Hide for a few minutes, I was there no longer than 5 minutes when the beautiful bird landed on a perch, I managed two quick shots and he was gone as quick as he had arrived. I guess he was there no longer than 2 seconds!
I continued my walk along the stretch of reen (Welsh for drainage ditch) where I saw more Odonata hunting and looking for mates. I also saw a Bird box (there are many on the reserve for obvious reasons) but this one look abandoned which would have been just about right for the time of year. But then I saw a wasp fly into the box and back out again, I watched this activity for about 5 minutes and then raised the camera, zoomed right tight into the entrance hole and gave the box a very gentle tap with my mono pod that I was using as a walking aid. A wasp immediately flew out, I missed the shot and it flew straight at me and stung me just under the left eye! It serves me right, and it was his way of saying clear off! It could have been a lot worse, but he just gave me a slight sting then retreated back into the bird box .
But all in all a gorgeous morning and one I shall look forward to repeating as often as I am able.
Since my last post I have also become a member and contributor to the Monmouthsire Butterfly and Moth Conservation. Basically I record the butterflies and moths I spot during the month and pass them on to the Monmouthshire Recorder Dr Martin Anthony. He has been a tremendous help to me and very patient in helping me to identify the Lepidoptera.
As a member of the GWT I was kindly invited to the Annual General meeting. It was nice to meet up with likeminded people who basically all have the same interest at heart, that of wildlife conservation and protection.
During the evening the prizes were presented to the winners of the GWT 2014 Photographic Competition. Unfortunately, due to holidays and other time pressures a number of the winners were unable to attend. Having said that however, the overall winner Gavin Vella was able to attend and he was presented with his prise by GWT President Mr Roger James.
There was one other winner who attended and that was Ieuan Rose. Ieuan won the runner up prize in the under 16’s with a fabulous photo of two Azure Damseflies in cop. I know a number of older photographers who would have been very happy with that pic! The next generation of Wildlife Photographers perhaps?
Just two more mentions I would like to make about GWT before moving on, is the appointment of a new CEO Ian Rappel and the Chairman Richard Waller. Along with all GWT members may I wish them a very successful year and more to come.