Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

** Thursday 11th July. Stodmarsh NNR.**

Expecting it to be a nice day I decided to give Stodmarsh NNR a visit. It wasn't a good start seeing as the temperature was only 15C when we arrived, in fact I needed to wear a fleece for a while. It was a good job I didn't need to use the toilets because they was taped of at both ends due to the fact that Tree Bee's(Bombus hypnorum) had decided to move in, ( SEE  PICTURE ). There are a couple of notices saying "If you want to you the toilets beware of bees". ( Unlike many of the more common domestic bumblebees, tree bumblebees have a distinctive light brown thorax (the middle segment of their body) while their abdomens are black with a white tip.
Queens, workers and males all have a black head, brown-ginger thorax, black abdomen with a white tail. The proportion of white on the tail does vary significantly but is always present. This species was first found in the UK in 2001, but is now found throughout most of England and Wales. It prefers to nest above ground, often inhabiting bird boxes)

After having a good look at them I made my way to the Reed Hide. Having the choice of any seat I wanted I opened the flaps and started scanning around. There wasn't many birds about, but even so I stayed quite a while, well you never know what might occur. Most of the bird species was in the small area of water in front of the hide, which consisted of G/C/Grebe, 2 Grey Herons of which 1 of them was dead

Teal, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Cormorant, Herring Gull, Mute Swan. When I scanned the shallow area to the left I found a Green Sandpiper, my first of the year. There was a couple of Common Terns fishing, a male Marsh Harrier spent a long time searching for food.

 I also tried to get a shot of it when it was high and close but the best one looks like the bird is in silhouette

a mixture of Swifts and Swallows over the main lake, and finally 16 Greylags. The reason I have left the Greylags to last is because I saw something that I probably never see again. The Greylags was resting up on the waters edge to the left of the hide. I hadn't taken many pictures so I thought I would take a couple of them, if I hadn't had the camera on them I would not have seen what I did. Out of the long grass came a Fox at great speed, and before the geese could react the Fox caught one of them and ran back to where it came from. I moved the camera in the direction that it was running and fired off a number of shots, to my amazement I did get a record of the event but not brilliant
this all happened with about 10 seconds, now some might think I am exaggerating, thinking that is a bit quick but it is true.
I then took a circular walk back to the car. On the way I came across a family of Mute Swans feeding close to the bridge, not at all bothered with me being there.

I didn't See many other species on the way back, Wren, Chaffinch, Robin, C/Crow, Magpie, W/Pigeon, Blackbird.
Finally, a Common Buzzard was soaring around over the M2, junction 5.


  1. What a feast for the Fox, clever little animals :-)

  2. Ken , As you say , a once in a lifetime sighting , and you managed to record it , well done .

  3. Warren.
    The Fox won't be so little when it gets that down it.

    Thank's for that, it made my day.

  4. Well captured Ken and well captured Foxy!

  5. Very beautiful pictures.
    Banners swan is excellent!