BANK HOLIDAY

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As bank holiday weekends go, this last one was practically perfect in every way. Sandwiched between a pyjama day on Sunday, I spent Saturday and Monday at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen and Buckenham Marshes. The sun was out, the cuckoos were calling, the bitterns booming, and if I listed every single species I saw this post would be really, really, really long, and probably rather boring. I had a tough time whittling down the pictures to a number that wouldn’t immediately max out my storage space on wordpress- but hopefully these capture something of how varied it was.

In total I saw four common lizards; they were all very small so probably very young. Surprisingly they were unperturbed when I approached them with my camera, making sure I didn’t block their sun. I’m always pretty pleased at the level of detail which a long lens can pick up, but this was the first time I’d managed to photograph them with a macro, and was amazed as the mixture of hues making up the scales of the lizards with patches of red, beige, black, brown, green and orange all on a single individual. I was also really chuffed to see my first grass snake of the year (again, a young one) on a fallen log- so far all my sightings have been of them have been of long tails as they slithered away.

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Reptiles aside, the cowslips were looking yellow and happy and the woodland walk had a spectacular blanket of bluebells to be seen towards the end of the trail. My first cuckoo flower of the year was also perched precariously near a ditch edge- it’s getting towards the time of year when the Strumpshaw meadows will become a botanical nirvana and the reserve’s highland cattle were lazily working their way through the sedges. I’ll never get tired of those fringes 😍.

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