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Saturday, 15 December 2012

More from Calke Park - early December, 2012

Readers of my blog will know that I've recently 'discovered' Calke Park, and have become rather enamoured with this place - with good reason! It's given me some great photo opportunities already. I recently posted a set of images of Great Spotted Woodpecker, taken here. I've now got  myself sorted out for Christmas and have found time to work my way through some of my other recent images from this place.

I've always had a thing about Nuthatches, and these perform quite well at Calke.

Nuthatch - Calke Park
The commonplace birds here are still delightful to watch. Blue tits are, in my opinion, greatly underrated, and not difficult to photograph.

Blue Tit - Calke Park
Also very common but delightful are the Goldfinches, although I find them to be a little more difficult to photograph because of the shiny red areas on the head.

Goldfinch - Calke Park
Much more mundane and (for me, anyway) hard to get excited about are Blackbirds.

Blackbird (female) - Calke Park
What I do get excited about here, are the Marsh Tits. Although they are not the most spectacular of birds, they are not the most common of birds either, but they do show up here on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I've yet to get a good image here. This is the best I've managed so far, but I've had to do a lot of sharpening on it, and I need to do a whole lot better!

Marsh Tit - Calke Park
And, of course, what I really get excited about here are the Little Owls. I've still not had one come close enough for a good image but, during my last visit, one of the owls was quite active.

Little Owl - my Site No.31
I'm also quite taken by the deer in the park. On my last visit I just photographed the Red Deer (although the Fallow Deer  were around). The females and juveniles are quite charming.

Red Deer (female) - Calke Park
Red Deer (juvenile) - Calke Park
However, the Red Deer stags are magnificent animals!

Red Deer (male) - Calke Park
It's usually getting dark by the time I leave the park.

sunset - Calke Park
My next posts will probably be a mop-up on the owl scene and perhaps one on Waxwings. Thank you for dropping by.


  1. What great variety! You goldfinch are so much different (and more colorful) than ours!
    Absolutely beautiful captures!

    1. Thank you Kerri. The male in breeding plumage of your American Goldfinch is a truly spectacular bird to a British eye. It's probably commonplace to you, however!

  2. Beautiful, the Red Deer, the Tits, the Blackbird and Goldfinches, all of them you captures.

  3. Great set of images mate, the second Blue Tit image is the best in my eyes, outstanding!

    1. Thanks Paul. I think my favourite is the second Nuthatch, although I wish the image had the feet of the third Nuthatch image - hope that doesn't sound like I've got some sort of fetish!!

  4. Hi Richard,looks like you bonded very well with the new set up,very impressed.
    Love to get results like these,superb captures.

    1. Thank you John. It's not so much a new set up, but that I'm tweaking settings a bit more to try and suit the conditions. However, most of it is just luck and location.

  5. I fully agree about some of our more "common" species, it's an odd attitude some develop, were they will walk straight past common birds without a second glance. Love the Nuthatches ( I get the feet thing) and the deer images, but the last one of the Little Owl had me giggling, it looks like it's showing some attitude :)

    1. Thank you Doug. Some of our more common species are amazing! You've only got to listen to comments from birders visiting from USA, for example, to realise that this is true. Sometimes we need to open our eyes to this.

  6. I disagree about the Blackbird! I am still keen on trying a good pic and yours is beautiful!
    Well done for Nuthatch, I saw and photographed my first yesterday!
    The stag is fantastic!
    Well in short, a great series here, Richard, congrats!

    1. Thank you Noushka for your very kind words. I love your Nuthatch images - they put mine to shame!

  7. Lots of great pictures, but I really liked seeing the Marsh Tit. You'd really like our Christmas tree, it has 3 owls in it. From Findlay.

    1. Thank you Findlay. So when are we going to see some pictures of your tree?

      Have a great Christmas!


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