24 May 2020
Sat on the bank opposite some low, overhanging branches and waited for kingfishers. Instead I got a family of swans, some dragonflies in a romantic mood and a coot killing that mood by eating one of them.
An observation here - if you want to see water birds do interesting things, don't feed them. If you throw bread into the water then all you'll see them do is eat bread. If you want to see them catch fish or insects or interact with each other or their environment, wait quietly, watch and let them do their thing.
19 May 2020
Today at the reed beds: one of many mosquitoes that thought I was an all you can eat buffet, a coot doing a passable impression of Jesus and a heron moments before a lightning strike at an unsuspecting fish.
16 May 2020
Moorhen and chicks. These little black balls of fluff with bright red beaks and absurdly big feet were adorable. Two of them stayed with mum while the other wandered around on his own. Reminded me of a mother with three kids in the supermarket yelling to the child halfway down the next aisle, "Kevin, get back here!"
15 May 2020
Not drawn to scale. There are not giant prehistoric dragonflies in Berkshire.
To get a good look at the dragonflies I walked well into the long grass where they were everywhere. Later I saw on one of the information boards that there are adders there. For those not familiar with them, yes adders are venomous. No they won't kill you but a bite would have seriously ruined my day.
9 May 2020
Took my sketchbook to the reed beds just outside Reading, Berkshire. Lots of activity both on the water in front of me and the trees behind. I'd been sitting there no more than thirty seconds when a heron took off from the reeds and flew past no more than five metres in front of me.