|Photographs of wild flora and fauna l have taken whilst walking around Gazen Salts Nature Reserve, The Ramparts, along the River Stour, Sandwich Bay, and other wildlife country walks around the historic town of Sandwich and the county of Kent, where l also happen to live.|
|Gazen Salts Nature Reserve|
The woodlands are also home to many flora species, such as primroses, celandine, dog rose, oak, ash, wild cherry, elm, field maple, wild privet, marsh marigold marshmallow, meadowsweet, black bush, yellow iris and many other exciting plants of interest.
The lake and the waterways in the Reserve are sustained by a sluice gate connected to the River Stour.
The waters further feed and play host to a diverse range of wildlife, including species such as sticklebacks, pond skaters, diving beetles, frogs and toads, newts, kingfishers, moorhens, bats, rats, shrews, weasels, stoats, foxes, hedgehogs, moles, water voles, grass snakes, mallard, tufted, pochard and shoveler ducks, warblers, woodpeckers, blackcaps, sparrowhawks, grey squirrels, parakeets and others including many butterfly species too.
|I use the following cameras and lenses; Canon IXUS 185 8 x Optical Zoom, Canon EOS 700D, 18-55mm Lens, 75-300mm Zoom Lens and extension tubes for macro photography.|
|Natural Encounters Season 2|
|In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. – Aristotle|
|Music Score – Urban|
|Wildlife Snippets of Interest!|
Herons – Ardea cinerea – have a wingspan of between 1.5 to 2 metres and belong to the family Ardeidae. They are long-legged wading birds that resemble the Pterodactyl from a distance. The heron is mostly a solitary bird, and this is not the case only during the breeding season.
Quite often, l see both the heron and the cormorant ever watchful over the waters of Gazen Salts Nature Reserve. If not observing and stalking, then they are swimming or fishing. The heron is often seen near waters and prefers slower-moving waters like lazy streams, wildlife lakes and rocky seashores or marshlands during the dawn or the dusk and can quickly go unnoticed by the casual observer.
Their diet comprises small mammals, frogs, insects, lizards, ducklings, small birds, molluscs, crustaceans, and fish. The heron’s hunting strategy relies upon speed and shadow stealth, and playing the patience game.
If food prey comes close to the heron’s position, then a quick bill stabbing motion like a spear into water will hopefully provide a meal. Smaller prey can be swallowed whole whilst larger fish will be broken into smaller pieces on hard ground before being consumed.
For me, the heron is one of my bucket list moments regarding taking photographs. I often see them a moment too late is the usual or a moment too soon before my eyes and lenses can adjust, and l can capture them before they squawk at me and take to the air!
|Gallery Above, Eastern Grey Squirrels, English Bluebells, Blackbird, Mallard Ducks and Cherry Blossom.|
|Wildlife Snippets of Interest!|
London Plane Trees are the result of crossing an American sycamore and an Asian planetree. Also known simply as London Plane and is one of the most common trees in London and was first introduced to Britain in the 17th century and was planted across London during the 18th century.
These tall and leafy trees can attain 35 metres and live for hundreds of years. The leaves are similar to those of the maple. This large tree’s main benefits are shade and what it does for air quality and quickly adapts to urbanisation. Birds nest in the tree, and Eastern grey squirrels readily eat the seeds.
|Gallery Above, London Plane, Mallard Ducks – Drakes and Hens, Moorhen and Heron.|