2013 - A Photographic Retrospective

03rd January 2014
After the seemingly never-ending deluge in 2012, with the severe impact this had on our wildlife, we moved into 2013 hoping for something a bit better. It was certainly different! Having taken, sifted, deleted, sorted and disregarded thousands of images a favourite few are included in this blog post.

Following an early and close encounter with the local Whoopers the snow arrived with a vengeance in Mid-Wales and gave some fantastic photo opportunities

Having spent a number of days trying to get a decent image of a local Green-winged Teal, a period of severe cold pushed all the birds closer to the shore - this image clearly shows the differences between the Green-Winged and Common Teal. But boy was it cold in the hide that day

While we all try to claim that images are planned, and in the majority of cases that is true to a large extent, sometimes you just get lucky. The image below is one such instance, where I was simply trying to get a decent shot of a large group of Redshank at Leighton Moss

Back to Mid-Wales in the early part of March it felt as though spring was well on the way - the birds played ball, with the Willow Tit in particular seeming happy to pose for me in Hafren Forest

And then the weather changed, spring was put on hold and a cold easterly airflow established itself for a number of weeks, the atmosphere was clear and the light perfect so mustn't grumble!

A cooperative Otter while I was waiting for the Pied Flycatcher at Lake Vyrnwy was a particular highlight - seen the Otter there a few times so must make more of a concerted effort this year

More normal service was resumed as the weather heated up, although everything was very much later than normal

Towards the end of the summer the garden was alive with butterflies including a first sighting of a Silver-washed Fritillary.

The Peregrines at Montgomery Castle managed to successfully raise 4 chicks - considering the conditions in which they started earlier in the year a great achievement

The year kicked into a new gear over a period of 5 days in early October with Wheatear, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis and, best of all, a Great White Egret in Montgomeryshire. Having sat there all day near Welshpool waiting for the Gt White to come closer than 400 yards, a second then flew into the reserve (20% of the UK population on a small lake in Mid-Wales - wow!), spooked the first and they flew within 30 yards. A great moment!

And so to Autumn. As I sit writing this we've had so many days of gloom, heavy wind and downpours it's all too easy to forget that there have been some bright spots over the last 10 weeks or so

A Guillemot in Silloth harbour on 4 November was a pleasant surprise and the numbers of Oystercatcher on the Solway were impressive - image below shows only 10% or so of the flock, sometimes the big lens is a handicap!

The arrival of the Winter Thrush signalled that winter was (supposed to be!) on the way although with the high temperatures in Sweden the numbers of Waxwing in the country are very small. No irruption this year!

And a final image from 2013 - taken on 31 December up on the high ground of the Kerry Ridgeway, a Kestrel braces itself against the westerly gale.

Here's to a productive 2014!


Photo comment By Rene de Heer: Nice summary with ditto images, hope 2014 will be a good year as well!
Photo comment By Phil: Cracking stuff Mark
Photo comment By John Evans: Wonderful set of pics Mark, sums the year up very well. Exellent
Photo comment By noel mumford: absolutely wonderful,wish i could get shots like those.

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