An Anniversary & Upton Fen

Tuesday.  On my notifications wordpress informed me I have been blogging for two years!  Wahey!  Happy birthday to me etc, etc.  I remember so well when I started.  I thought it would be nice to share some of my photos, why keep them to yourself?  Spurred on by the Lemming who has her own blog – , I searched the internet for advice. The kind man on google said easy, be done in ten minutes!  Don’t make me laugh!  Six hours later and I had somehow managed to cobble together the beginnings of this blog spot.  I hadn’t a clue what I was doing, or the terminology used (still don’t lol) it might as well have been in ancient Greek.  Anyway, we got there and through this medium I have been able to meet some incredible people!  You fellow bloggers inspire me to carry on.  The range of photography out there in wp world is mind blowing.  So a HUGE THANKS to every single one of you!!  12,560 views from 79 Countries WOW!

The day started frosty.  By the time I’d finished the housework (love my days off!) it was warming up nicely to 14c.  Decided to visit a nature reserve about twenty miles away as a recce for the summer and dragonfly potential.  It’s called Upton Fen.  According to my new dragonfly book the Common Hawker can be found there in July.  Common?  not in this part of Britain, anything but!  Found the car park easily enough and set off on a lovely walk through woodland along the banks of a dyke.  This is perfect habitat.  Crossed over the dyke and the path took me through a section of reedbed, through another gate and I was overlooking the Bure Marshes.  The sky was deep blue, no breeze and now about 18c, phew!

Hello Deer!

I should have taken my binoculars or telescope to scan the wetlands.  I could hear a strange call I just could not place and then realised I was being watched!  About thirty yards away was the motionless head of a Chinese Water Deer (Hydropotes inermis).  Originally introduced to Woburn Park in Bedfordshire in 1896 and later Whipsnade in 1930.  These very small deer, about the size of a retriever dog, inevitably escaped along with their cousins the similar Muntjac and spread through the Country, finding the Broads much to their liking.

The Marsh Harriers appeared this a near adult male

In the sky above the Marsh Harriers started to appear, soaring up on the thermals emitting their strange squeaky mewing call which doesn’t befit their looks.  In total there were five and a very pale Buzzard.  Mostly these birds were well out of range of my camera.  The Harriers started to display, what we call ‘sky dancing’, where the male rapidly climbs and dives, twisting and calling before spiraling into the reeds.  Later on the pair will continue to perform to each other, bringing nesting material.

There are pale morph Common Buzzards (Buteo buteo) and then there is this one! I don’t think I’ve seen one quite so white

It’s been a fabulous day out, so warm it could be May and great to be alive.  I had the reserve to myself and shall definitely return in the summer for the dragons.  I will leave you with one last image of a Harrier, a bit of a lucky capture.  Again many thanks for all of you who visit this site, I really appreciate it.

Come fly with me?


35 thoughts on “An Anniversary & Upton Fen

  1. Happy 2nd Blogiversary! I thought of you yesterday as we had 2 Rock Buntings ‘grazing’ in our field. My RSPB book says they are resident all year round in a band across Central to southern Europe around the Med. I vaguely recall seeing one before, but I’m a little surprised to see them this early in the year.

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      1. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any decent pictures. I tried using my point and shoot and then my wife’s SLR, both through the window, but they were all too blurred. My wife spotted them first (she misses nothing) and I kept looking through the binoculars to see where they were to take the photos. They were unmistakably Rock Buntings with that quite distinctive grey/black head and thick black line across the eye plus a reddish/brown underside. I’ll keep an eye out for their return, but we have a little more snow today.

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  2. Congratulations on your anniversary–I suspect that most folks who start blogs quit well before they reach the two year mark. You and I like to shoot similar subjects, though the specific species vary because of the different parts of the world in which we live. I am pretty confident that we have nothing like that unusual Chinese Water Deer.

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    1. Thanks Deborah. Yes the deer look cute but they grow extended canine teeth into fangs (they don’t have antlers) and can cause serious damage if you get too close!


  3. Happy 2nd Blogiversary, Brian, it’s been a joy seeing your amazing, detailed captures. And, of course, you and I love that need-for-speed pumping adrenaline with the dragsters. 😉

    What a cute deer! Awesome flight shots, I wish our vultures could be so pretty. And love that last shot, I’d fly with the bird, not the plane! 😊

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  4. Congratulations on your blogging anniversary! Not only have we enjoyed your many adventures into the field and the shots you have been able to get in the tin, but you have also inspired Ron to start back in on his blog and keep us motivated with your own comments. I have never seen or heard of a Chinese Water Deer (same as the comment above, not even in a zoo). At first I thought you were trying to fool us with a stuffed animal sure enough it is a real thing. With those fangs seems like a half deer half coyote hybrid – draw you in close with their cute outward appearance and then maul you ha. Love the Harrier shots especially the tribute in the last shot as man’s desire to soar like birds led us down the path of today’s advanced form of travel. Congrats again and looking forward to many more years!

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    1. Thanks Brian, yes you don’t want to get too close to them deer. Hope I keep this blog up, in a few months I will have to pay for the privilege as I have almost used up my free 3gb of storage. Glad to have got Ron active, as I say why have images that no one else can see.

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  5. Many Happy Congrats to have made a second year in this fantastic blogosphere Brian!!! Amazing images and great to read your story how it all begun. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and what you see through your camera. The deer is cute while the birds are fabulous captured.

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  6. Add my congratulations as well, Brian!! I enjoy your blog very much. And yes, your encouragement pushed me over the top to resume posting on my photography blog after two years of sloth. Your vampire deer and bird photos are really nice in this post. They make me wish for summer to arrive (it will get down to …quick units conversion… -19C here in a few hours). Keep up with your beautiful photography and interesting commentary!



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