So what did I do on my summer “vacation”? I am (semi) retired, so it isn’t a formal vacation, but I did have some relaxing down time on my trip to England in June. After attending a conference in Liverpool, I went to Stratford-upon-Avon to see the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Julius Caesar, then spent some time with cousins in Oxfordshire and finally went to London to see some shows and some friends. I didn’t set out to concentrate on bird photography but that was what the photographic gods provided,
The River Avon (the famous one in Warwickshire) with its swans and the town of Stratford-upon-Avon. (Robin Rowland)
A raven perching in a weeping willow on the banks of the River Avon. (Robin Rowland)
A pair of rooks perch on a bare branch overlooking the River Avon. (Robin Rowland)
A grey heron in a park on the banks of the River Avon. I usually photograph their cousins the great blue herons in our much wilder Kitimat River estuary. The grey heron resembles the great blue but is a bit smaller, with no brown feathers and more grey than blue. (Robin Rowland)
A moorhen among the reeds of the River Avon. (Robin Rowland)
Oxfordshire Upper Thames River
A common tern flies over the Thames. (Robin Rowland)
A wood pigeon in flight in one of the upper Thames’ locks. (Robin Rowland)
A pied wagtail (also known as a white wagtail) looking for opportunities at one of the Thames’ locks. (Robin Rowland)
A flock of greylag geese on the Thames. (Robin Rowland)
A greylag goose looks out from the shore grass. (Robin Rowland)
A narrow boat moored on the banks of the Thames–they have to fit through the narrowest locks. (Robin Rowland)
A hooded crow flies over the Thames. (Robin Rowland)
A red kite high above the fields of Oxfordshire. (Robin Rowland)
A magnificent crested grebe. (Robin Rowland)
A black-necked grebe on the River Thames. (Robin Rowland)
A family of greylag geese. (Robin Rowland)
A carrion crow flying over Farmoor reservoir. (Robin Rowland)
Our route in the Miss Moffat II along the Upper Thames River. King’s Lock is at the beginning of the line following the route of the river and the Farmoor Reservoir is the large body of water in the lower left (where we stopped for lunch). Wytham Woods are the wooded area roughly to the right of the river.
Wytham Woods – Oxfordshire
Wytham Woods are an area of ancient semi-natural woodland to the west of Oxford, UK, owned by the University of Oxford and used for environmental research for the past sixty years, including climate change research for the past eighteen. Hiking is permitted by special permit.
My namesake, an English robin, perches on a branch in Wytham Wood, Oxfordshire. (Robin Rowland)
The Serpentine – London
The Serpentine is a small lake between Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens in London.
A moorhen on a take off run in London’s Serpentine pond. (Robin Rowland)
Canada Geese on a take off run in the Kitimat River estuary, Dec. 17. 2016. (Robin Rowland)
I made the annual trip with Walter Thorne into the Kitimat River estuary on Saturday, Dec. 17 for that leg of the Kitimat Christmas Bird Count.
We didn’t see as much variety as in previous years because the region had been the grip of an icy -15 C at least cold snap for the previous ten days. That meant many of the creeks and wetlands that were open in previous years were totally or partially frozen over.
Parts of the estuary were completely or partially frozen in the cold snap (Robin Rowland)
So that meant we saw lots of Canada geese and ducks.
Canada Geese flying over the frozen wetland (Robin Rowland)
And up into the trees. (Robin Rowland)
A northern shoveller. (Robin Rowland)
An American coot with a bit of a plant in its beak. (Robin Rowland)
A bald eagle looking through the gloom. (Robin Rowland)
A gull at the end of a snowy log. (Robin Rowland)
A Christmasy scene, ducks and geese by two evergreen trees. (Robin Rowland)