I felt like a fraud at first, but I returned to the deer meadow in 2021 by train and bike. Last year's prohibitions on the use of public transport for non-essential journeys meant completing the entire 52 mile round trip by bicycle. I can now step off the train and cycle to the nature reserve, but I still get 8 miles of cycling. I am drawn to the meadow in early June because an explosion of wildflowers attracts Roe deer from surrounding land to feed, raise young and establish territory for the rutting season. I've struck lucky with a tolerant older buck this summer (see below). At first, I thought he was the same buck from 2019 and 2020, but they are probably just related. He was a little nervous on the first encounter. The buck got up, ate as many buttercups as he could and moved to a different spot nearby. It's almost as if was hedging his bets. My presence didn't frighten him, but the deer stocked up on energy in case I turned out to be one of the unfortunate recen
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The UK hasn't enjoyed the best of spring weather in 2021. Below average temperatures and lack of rainfall left flora about 20 days behind normal growth levels. Climate change is now causing high pressure systems to stall, resulting in long periods of dry, but above or below average temperatures. Apart from three recent visits to Abbot's Wood, limited opportunities for taking pictures this spring prompted me to look back on the many arduous memories of trips to bluebell woodlands over the last eight years, excluding 2020 because of the pandemic. Seeing trees and the forest floor wake up signals the end of winter and the start of a new growing season for birds, mammals and plants. Mid-Sussex, May 2016. Abbot's Wood, East Sussex, April 2016. Abbot's Wood, East Sussex, April 2019. Dockey Wood, Buckinghamshire, April 2015. Itchen Wood, Hampshire, April 2019. Micheldever Wood, Hampshire, April 2019. Mid Sussex, May 2019. Mid-Sussex, May 2019.
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Welcome to my starling murmuration essay for 2020/21. I had planned to photograph something else this winter, but I changed my mind on a whim, after going to Brighton Pier a few days after the second lockdown ended. By the forth visit, I had enough creative images to stop and publish the essay — and the twenty images here are from a total of six trips to the pier . Some of my images are highly unusual, and left me wondering how I even managed to take them. Take the first picture — a night city motion blur shot of birds and light trails from evening traffic. Shots three and four give us an idea of what a starling murmuration would look like, if photographed from within the atmosphere of Jupiter. The monochromatic motion blur images (ten to eighteen) look like they've been sketched on art paper using a pencil. I captured the strangeness of the murmuration, as it compacted into an oval before unravelling like a rope in pouring rain well after sunset, as most other photographers she