I was actually going to check on the Roe Deer near to home but on arrival I noticed a young family going into the wood with a dog so that was the end of that.
I had noticed though on other visits a few Rabbits that would appear just before the woodland so instead of turning round and going home I gave it a go.
I do like photographing Rabbits and especially the young, and luck would have it there was a youngster out feeding, as you can see he did not move far and he knew I was there so getting a dozen shots I moved away and let him carry on whilst I stood back and observed this healthy population so that when I go back I can give it a good go.
I think all photographers have one pet hate; the weather! It was misty and horrible but I went with a gut feeling and headed onto the moors. And within an hour the sun was starting to break through, although there was a strong cool breeze I went on the lookout for more Common Lizards. It was not long before I found 3 of last years young this later turned out to be 5 all within a small area of the stone wall.
I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to witness one of these Lizards strike out at an insect and eat it, to be honest I saw this happen twice, but the first time was very close and I was shooting with a very shallow depth of field and I only had the insect in focus.
Here is a sequence of shots taken as the Lizard eats its prey!
Something I should have done years ago but it was one of those things I never got round too was to try and photograph Black Grouse, don't get me wrong I have seen Black Grouse before even in Derbyshire but I have never been or seen them at a Lek.
After some excellent directions (thanks Glyn) and setting off at 02:30 I arrived around 05:00 still in the dark, and to make things worse the heavens opened; from heavy rain to sleet, it was at this point I thought to myself what the hell am I doing!
Unsure (and still in the dark) I decided to drive the very narrow road to see if I could hear the birds, thinking I had gone to far I turned round only to find that half a mile back down the road from were I had come from another car had beaten me to the prime location, not to be put off I pulled up and wound the window down only to be confronted by the noise of these wonderful birds.
No matter how hard I tried the bird would not go below the rainbow!
Unfortunately the birds did not come all that close but I am told that on some occasions they will venture a lot closer, again it's that old saying used a lot in wildlife photography "right time right place"!
Again it is one of wildlife's spectacles I will get back there next year and hope the birds do come a little closer but if they don't you will always have the enjoyment of knowing you have just witnessed something that is truly remarkable
Just a little something I feel I have overlooked, that is if you are planning on going down to the Dean then I would highly recommend stopping at Ferndale House, this is situated in the small village of Upper Lydbrook and is run by a wonderful couple Andrew and Christine.
They do mainly Bed and Breakfast but they also have The Granary a self catering accomodation for 2 adults (and a dog), which myself and Anne stayed in for our stay.
I have just had another day with them and this time I did the B & B and all I can say it was great, so if you are planning a trip to the Forest of Dean; Ferndale House is ideally situated to a lot of the attractions, no matter what you want to do. Look them up on the internet or give them a call 01594 861294. You will not be disappointed.
I was told about this spot in Derbyshire by my friend who comes from near Barnsley! A little embarrassing really as I have been here many times but always walked passed, mainly to photograph other things down in the Dale by the river.
Once you get close to the Jackdaw you cannot stop yourself from getting drawn to that grey eye that seems to aid focusing. I must have had an enjoyable 3 hours with several birds that came down to the bread on offer and no doubt I will be back again.