Right up until I processed this image, I expected to be posting a contre jour blue tit today. But there's something about this one - the light on the bird, and the buds on the twig, plus the well-diffused background - that keeps pulling me back to it. I hope you like it too.
I was tired and quite grumpy today, after overdoing the gardening yesterday, so I hoped I might find some insects in the garden this afternoon to provide an easy photo shoot, and save me from needing to go out. It wasn't to be though: I only found one Meliscaeva auricollis, and he was feeding from a very ratty and unphotogenic celandine, so out it had to be. Luckily Hillers is close to home, and offered the opportunity of doing wildlife photography while sitting down (and at least partly sheltered from the brisk breeze), so I zoomed up to Dunnington and spent a couple of hours in the hide.
Because I was in a grouch I mainly avoided engaging with anyone else, but one woman came in, sat down, and asked if I'd seen any deer. "There was a muntjac buck here a few minutes ago," I replied. "Oh, I didn't mean one of those," she said. "I meant a proper deer." The politest response that came to mind - enquiring as to her definition of 'proper' - would have led to more conversation, so I let it go and retired back behind my camera. I assume that she was talking about the fallow deer that are also seen quite often at Hillers, but like the muntjac, fallow deer are an introduced species (roe and red being our only native deer species in the UK), and the ones we see in the wild are the naturalised descendants of deer park escapees, so it's debatable if one is more 'proper' than the other. Perhaps fortunately, the woman had left by the time a second muntjac wandered into the clearing, which saved me from the temptation of saying, "Oh no! Another improper deer!"
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