Episode 4 – Purwell Perusal


F8 – ISO 800 – 1/8000

Close to where I live is Purwell Nature Reserve, which is managed by Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. I decided to have a little reconnoitre of the place and try to gauge what sort of things might be lurking around. Since my initial exploration, I’ve returned several times, but had yet to capture anything remotely alive on my camera.

I took my 55-300mm and my 12-24mm but I didn’t snap any wildlife. However, I did see a pheasant that seemed pretty startled and flew out of the undergrowth as I walked towards the wooded area but I was unprepared to take a photo. I don’t know who was more surprised.

F8 – ISO 100 – 1/80

This tree is what I call the Woodpecker Tree, on account of my parents having spotted some green woodpeckers on it. To this day (August at time of writing) I’ve yet to see them, but I have heard their laughter!

F2.8 – ISO100 – 1/8000

The reeds are quite thin at this time of year. Little will I know that in summer it shall become abundant and thick and very difficult to shoot through!

F5 – ISO 360 – 1/320

I’m not sure what built this mound or what nested in it, but I never saw any signs of life.

F5.6 – ISO 220 – 1/100

Sighting! As I explored the wooded area, careful not to sink into the softening ground, I spotted a buzzard at the peak of the tallest trees. It looked massive as it flapped its wings and proceeded to fly away. Unfortunately I wasn’t prepared to snap it in this tiny window of opportunity and only managed a far shot. I tried to venture deeper but ideally I needed a good pair of wellies to ward off the squelching mire.


Verdict: I shall return later on in the year when the weather improves, and must improve reaction times. Also, consider that with every cautious step a possible sighting might occur. Be ready!



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