Posts Tagged ‘photography courses


Waiting Patiently

My guests had never been to the Scillies before and they were keen to see the various islands as well as the various birds we could find. They all liked St Martin’s and found it quite ‘wild’ compared with St Mary’s where we were staying. After climbing the road from the quay we stood patiently aside a small garden where the ivy was heavy with pollen so much so the garden was buzzing with insects. We waited patiently for a Bonelli’s Warbler that had been seen frequenting the garden. We waited around an hour before it showed … but my word did it show. I’ve seen several of these quite charming warblers in the UK and many more abroad on the continent but never have I seen one so well and for such a prolonged time.


The Haunt of the Castor

One evening, during our time in Quebec, we had been shown a small pool in the forest close to where we were staying. Although the pool was not too far from a major road I found it a quite magical place and wanted to return the next afternoon when there was more light.

The pool had been formed by Beavers damming a small stream. The lodge and dam were wonderful constructions of sticks and mud. A whole eco-system had evolved around the formation of the lake behind the dam. Dragonflies of weird and wonderful colours danced around the water’s edge. A Merlin above us clutched the larger dragonflies from the air and returned each time to his perch where he nipped off the wings before eating the body. Cedar Waxwings were fly catching; sallowing out from the top of the dead pines in upward sweeping arcs to catch insects then returning to their favoured perch. A young Bald Eagle sat on a floating log that sank a little dipping his tail into the water. The loud cackling call of a Belted Kingfisher rang out as he flew by an arm’s length away.

Amid all this the engineer himself arrived; moving through the water like a living submarine he formed a wake that rippled the reflection of the lakeside trees. I followed him as quietly as I could until he disappeared into rushes where I couldn’t follow. Quite a magical place.


Rosemary Home

Rosemary is a herb that grows frantically. Or at least it does in the borders at Falcon Cottage. Pruning was needed. With secateurs in hand I took to the job with perhaps a little more fervour than was required. Even the garden Robin came to stand agape at how much space was now available to the Lupins.

As I clipped away I uncovered more than just the wall. Under the Rosemary bush happened to be someone’s home.


Conversation stopper

I was talking away to someone the other day aside a small ditch and reedbed when I noticed a dark shape moving through the stems of the reeds. I quietly excused myself from the conversation and lifted my camera. Deep within the reeds, foraging for food, was a female Bearded Tit not but a metre away. There was a lot of vegetation between me and her and the camera wanted to focus on anything but what I wanted it to focus on; but I hastily took a few shots before she slipped back into the depths of the reeds never to be seen again.


A splash … or two … of Colour

On these grim spring days a little colour is welcome.

The first came in the form of four Redstarts resting on the hill over the weekend; a single female and three cracking males. Making their way north against atrocious winds and rain during a spell of very rare sunshine one popped out to warm itself in a sheltered spot.

The second came in the form of a clump of Leopardsbane occupying the corner of a very old churchyard; enough to brighten anyone’s day. Quite appropriate really, as it was used in medieval times to treat depression.


Cuckoos Everywhere

The Cuckoo Flower is so named because of its timely appearance when the bird of the same name returns to our shores. We didn’t see or hear a Cuckoo in Scotland on this year’s tours the unseasonably cold northerlies saw to that but we saw the banks of the Spey littered with the flowers on our last weekend.

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Jun 2023


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