Posts Tagged ‘photography

26
Jan
21

Card surprise

I found some photos the other day. I must admit I’d forgotten I’d taken them. Shot at the end of last year before lock-down. A beautiful Twite.

14
Dec
20

An early Christmas visitor from Lapland

We were watching a small group of Snow Buntings that were flitting around a field edge last week. They were completely ignoring dogs, kids and people walking the cliff top bank so were quite easy to observe. Arriving as quickly as it later disappeared was a single lonely Lapland Bunting among them. Always good to see these birds return each winter even in smaller numbers than they occurred in years passed.

29
Nov
20

Diving for cover

Took my car in for a service this week. Rather than walk home and then back again to pick up the car I thought I’d do a few hours sea watching. It wasn’t raining … ideal.

After an hour of the three hours I spent staring through a telescope at the North Sea I was conscious of a presence near to me. I looked sideways and there was a lady standing but a matter of inches from me.

“Would you mind please STEPPING BACK” said I. It took her a little by surprise. Why I don’t know but there does seem to be a wilful disregard for simple rules designed to keep us all safe. However, my volume had the desired effect and she stepped back.

I returned my eye to the scope … but after a silence I sensed she was brewing a comment.

“Can’t you find something more useful to do?” was the retort.

Now, if you know me you will know that for the most part I am a mild mannered man. However, I have been subject to so many people doing as they wish for so long this year quite frankly it is beginning to get on my tits. She and people like her are keeping me from seeing and hugging my daughter. I must admit at this point I saw red and she was the recipient of a polite but assertive dialogue.

“I am watching the sea to monitor marine mammals. The information I , and others like me, gather enables decisions to be taken by authorities and decision makers to protect both the environment and our native marine fauna for me, for you, your children and your children’s children for years to come. So, the next time you see me spending my spare time looking out to sea you may thank me, from a distance, and MOVE ON”

I didn’t make a friend that day but perhaps her silence thereafter indicates it will make her think a little about what matters if not to her, to others.

Had she been more respectful I may have shown her the Red throated Diver in the surf to which she was completely oblivious. Just one of three species of diver seen that morning.

17
Nov
20

Devious Dusky

After failing miserably to photograph the Dusky Warbler in Cot valley during the tour in Cornwall last month, I got a second bite at the cherry this week.

Friend Mark found one not but 800m up the road at Beeston Common. It was as furtive as the Cot valley bird. Sticks and twigs. Always, sticks and twigs. These birds love thick damp cover. I even visited again with Tania at the weekend in poring rain. The light was dreadful but it showed pretty well … for a nano-second after two hours of waiting

I heard of a Dusky Warbler at Muckleborough about five miles away (it’s been a good year for them) so we tried for that one on our Sunday walk. A ‘third bite’ at that proverbial cherry!. It was ‘tutting’ away in thick cover; and showed well for Tania … but not me.

I went again yesterday. It was good to stand with Bob and at last see it well. Showing just long enough for a couple of record shots that look something like a bird rather than a smudge. This species is a true skulker. i don’t think I’ve ever seen one that has given itself up easily.

19
Sep
20

Rooster

When doing a photography Tour we came across this completely camouflaged little Dunlin on the beach. Sat with another three or four of his mates he was keeping a beady eye on me while he roosted.

09
Sep
20

Prickly Subject

One animal that hardly ever turns up on tours is the Hedgehog. I’ve only ever once found one other whilst on tour in the last 13 years I’ve been running the business. Hardly surprising really given their nocturnal habits and the massive decline the species has endured in the last 25 years. However, we were on a photography tour this week and I spotted one shuffling his way in some grass away to our right. He made a fitting subject. We were quite careful not to approach too closely. He never rolled up into a ball and continued sniffing at everything on his way home.

 

18
Aug
20

The Best British Butterfly … Probably

Arguably the smartest British Butterfly is the Silver Spotted Skipper. Why? Well firstly its identify is beyond doubt when seen; its livery is as distinctive as they come. It is beautiful. It’s a diminutive butterfly full of character; tempting the photographer low to the ground and then before the shutter can be released they skip away in erratic flight. You can almost hear them laugh.

Supposedly a grassland species we saw swarms flying high into Blackthorn bushes this week. What’s all that about?

Come along and join us on a new tour to see these delightful little characters next year on the 12th August. See here https://www.wildlifetoursandeducation.co.uk/tours/special-day-tours/

 

17
Jul
20

Shake it up

As I arrived to set up the camera in an attempt to photograph Comet Neowise last week the sun had just set and the comet was glowing like a bright jewel low in the North West. By the time I’d set up the camera it had promptly disappeared behind cloud. We had to wait another 4 hours for it to reappear.

The cloud gradually contracted, dispersed and the sky cleared to reveal something I’ve wanted to see since I was a schoolboy. A comet with a streaming tail. Everytime a comet has shown for me in the past it’s been a fuzzy ball only visible in optics. Here we had a bright naked eye object painted across the sky.

Down at the beach we tried to find a corner sheltered from the incessant wind. It was difficult. It was almost impossible to get a long expose photograph. Stars and the comet were leaving spider web tracings on the back of the camera. However with determination, a bit of Heath Robinson ingenuity and a large dose of luck I managed to get one or two half decent shots with a shooting star thrown in for good measure. However, I am resolved to get something more arty if the comet and conditions allowed next week.

15
Jul
20

A Contorted Reptile

Last month we sought out a Lizard Orchid or two. Wonderfully twisted plants these that look as though they agonised when growing into such contorted shapes.

08
Jul
20

Tatty Royal

We have not had still air since the end of May. The wind has always played a part in every day during June and last week we had some pretty squally nights. This is detrimental to one particular butterfly. Male Purple Emperors roost at the very top of trees; high in the canopy. Females are, of course, a little more sensible and settle down for the evening on lower foliage, where they wont get bashed about as much.

I’m thinking of claiming back my licence fee. The BBC clearly stated the weather the other side of Peterborough was going to be quite sunny on Monday. We decided to see if we could find Tania a Purple Emperor. When we arrived on site the wind was howling, the sky was gun metal grey and there was even the occasional shower. Lordy, this is what Trumpton would call ‘fake weather!’ A seemingly impossible task but we tried. We walked and walked and searched and searched. After just over 4 miles we’d seen little other than two or three Silver Washed Fritillaries , a motionless Purple Hairstreak and a plethora of Ringlet and Meadow Browns.

It wasn’t until early afternoon when the sun pierced the clouds with a shaft or two that we saw a couple of White Admirals. This was the cue for the appearance of his royal highness.

Some of us have seen our best days. I for sure am one. My youth has long gone; but I like to think I try to look at least half well turned out. However, this royal chap fell down onto the path like a drunk Prince at an Epstein ‘lock-in’. Dishevelled or what? he had certainly had a night seven sheets to the wind.

A token for the day came on the walk back; my first ‘valanciana’ Silver Washed Frit of the year.




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