Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Monday zoom

On Monday I went to the local, armed with two cameras, slung over each shoulder, looking like some sort of wildlife gunslinger; or an idiot. One had the macro on, the other, the usual zoom. Today’s is a small selection from the zooms efforts.

From the car park is a small footbridge over some water,
and it’s here, a few days ago, I briefly watched a Great Tit, with mouthfuls of food, coming and going. I tried to figure out where the nest was, but decided I’d leave him to it, rather than disturb him too much. Besides, he kept landing in the bushes behind, so I assumed it was there, somewhere. How wrong.
It was right under my nose, literally!
As I approached the bridge, he flew straight past me, and into a gap at the side.

An awful shot, purely for a record, but it was fascinating to watch, as he flew back and forth, with mouthfuls of food to feed the young.

And a brief glimpse of one very large, hungry mouth.

I moved on, listening to the early morning birdsong, in the dull sky, eventually reaching the spot where a Coot had turfed the Great Crested Grebes from their nest site. I’m pleased to say the Grebes have made another, further in the reeds, and one was sitting tightly on its nest. I watched for a while, from a small bridge over this part of the lake, where the water splits into a smaller lake, and slowly swimming towards me, came the Mallard I’d seen a couple of weeks earlier, with the golden yellow chick.

I couldn’t get lower for a better shot, but made do with the higher vantage point for now. It was just good to see that most had still survived.
And one that breaks all the rules of composition,

but what are rules if they can’t be broken sometimes.
At the north end of the lake, a large flock of Starlings were noisily feeding this years young, and a small group were eagerly awaiting their breakfast.
Some were too impatient to wait, and began flying one by one, down to join the parents.

A cygnet swam by under mums watchful eye,

and a group of Canada Gees chicks were trying to catch the attention of dad.

Both cameras were working overtime by now, as I turned towards an area of grass, and sitting by herself, taking in the day, this female Mallard, totally oblivious to me.

Reaching the area by the lakeside pub, there were large numbers of Canada and Greylag Geese, waiting for the holiday crowds, and food. And amongst them all, this one.

He didn’t look much like one or the other, so I’m assuming a cross?

As I reached the longer grass, alongside the river, the macro came into its own, with the Damsels and other insects, until almost back at the car park, I saw this chap in the distance, sitting on the rowing club roof. Quite a heavy crop.

This is where my ID knowledge failed me miserably. No idea what it was, but about the size of a Sparrow, and just sat, resting.
I decided I needed a rest too, after a full morning, so I made my way back home.


  1. You made me laugh with this line: "looking like some sort of wildlife gunslinger; or an idiot." Way to go finding the Great Tit's nest. I like the photo of him bursting out of the crevice, wings blurred with an intent look on his face! Also...especially love the photo of the Mallard in the field with the single buttercup--very artistic. (The yellow ducklings are adorable as well...)

  2. How great to get the series of shots of the Great Tit and its nesting site. Beautiful shots of all the river birds. For me - I love the 'cross' playing peek-a-boo with its head showing above the greenery.

  3. We agree with Kelly.We did laugh at that too:)Really enjoyed all the shots...specially the Mallard and the cross.

  4. Great shots all Keith - difficult to choose so I'm not going to!! But the Great Tits - well spotted!!

    My first reaction to your mystery bird was a Pied Wagtail but the marking is wrong.

    and finally - you're must be looking like a gunslinger then Lol

  5. Very nice series of shots. You make it look so easy. I like the depth of field pictures and the reflection of the mallard on the water. Thanks, now I want to get out and look like a wildlife gunslinger!

  6. Great action shot of the busy Great Tit parent.
    Just lovely...Thanks!

  7. Keith, I think Tricia was almost there with the mystery bird, I think it is a juvenile Pied Wagtail. If you copy and paste this into your browser and scroll down the page you will find a picture of a juvenile, which you can enlarge. See what you think.


    Anyway! All your photos are as lovely as ever, I loved the female Mallard!

  8. That's a hell of a walk!

  9. Nice photographs. I have never seen one nest in a crack like that.

    I got one of my birds ID'd today too. My Northern Parula Warbler turned out to be a Bay Breasted Warbler.

    Always interesting.

  10. Kelly, thanks for your comment. I’d like to try some more shots of the Great Tit with better light, now I’ve found him.

    John that ‘cross’ had me wondering at first, but he posed long enough for me to get some shots of him. Thanks for your comment.

    NatureStop, glad you enjoyed the shots.

    Tricia, thanks. You could be right with the ID. There are quite a few Pieds around there. Very likely a juvenile like ShySongbird says.
    Perhaps I’ll get a new profile picture done lol

    David, thanks for stopping by, and following. Appreciate it, and your comment. I’ll check your blog soon. Perhaps I should change my name to the wildlife gunslinger; has a ring to it lol

    Andrea, thank you. He certainly was a busy chap. He was non-stop backwards and forwards with food.

    ShySongbird, thank you, and thanks for that link; I reckon you’re right with juvenile Pied Wagtail. It didn’t occur to me to be a youngster for some reason.

    JPT, thanks for stopping by, following and commenting. I seem to lose track of time when I go out sometimes, and get absorbed in what’s about.

    Abe thank you. Some of the places birds nest in never cease to amaze me.
    Glad you got your ID sorted out.

  11. Lol on the gunslinger comment - I think I prefer that term and may have to use it myself! Love all the hungry babies you captured - I thought the mallard duck ones had excellent composition (but of course I only have an amateur's opinion!) Great post today!

  12. Thanks Shelley for your kind words.
    I might use the 'Wildlife Gunslinger' on my cv lol

  13. Each shot a gem!...What a find on that nest under the bridge~ Thats a great idea---Wildlife Gunslinger--Def different, and catchy!
    Ive had one disaster after another this week, so glad to finally get over for a visit.

  14. Keith fantastic images, my favourite has to be your Great Tit shots.
    They always give 101% when it comes to feeding there young.
    Such hard workers.

  15. Dixxie thanks for your comment.
    Hope all your disasters are behind you now.

    John, thanks. The adults certainly put a lot of effort into raising their young. I'm sure they're glad when it's all over.

  16. So with cameras slung all around you looked like a professional Keith, that female Mallard shot just proves it.

  17. Thanks for that compliment Roy.
    Think I've a long way to go yet though lol

  18. glad you found my new little blogspot. :)

    Great shots here! I love the fuzzy little baby birds. :)