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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Saturday, 30 May 2009

Saturday firsts.

Morning Jim’, I said through gritted teeth, and a false smile. I checked the clock; yup, 4 a.m.

As I wandered down to Willen Lake, I noticed I wasn’t the only early bird this glorious Saturday morning. Two of the Buddhist Monks from the nearby temple, were performing the daily ritual of chants at the Peace Pagoda, as the sun climbed the sky for a new day.

Further along the lakeside, high in the trees, another ritual was unfolding. Feeding.

A small group of Great Tits were flitting from branch to branch, in the search for breakfast, along with their newly fledged young. The sound of a Cuckoo just ahead, slowed my progress again, as I strained eyes and ears to locate him. Then I glimpsed him, as he flew off to a new tree. Not wanting a shot of the back end of a Cuckoo, I was happy enough to just watch. My first good sighting this year.
The mist was steadily freeing itself from the waters grasp, and reaching skyward,

as a Swan glided across the golden water.
A Heron flew silently overhead,
and disappeared into the trees on the far side of the lake. The sounds of Reed and Sedge Warblers were filling the air as I made my way to where the Black Swan hangs out. I spotted him in the distance, looking rather amorous with a Mute Swan.

No sign of the cygnets, they were probably safely with mum somewhere.
Getting close to the lakeside bar, I spotted a Mistle Thrush launch himself from the roof of some offices

and settle on the grass just in front.

I think he decided on spoiling any decent shots, and flew into the trees as I got nearer.

No problem; I was content with what I had. This was the first time I’d seen them here.
A Chaffinch gave me a cursory glance as I walked past,

and carried on with the business of food searching.
I reached the lakeside bar and watched the House Martins flying overhead with the Swifts. A food bonanza; there were tiny flies everywhere.
A Collared Dove had found a use for the satellite dish,
and was snuggled down on her nest. I wondered if the tv reception would be affected; and then decided I didn’t really care, she looked happy enough.

As I turned to walk back, there amongst the Greylag Geese, another first for me; and as far as I know, for Willen, a pair of Egyptian Geese.

What a handsome Goose. The colour predominantly through every shade of brown, with splashes of green, white, and black on the wings and side.
Feeling rather pleased, I sauntered back towards the car park. Dozing in the warmth of the morning sun, a Mallard flicked open an eye as I passed by.

The Warblers were still warbling loudly from the reeds, and then I caught a glimpse of one, singing his song for all he was worth.

A Reed Warbler, doing his best to be invisible, and avoid the lens, amongst the tall grasses.
I tried anyway.

A very enjoyable morning.


  1. Your photos are always so beautiful Keith, and they all have a peacefulness about them today, just lovely. I think the Buddhist Monks set the scene very nicely.

    The Heron in flight and the Swans sharing a moment are really lovely, and the Egyptian Geese are very striking with their lovely colouring.

    I do hope no bright spark decides their TV signal is compromised and removes the Dove's nest, you must keep us informed on that.

  2. Good ole Jim. Great early morning shots. Peaceful.

  3. You are really an early riser:)The Heron in flight is a beauty.Infact we have become very fond of the black swan and the shots were great!The Egyptian Goose is indeed handsome.

  4. Hi Keith great collection of Images.
    Your Egyptian Geese I love the most.

  5. Certainly a good morning Keith. The Egyptian Geese are certainly a bonus, but I would have to say the Mute Swan and the GC Grebe is another one of your masterpieces.

  6. ShySongbird, thank you. It was a beautiful morning; I shared with just the birds. Hardly anyone around, save for the monks.
    The Collared Dove seems to be doing well so far, he’s been there about a week, so I’m hoping to get some shots of the youngsters when they arrive.
    The Egyptian Geese are quite beautiful, and it was great to see them.

    Andrea, thanks. My doggie alarm never fails me. Lol

    NatureStop, thank you. I think Jim believes I should get the most minutes from everyday. I’m glad he does, most days.

    John, thanks. I think the Egyptian Geese were the highlight for me too, along with the Cuckoo sighting.

    Roy, thanks for those kind words.
    I’ve been going through a mountain of pictures today, will save some for a future post.

  7. Looks to have been a rewarding morning's ramble and photo shoot, Keith. To me the Egyptian Geese look as though they have feathers borrowed from a larger bird, handsome non the less. Great shots all round.

  8. Dont you love the way Birds find a great nesting spot? A Carolina Wren has placed a nest with 5 eggs right inside the leaf bag that fits the mower!..Great Photos Keith, hope Jim lets you sleep in tomorrow!..Thanks for all your kind comments, they are much appreciated!

  9. John, thank you, appreciate your comment. It was a good morning, with a few firsts thrown in.

    JPT, thank you.

    Dixxie, thanks. Some birds do seem to nest in strange places at times.
    No chance of a lay in tomorrow, an early start. Planning to meet up with Frank, of The Early Birder, for a visit to Wisley. I guess I should get some sleep pretty soon. :)

  10. Your misty morning shots across the lake are something special, Keith - I'm glad you get up and take them for me!

  11. You have such fruitful mornings out! That swan in the mist made me catch my breath! Enjoyed all of these!

  12. Thank you Rob, I'm glad you like them. Makes getting up early worthwhile when you get days like that.

    Shelley, thank you. I'm sure today is going to hold some goodies too.

  13. Came here from Abe Lincoln's blog. Your work is superb.

  14. ...what a beautiful post! I love the shots of the Reed Warbler clinging to the reeds--lovely and soft. Very nice narration too, especially liked this sentence: "The mist was steadily freeing itself from the waters grasp, and reaching skyward" 4:00 a.m. is quite early! Sometimes, I'm just going to bed at 3:00 a.m.!

  15. David, thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed your visit, and thank you for your comment. Appreciated. Hope to see you again, I'll drop by your place soon. :)

    Kelly, thank you for your compliment.
    Those Reed warblers can be tricky to capture at times, I've loads of out of focus bird and reed to prove it. lol
    Early morning is the best time of day I think, but bed at 3 a.m., now that is late. :)

  16. And you made my afternoon very enjoyable, what a great bird photos, and btw the one with swan on the brownish background is a frame photo. Excellent job. BTW congrats on POD at David's. Anna :)

  17. david sent me...

    what wonderful pictures!

  18. Anna, thank you for stopping by and your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit.

    Katherine, I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures, and good of David to point you this way. Thank you.

  19. Those are just awesome photos. I always admire those who can patiently wait for just the right shots!

  20. Breathtaking photos. I love the one of the solitary swan in particular.

  21. BPOTW, thank you for stopping by, and leaving a comment. Glad you enjoyed the pictures.

    Heather, glad you stopped by, and thanks for leaving a comment. Appreciate it.

  22. Your photostory was breathtaking!

    Joy, via AuthorBlog

  23. Joy, thank you for stopping by, and taking time to comment. Glad you enjoyed the pictures.