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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Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Swans, Martins and red wine

I appear to be all behind with comments and things, due to circumstances beyond my control; like sleep catch-up, and red wine.

I’ll try to explain.
Monday was a going to be a sort of relaxing day. Jim still had me up early; I suppose he thinks that is the time to start a day. So, falling from bed at a little before four, we did the usual, and by six I was making my way to check on the Black Swan, at one of the locals. A beautiful morning, but very windy. The Cetti’s seemed to follow alongside me as I walked the lake edge, popping up now and again to shout, and then disappear. I ignored him, thinking I’ll catch him unawares another time. Besides, the swan was calling. So were Sedge Warblers, and I couldn’t see them either.

I came across a Mallard family, going for its morning swim, being scrutinised by a Mute Swan.

I did a quick look round in just this area of the lake, and counted 41 Mute Swans; and there were more in front of the bar/restaurant , further along in the distance. A healthy count.
The pair of swans were still sitting on their nest, together again

The second picture, if it enlarges, should show 4 specks in the distance, just below the horizon on the right. The first, from the left, between the grasses is the second Black Swan. My final jigsaw piece in pictures, that there’s two.

A quick visit to see how the House Martins were doing at the fitness centre, and they are doing well. Lots of activity, to and from the old nests.

Opposite, on the side of another building, a small face looked out from another old nest

He revealed himself to be

A cheeky House Sparrow. He was determined to repel all attempts by the Martins to oust him, deciding this was his new home.
I made my way back to the hide, a quick look there, and then a few hours at my other little job, gardening, then maybe a trip elsewhere. Good plan I thought.
Nah! My plans never plan out. Most of it did, until I started to enjoy a rather nice bottle of red, whilst processing the pictures in the afternoon.
I fell asleep, and woke up at three a.m. this morning.
So, these are what I’ve managed so far, and I’ll finish the rest later in the week. A meeting at work later today, then a late shift Wednesday after gardening, meeting Thursday, late Friday……….I’m getting too old for all this. I really must get some order into my life!

But back to yesterday, and a few to finish on, before part two.
Walking back, I noticed something on one of the ramp things they use at the water ski centre.

Closer inspection revealed a Coot, snuggled up on its nest.

I wonder if that was a good idea?
As I passed the swan pair, I managed to capture this tender looking moment.

Ok, time to publish this; a bit of catch up, rest of the day to get through, and part two tomorrow, with a bit of luck.

Enjoy whatever you are doing today.


  1. ...you made me laugh. Red, red wine...
    Lovely photos of the swans, especially the last one. Like the little House Sparrow story...

  2. Well, that's some day Keith but a great account of it! You obviously needed the sleep but red wine's a great way to nudge the body in that direction!

    Glad you've now positively solved the Black Swan duo mystery and fingers crossed for the happy couple.

    Excellent pics as usual (and it DID enlarge!)

  3. Great series of shots of the House Martins.

    Looking at the swans on the nest you could easily think they were nice cuddly creatures. I wonder what colours the offspring will be. It will be really interesting to find out.

    Had to force the picture to enlarge, but then I often find that - it may be a Firefox thing.

    I don't need a bottle of red to make me fall asleep these days but it does speed up the process.

  4. oh what a lovely pair, swans in black and white, this only goes that.....color doesn't matter so as to human,so adorable!

  5. I love seeing that pair of Swans tender moments - beautiful captures! And I think cheeky is my new favorite word and it's immediately going into my vocabulary! That cheeky sparrow of yours is something else.

  6. Outstanding Images, love the swan shots.
    Excellent Blog.

  7. I hope the water-skiing season doesn't start for a while yet!

  8. Kelly………Thank you. I couldn’t help but laugh at that cheeky Sparrow. Such an opportunist.

    Tricia……..Thanks. Yea, the enlarging was driving me nuts when I first started all this, but your help put me in the right direction. Ta.
    The sleep thing just kind of hit me; probably along with the wine. Lol

    John……..Thank you. It was good to watch the House Martins, constantly on the go. It’ll be interesting to see if any cygnets do come along, and what they’re like. I’ll certainly be checking up on them when I can.

    Lolit……Thank you, and well said. I think humans can learn an awful lot from animals.

    Shellmo……Thank you. Cheeky certainly describes that Sparrow. He wasn’t moving for anything. :)

    JR and Sue……..Thank you. Appreciate that.

    Rob………I hope the water skiers use some other jumps till the Coots have finished. I somehow doubt it though; there’s money involved. :(

  9. I look forward to seeing the young swans

  10. You really did get some fabulous photos. I liked all of them. I wonder if the sparrow won out or the martins?

    Thanks for the visit.

  11. Work, work, work..I know how you feel. Great series of pics again, especially the Martins. Glad you solved the puzzle & now we wait for the encore.

  12. The babes are wonderful and Of all the Nerve on that House Sparrow! Wonder what he was up to? I'll have a glass of that red~

  13. I do know what you mean about struggling to keep up with comments etc. I always seem to be playing catch up at the moment!
    The Black Swan and partner photos are beautiful and I also thought what a lesson there is to be learned there by some ignorant human beings.
    I loved all the photos and laughed when I saw the cheeky little sparrow.
    Glad you enjoyed the wine, you can't beat a nice glass (or two or...!) of red, and it can be very soporific!

  14. A very arrogant sparrow, I didn't know, that they can have such a strange attitude. Nice tender moment with black + white swans.

  15. Wow - you have a lot going on!

    the sweet little baby duckies!!!! ohhhhh....

    I love your photos! I photographed a bird yesterday, and I thought of your blog. :) I'm posting the photos in tomorrow's post.

  16. Pete……..Thank you. I can’t wait to see how they turn out.

    Thanks Abe, the Sparrow seemed pretty determined to hang on to his position. I’ll check on him next time I go.

    Frank……..Thank you. This work stuff really gets in the way at times.

    Thanks Dixxie. The red was excellent; none left I’m afraid ;) The little chicks are so irresistible this time of year, and seem to be everywhere.

    ShySongbird there never seems to be enough time in a day to do everything does there, especially when the red makes an appearance. lol
    Nature does have a way of showing us the way to go at times, and rightly so.

    Andor……Thanks for your comments. Those Sparrows can be quite bold at times for such little things.

    Thanks Jen, nice compliment; I’ll look out for your post.

  17. Thanks for another nice read and the usual great pics Keith.