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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Thursday, 10 September 2009

Sometimes it don’t always work

What don’t?

Well, all sorts of things really. Like my internet connection earlier. Some sites worked, others didn’t. No idea why. Anything ‘google’ related just wasn’t happening; mail, blogs, etc. Couldn’t get a page on the browser; any browser. I tried allsorts. A reboot, tweak here and there, system restore; nothing. Then it all came back, seemingly on its own.

Something else that don’t always work, are the pictures I take.
Had a very up and down week so far, a lot of things going on in my life just seemed to have come to a head. Not the best of weeks to have a week off work, but most days I’ve managed to get out somewhere. And clocked up a few ‘firsts’, and ‘I’ve not seen one of those in ages’, moments.

First up was a Black Tern. Never seen one before. There was a strange looking Tern sat on a buoy, a fair way off, at Stewartby Lake. I took a few shots, hoping it may be a Black Tern. I wasn’t sure, and the quality was pretty dire.

Heavily cropped, and just makes it as a record shot. I e-mailed it, and a couple of others, to Frank; The Early Birder. He confirmed my suspected ID.
Cheers Frank; and sorry to be a nuisance. lol
So, a first; and a bit of a rarity round here too. Couple of days later, I saw another at Tring Reservoirs. Still got the same buzz of excitement, even though the picture was worse lol
Another heavily cropped, dodgy picture, (it was miles away; honest!), but it don’t stop a bit of happiness, when it’s rolling through a depression.
Another first, and equally dodgy pictures, came with the sighting of some Ruff.

Rough indeed. Again, at Tring, which also threw up a Greenshank. Not seen one in years, so here’s more heavily cropped, dodgies.

When I arrived at Tring that day, I almost fell out of the car with excitement. As I pulled into the car park, a Red Kite was soaring above. Hastily grabbed shots followed.

Probably the best of a bunch. Not perfect, but a good start to the day. And I never realised they were bigger than a Buzzard, till I looked it up.
Actually the day started at College Lake reserve, (this post is becoming more mixed up than I am), but the birds seem to have deserted the place whilst the construction of a shiny new visitor centre takes place. I hope they do come back, it’s a place of great potential, if they’d stop mucking around with it. One bird I did see, through the glass window of the closed café on a feeder was this.
I reckon it’s a Willow Tit, but I stand to be corrected. It’s very similar to the Marsh Tit, but a stockier build, and bigger bib. His bib was pretty big. If it is a Willow, that’s another first for me, I think.
(I say think, because when I was a kid, I used to tick birds off in an old bird book, and looking back now, I’m amazed at some of the birds I saw; or thought I saw.)

And to finish with, back over at Tring, a pair of Swans have turned up.

Yellow beaks! Turn round, lets see it properly!

Whooper Swans! Not seen these in years either.

A bad week, made bearable by the birds. And dodgy pictures.


  1. Google seem to have had a lot of glitches for several weeks now Keith. I doubt the problem was anything at your end of the wires. Sometimes a link somewhere on the net breaks down or is too busy and then lots of sites, often in the same part of the world, will be AWOL for a while. I get that from time to time. You can reckon that if some sites are working OK then the fault is not on your computer.

    Love the Red Kite photo. Never seen one as yet but then I don't visit the areas where they hunt. The photo of the tit, whichever it is, is a beauty.

  2. MY photos at the dodgies when highly cropped. I resorted to 'oil paint' a couple of times trying to get more definition - stop complaining these are wonderful.... we can't take 'fantastics' every time...Moments of joy - this is what we strive for.

  3. Sorry to hear you've had a 'ruff' week. Your dodgies are like some of my best..ha ha!
    Black Tern, Red Kite & Whooper etc. that can't be bad. Willow v Marsh..often difficult to tell but I suspect you are right. Marsh should also have a glossy cap & bib is USUALLY smaller.
    By the way if these ID's get any rarer the fee may go up (joking). You owe me a photo lesson.

  4. All sounds very dodgy to me, Keith! Never-the-less, you struggled on. If you think these pictures are dodgy (which I don't), you should try the dark art of digiscoping - it's such a dark art that Dan Brown should write a book about it!!

  5. AW Keith - sorry to hear that your life's a bit jumbled at the moment and hope that it will return to normal very soon.

    I was having "google" related problems last night so think it must have been pretty general.

    Fantastic spot of the Tern and the others would be "good to have" for me :D

    And whoopers (the first one looks as though he's having a really good laugh at something)....so who's the lucky one then eh?

  6. still great shots and I bet you were having lots of fun also.

  7. Wow Keith, that is one bumper day. Well done on the Black Tern and the Red Kite and just about everything else. Is there no end to all these good sightings. And the Whoopers, blimey I don't think they have seen any at Welney yet??
    (I think the Willow is a Coal by the way.)

  8. My friend I have had some problems with my site as well. For a while I was not "following" anyone and had no chance to review shots from others. A few hours later, every thing is back to normal. I hope your week get better.

  9. Thanks John. I seem to be plagued with computer problems recently. So frustrating when you can’t find the reason at the time. lol

    Ginger, thanks. I’m my worst critic I suppose, but you’re right, the moment is the best part. End result, the picture, a bonus.

    Cheers Frank. It’s been a good week for firsts so far; and brain taxing trying to ID them. I don’t think you need lessons taking photos; but I need lessons on ID’s lol

    Emma, thank you. Digiscoping, never tried it. Seen excellent results though.
    Maybe something for next year? :)

    Tricia, thank you. Yea, the old cards of life haven’t been falling very good recently. The birds do take the edge off it though, thankfully.

    Thanks Patty. Late afternoon light, almost in front at times. Tricky, but gave some good results. :)

    Doreen, thanks. A lot of fun.

    Thanks Roy. The ‘year list’ has exceeded my personal target already, so very pleased.
    Coal Tit? Could be. Didn’t get a good look to see if he had white at the back of the head, he was so fast coming and going from the feeder. Not the best angle for an ID, and maybe my excitement overtook me a bit. lol

    Thanks David. Seems it was google with the problems after all. :)

  10. It happens, probably nothing to do with you. The Kite is great, the others aren't so bad, well you've seen mine. thought about a little starburst in their eyes. Can E-mail the brushes for the job.

  11. Nice selection of shots Keith...one or two life ticks for me in that lot. Lovely Red Kite...I have yet to see one.

  12. Your 'dodgies' are better than most people's bests Keith!

    Sorry things are out of kilter with you at the moment, isn't it great though to be able to 'escape' into Nature?

    Well done on the Black Tern, the Red Kite ;) aren't they magnificent! and the Whooper, I haven't seen one for years.

    I was interested that I am not the only one with their childhood bird book. I had the Observers Book of Birds and every time I saw a 'new' bird I would carefully underline its name in the index. The shocking thing is how many are underlined that I have never seen since and I don't think I had misidentified them, sadly they are species which have declined since then.

  13. Your willow tit reminds me of our chickadee! Loved seeing the beauty you captured of the swan!

  14. Wellllll..I'm thinking your too hard on yourself - I totlly enjoyed you dodgy pics and can relate. My camera - has a limited long dist lens - am working my way up to a SLR..so my far away pics of birds..well you shame mine - lol!! The shore birds..I love them have always loved shore birds. I love to paint them and seldom can find a decent shot - yours from an artists eye are wonderful.
    LOL the hawk!! I have a grey hawk that flies over my house every morning..never the same time. But she calls as she flies. Not once in the umpteen times that I have run out the front door, camera in hand have I caught her. I probably look like a loon. Hope you have a wonderful day. I do so love your blog!!!

  15. Yup, my weeks been going the same way. We can hope that next week will bring better spirits:).
    Now, the photo are wonderful. Period. I never get bird photos...so I'm relying on others to feed my need for birdy eye-candy. Your 1st photo is my favorite.

  16. Sorry to hear that you're having a bad week. Love the black tern and red kite photos.

  17. well, i thought them all beautiful - and so wonderful to be able to share in the beauty of nature from the ole' homeland - thanks so much for sharing! have a wonderful day - jenean

  18. Adrian, thanks.
    I might pass on the starburst for now; but if things don’t improve, who knows lol

    The Watcher, thank you. It’s been good for ‘lifers’ for me this week. There’s quite a few Red Kites about this area, which is great to see. Had three Common Buzzard fly over the garden yesterday, (first time), and their mewing call sent the Collard Doves away from the feeders like lightning.

    ShySongbird, thanks for your comment. Nature is a wonderful tonic.
    The same book I started with too. lol The one with the Fieldfare on the front cover.
    Far too many species in decline now, that were so common then.

    Thank you Shelley. Those birds are very similar aren’t they.

    Sarah, thank you for your comment, appreciate it.
    I’m sure you’ll capture your Grey Hawk one day. :)

    Thank you Andrea. Let’s hope next week is more positive for both of us.

    Helen, thank you. The Red Kite is a beautiful bird. I’d love to get closer to one, one day.

    Jenean, thank you for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed them.

  19. good bit of luck with the red kite! I'd love to see one of these.

  20. Thank you Dev. I was just in the right place, at the right time for the Red Kite. A moment later, and I'd have missed him.

  21. i prsume the whoopers are escapes? nice pics

  22. Cheers Pete.
    The general thinking at Tring, is they are the genuine article. Not sure how they know; but it was great to see them. :)