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
No Google Adds here.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Looking back

I had a wander through some of this years archive pictures the other night, and found a few to post. Nearly 10,000 to choose from, so hopefully these ones from January and February, I’ve not posted before. Apologies if I have.
I’ll post them in chronological order.

A Song Thrush, from 5th January, at the local lake, Caldecote. We’d had a light overnight fall of snow, and it was a very cold morning. The birds were out in force, searching for food, and trying to keep warm. I was lucky, I had a big coat on; they just had feathers.

17th January, and a Redshank from the other local, Willen Lake. A wet morning, followed by some sunshine. It was good to get out and feel the sun. The evening turned very windy though, and finally my garden fence succumbed to its force, and two panels finished up flapping from a broken post. I’ll fix it one day.

My very first sighting of a Bittern; and the very first record of one at Caldecote Lake. (26th January enters local history). He was pursued by a gang of 20 plus Black-headed Gulls, before finally seeking refuge in some reeds; but not before I managed a few pictures. The local bird club were pleased too when I reported the sighting, along with some pictures. He only stayed a couple of weeks. I guess he got fed up with the gulls bullying.

The last day of January, sunny, and as warm as a sunny January can get. And a surprise garden visit from this beautiful female Blackcap. Her old man popped by later, but didn’t pose so well.

Onto February, and another surprise. Snow. The amount that came down seemed to surprise everyone, including the birds.

This Dunnock was looking very miserable, trying to find some shelter. The second day of February, and the snow had come with a vengeance. What a way to start the week.

Fifth day, and still snow. Unheard of here. This Pied Wagtail in the garden was searching out food, and trying to keep warm. I kept clearing large areas of snow from the grass with a broom to make it easier for the birds to move around, and did my best to keep some of the pond from freezing over with frequent hot saucepans of water, balancing on the ice. These acts of kindness must have finally convinced the neighbours I had finally lost the plot.

A pair of Mute Swans treating me to a fly past at Willen Lake. Saturday, 21st February, crocuses are flowering in the garden, and the snow is now just a fading memory.

And to end on,

A Robin hiding in the branches at Summer Leys Nature Reserve. My first time there, Sunday, 22nd. It was a dull, cloudy morning, but this little chap made my visit brighter.

Hope you all have a good weekend.


  1. What a treat you posted, Keith! The pair of mute swans is a gorgeous shot. Well done with the bittern spotting!

  2. Good set Keith, The Swans are superb.

  3. That's a lovely collection to have in reserve, Keith. The swans in flight are wonderful.

  4. I especially like the female Blackcap. Whilst we get them locally none has ever ventured into the garden or been kind enough to pose.

  5. Thank you Wilma, glad you enjoyed it. The Bittern was a real treat to see, especially flying around.

    Thanks Adrian. The Swans were good performers, doing a couple of circuits.

    Thank you Emma. I think the lighting helped a lot with the swans.

  6. Thank you for your comment Scriptor. The Blackcap makes brief visits to some gardens, when the food is a bit scarce during the winter months. I was more than happy to oblige them with some seed. They took a liking to the fat balls too.

  7. Whow..10,000 pics..I'm definitely not pressing the button enough!
    Great series my friend, particularly the Redshank (nice backdrop) and the parallel Swans. Bittern in flight..am I jealous..just a bit.
    P.S. Commented on the Winter Thrushes but for some reason it 'bounced back'! I still haven't got close enough To FF or RW but will keep trying. FAB

  8. Well I guess you have a nice collection to sort out and to publish... This is a very nice sequence, and I love the blackcap female shot a lot. There are few of them around, but with the snow and predicted temperature, I guess they will soon disappeared, at least before I'll see them. Have a nice week-end.

  9. What lovely photos to have in reserve Keith! I particularly loved the Swans in flight. I have never seen a Bittern.
    I am hoping the Blackcaps will visit my garden again this Winter as they have for the last few.

    The only time I have ever seen a Pied Wagtail in my garden was during the snow around the same time as you, it visited for a couple of days but the Blackbirds were extremely hostile and aggressive towards it.

  10. Thank you for your comments ShySongbird. You might see a Bittern one day; took me years before I saw one. During the snow in February, all the birds here seemed very tolerant of each other. I think they were more concerned in keeping warm and fed. The Pied Wagtail stopped coming just after the snow went. Be nice to see him in the garden again; but not the snow.

    Thanks Chris. We only usually see the Blackcaps in the woods during summer, so it was a real treat having them visit during the cold weather.

    Cheers Frank. I’ve probably got more pictures than I’ll ever get time to look at lol
    Seeing that Bittern was a classic ‘right place’ moment. I was so excited I spent more time watching it than taking pictures.

  11. Hi Keith...wow awesome stockpile of photos!! The swans flying wins my blue ribbon! Have a great weekend!

  12. I really liked the bittern being chased by gulls photo.

  13. Angad, thank you for stopping by, following, and leaving a comment. Appreciate it. The sight of the Bittern was great for me; to get flight pictures even better.

    Thank you Dixxe. I like swans; big and slow. A bit easier to capture lol

  14. the swans are my fav also!! I bet that was a treat for you to see and photograph.

    congrats on your award from Jen also!!

  15. Doreen, thank you for your comment.

  16. Great shots! E enjoy all of your photos as really ART of nature. Greetings from Luzia (and sorry for my terrible English!)

  17. Luzia, thank you for stopping by, and commenting. Appreciate your comments.
    You're English is very good :)