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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Sunday, 3 January 2010

Two into one will go.

Today and yesterday, that is. Not many pictures to show for two outings, but both trips were enjoyable.

Yesterday I spent a few hours at the local, after scraping the frost from the car. Caldecote Lake before the joggers arrive is a great place for birds. It’s great place even with the joggers, but easier for pictures without ‘em. But what should have been ‘easy’, the Kingfisher, was a complete disaster due to me.

I reached the spot where I’ve seen fleeting glimpses of him in the past, as he takes off into the distance, to be met with him sat perched on his favourite branch, about twenty feet away. I froze. My heart raced. I’ve got him at last!

I slowly raised my camera, and clicked away. It seemed sluggish. Bugger! The settings had turned from my usual AV to Manual. Some things are not meant to be I guess, and all I had on the card was blackness. Underexposed to a T. Oh well, press on.

This Long Tailed Tit must have taken pity on me, because he sat still long enough for a few shots.

Two more expert fishers fell to the lens next.

The Cormorant, and a Grey Heron. Not the ‘king’, but equally charming in their own right.

All round the lake I walked, grabbing a few poor shots on the way. Bullfinches high in the trees, plenty of ducks on the unfrozen parts of the lake, and gulls.
A Common Gull, with a poorly foot.

Or maybe he was just cold. I was. And the usual hordes of Black-headed Gulls.

And the one in the middle? The smaller one……..

I’m thinking a first winter Black-headed Gull.

And so on to today, Tring Reservoirs. Equally cold, equally frosty, and equally poor for pictures, due to me.
Not the fault of the fine birds on show though. The Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Wigeon, Pochard, Tufted Duck, and the Teal.

As I left the hide, and walked the path between two fields, the weak sun doing its best to take the chill from the air, I spotted some Pheasant making their way through the grass. Something else was making its way through the grass too. Uninterested in the Pheasant; more interested in finding a spot to soak up the sun. A fox.

He sat on the far side of the field, bathing in the warmth, watching me as I fumbled with cold fingers to take his picture. Inching as close as I could, without trespassing, or scaring him off, I managed a few shots.

Thanks Reynard. You made my day.


  1. Hi Keith, I've told myself never again, don't switch on your manual instead of AV, but it is happy with the controls. So I have done that and missed the whole episode.
    Nice one of the Fox.

  2. Nice set of images Keith you have utilised the winter lighting conditions well. The fox is an unexpected bonus, excellent record of the days events.

  3. Hi Keith,
    It looks like you got a great day, and all our birds ;-) Even gulls are quite hard to see nowadays, except in the town, it is too cold I guess... Well done on the fox, that is something I would like to get pictures off one day!

  4. Love the shot of the Cormorant with his wings frozen in flight.

  5. What a great shame about the Kingfisher Keith, but I know how you feel as I have been there more than once. Anyway Reynard made up for it. All in all you got some good results otherwise.

  6. HI Keith...Well Ive had PC problems and athough I have given up for now...the problem is not completely resolved. You have posted some awesome shots..and the fox is SOOOO cute! Great work to get that shot steady--I dont have a clue about the small gull! ITS very cold here now---today the high was 35-F. Have a great week!

  7. the duck is very cool looking. like his head dress. nice to get a shot of the cutie pie fox. have a great week! back to work tomorrow.

  8. Cheers Bob. I usually check the settings before I go out; missed it that day lol

    Bobb…, thank you. Yea, the fox saved the day I think.

    Thanks Chris. We’ve certainly got a lot of your Redwings lol

    Thank you Jim. I always seem to have trouble getting Cormorants in flight.

    Roy, I’m more determined than ever to get a shot of the Kingfisher. Soon, I hope.

    Thanks Wilma. First time I’ve managed to get some pictures of a fox. I was well pleased.

    Dixxe, thanks. PC’s are a real pain when they go wrong. Hope you get it sorted soon.
    It’s a shame the fox has such a bad reputation; I think they’re great.

    Thanks Doreen. Their green head feathers really shine when the sun catches them.

    NPT, thank you.

  9. Your fox looks as thought he may have just come out of a storybook.

  10. Andrea, thanks for your comment. That fox was a real beauty.

  11. Hi Keith,
    First of all let me wish a splendid year 2010 to you full of pleasant unforgettable encounters and marvelous photographs! :-)
    Secondly, don't be disappointed by the amount and quality of your photos as they are so good. I love this result of your outings so much... It feels like I was there too! ;-)

  12. Petra, thank you for your kind words.
    Early days yet, but the year does seem to have started well. :)

  13. A very good start to your year despite the flicking switch! Nice encounter with the fox.
    BTW gull ID..correct. FAB.

  14. A good two days birding Keith despite the disappointment of the Kingfisher.

  15. Great shot of the fox Keith I bet its dam cold up your way its chilly enough down here.

  16. Cheers for the ID confirmation Frank. I'm getting better lol

    Thanks Trevor. The Kingfisher is top of my list to get now, still :)

    Thanks Keith. Yea, it's pretty cold here. Another thick frost tonight, and the forecast is for more snow.

  17. What a shame about the Kingfisher, so near yet so far! I tried so hard all last year to find one but not even a glimpse.

    Beautiful photos again, the LTT was posing very nicely and how lovely to capture the fox.

  18. Well done Keith another grand set.

  19. Noushad thanks for stopping by, and commenting. Appreciate it.

    Thanks ShySongbird. I'll get him eventually; not tomorrow though, got a lot of snow this evening lol

    Adrian, thanks. Hope you're ok in this snow.

  20. Oh oh oh you know I love the Fox. The birds are stunning too.I adore the duck!! Did you dee one of your pictures was the model for my new story!! Thank you hon..huge hugs, Sarah

  21. Thanks Sarah. I thought I recognised the bird lol
    You did an excellent job there.

  22. Fantastic fox photos Keith. Always amazes me how brave foxes are compared with other British mammals.

  23. Thanks Helen. Yea, they can be quite brave at times.