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 October 2010

Weekend again

Had a busy few days, with a meeting at work, doctor’s appointment, shopping, and a visit from my sister. There really doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day, and it will seem worse next week; the return to work on Wednesday, if my doctor agrees.
I’ve mixed feelings about going back; I’ll just have to see how it works out.

A few pictures to sort through, but I don’t think that will take too long, most look crap anyway, and a lot of blogs to catch up on.

So, just a few random shots for the weekend…….


A Black-headed Gull tucking into a hearty meal of fish.



 Grey Heron, looking very purposeful.



 A young Great crested Grebe



 An older Wigeon




And a peaceful looking Mallard to finish with.


Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Old stuff

Not managed to take much recently, haven’t ventured further than my local lake for a while, and the return to work looms; so maybe not much from the local soon either.
So, a few pictures that got missed when I took them a little while ago; some even go back to September.


 A Chaffinch, from Stockgrove Country Park. I must try and get back there soon.




A dandelion seed head, and a stalk of grass.



Manx Loghtan sheep in thoughtful mode. Well, he might not be thinking much, maybe what he’ll eat next. There are a few of these at RSPB Sandy reserve. Somewhere else I’d like to go back to soon.
Interesting snippet; they almost died out in the 1950's, but now there are many thriving flocks across the British Isles.



 A Dunnock on a fence. Probably the ultimate LBJ.



 Incoming! Female Mallard coming to see if I had more than a camera.



 Canada Geese are just as curious too.


And I’ll finish on probably the most belligerent of all waterfowl species,


 a Coot attacking a Wigeon for no other reason than it was there.


Hope the rest of your week is peaceful.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

A quick Sunday post

Had a crap day yesterday; and that’s being polite about it.

I woke up a bit later than usual, feeling very strange. I ached, and felt like I didn’t belong where I was. Walking was an effort.
I had a very quick walk round half the local lake, came home, and fell asleep for the rest of the day. I have a lot of catching up to do.
Yesterday was 9 months and a day since my heart attack.
Apparently 9 is a very significant number.
I’m not religious, but I believe in some things.

Anyway, enough of this, here’s some pictures.

Had some Long Tailed Tits descend on the garden, briefly, the last few days.



I love the way they sweep in, have a quick feed, and then go.

Another visitor that has recently been coming is this one.



A Coal Tit. It was interesting watching him; he’d take a seed, fly down to the garden with it, and either eat it, or bury it, and then go back for more. I think I might have a garden full of Sunflowers next year.

Away from the garden now, and a couple of a Grey Wagtail.



These were from a couple of weeks ago, from a very cooperative bird.


And last one for now, a Black-headed Gull.



Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

In Praise of Mallards



The Mallard is our most commonest duck; and the male, probably one of the most colourful.
Wherever there’s water, there’s probably a Mallard or two; the British breeding population is estimated at 63-159,000 pairs.

The male has a dark green head, a yellow bill, is mainly purple-brown on the breast and grey on the body.





The plain brown colour of the female is so different from the male that they were originally thought to be separate species, they both have orange-red legs and a yellow-olive coloured bill.





Their diet? Mainly grasses and water plants, but they’ll also eat seeds, acorns and berries, insects and shellfish. And of course, the odd slice of bread. It’s no wonder they are so successful.

Nest building is by the female, and the incubation, and the looking after the young. Seems the male is more interested in the mating part; he leaves everything else to the female.




She’ll lay anything up to 16 creamy coloured eggs, 57 x 41 mm in size, usually about March, and begin her 28 day incubation period when the last egg has been laid.



Yea, she could perform her life standing on one leg.


And while the male flies around looking pretty,



the female can take a bow, for being such a busy girl.



Saturday, 16 October 2010

A quick post for the weekend

Today was the first day I’ve managed to get out, so I went round the local lake. Most of these pictures are from there. The first one though, is from the garden yesterday.



Ten Goldfinches on some of the feeders. Today I lost count at twenty; seems they’ve had a great year for breeding. I’ve never seen so many in the garden at once, it’s no wonder the Sparrowhawk is being seen more often.
And the half plucked Collared Dove seems to be doing well. His feathers seem to be growing back quite quickly. Should have a new coat in time for the winter.

Back to today’s pictures, and first one is a Wigeon.



There’s quite a few of these at the moment, along with the Tufted Ducks and Pochards. Very shy though. As soon as I get close, they swim off into the middle of the lake.


 This one, from last week, is doing the famous ‘whistle’ as he swims around.


The real ‘star’ though, has been the Red Crested Pochard. There’s five now; pictures on the other blog.

A female Mallard flew in close this morning,



she probably thought I’d come with some bread. Maybe next time girl.

These Cormorants were enjoying the morning sun,


 and this Grey Wagtail posed nicely for a while.





Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Had the final instalment done at the hospital yesterday, for the heart.
Another stent fitted in the artery that was feeling lonely; so now they’ve all got one. One has two, greedy bugger.

A couple of weeks, and I should be almost fit enough to run marathons…………….or at least go back to work. Today though, I feel a bit like a human pincushion, and sore and tired.

In simple terms, a catheter was passed through my wrist, into the artery, up to the blockage, and then a stent fitted, to open up the blockage. At the same time, there was also one inserted in the groin, and the artery there. Not sure what that one was for, I didn’t ask.

A big thank you from me, to all the staff at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospital, who without them, myself and hundreds of other people, wouldn’t be around now.

And a big thank you to everyone who left their thoughts and good wishes. It meant a lot to me. Thank you.

Normality back soon.



From holdingmoments

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

One before I go

Off to the hospital tomorrow, hopefully for the last time, so a post to keep things going till I get back. A bit of a mix; couple of webs to start with.




I love watching geese when they begin their descent onto a lake. What starts as a seemingly organised approach, can sometimes look like complete mayhem, as they twist and turn at the last minute.



But the final landing is always perfection.



Next one is from the beginning of September,


 A Brown Hawker. 



 A pair of Migrant Hawkers, from last month too.


And to finish on, the sun going down last night, over my local lake.



Enjoy your day; wherever you are.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The 10/10/10 Challenge

David, of One Foote Closer, threw down a little challenge a while ago.
10 of whatever you want…………..10 pictures of the same thing, different ways, different things…….whichever way you wanted to interpret it; so long as it had ‘10’ in the theme. Well, it is the 10/10/10. Great idea, and not as easy as I first thought.

Since I don’t take much else other than birds, I thought I’d stick with those. But how to interpret it?

I did think about this a lot, believe it or not, and I decided to do 10 of the same bird, but hopefully showing it 10 different ways. Yea, not very inspiring, or original perhaps; but it gave me a chance to trawl through some pictures, and pick out some of my personal favourites.

Some of them I haven’t posted before either, so here we go, 10 shots of a Heron.



 A real punk hairstyle with this one. Caught him mid scratch.




We both surprised each other here. I was walking the edge of a lake, when up popped this head. We both stared at each other, before he flew off, and I managed a couple of shots. I like the angle of the eyes.




During the last winter, most of the lakes I visited were frozen over. This shot is at a place called Paxton Pits. The whole lake was solid, apart from one small area. This fox had decided to walk across the ice, and investigate the island in the middle of the lake. I think he decided, wisely, to leave the Heron alone.



Just a flight shot, but I liked the big white area he was flying into.



There are 11 Herons in this picture. One of our local lakes, Willen, has a Heronry on its island, and this particular day, some of them decided to stand in a group. I’ve never seen so many in one place before.



It’s the intense stare I liked in this one.



Another flight shot; this time with lunch. I’d watched him for a while, whilst he was fishing. He paraded around with it for a while after he caught it, then flew across the lake to eat it in peace.




Another ‘staring’ shot.



 Coming in to land, and into the sun. I just liked the light in this.


And the final shot, was from a very cold winters morning, the day after Christmas, a couple of years ago.



He looked so fed up and cold; like he’s got a shawl wrapped around his shoulders.


Hope you enjoyed them; and thanks David, for a great idea.