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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Friday, 29 April 2011

A farewell to April.

The eve of the weekend, and a new month looming; so the last few from April.

I'll kick of with a couple of flowers

 Cowslip. These have almost finished here now, but they've been a real treat to see.

 Wood Sorrel. A lovely flower, that carpets a woodland floor.

 Ullswater. A reminder of the great time I spent in the company of Adrian, recently.

A selection of birds.

 A Wren. This tiny bird was really scolding me. I think I may have inadvertently wandered too close to her nesting site.

 A Moorhen, taking a stroll in the April sunshine.

 An Oystercatcher. One of a pair, that are hopefully breeding at my local lake.

 Song Thrush, posing in the sun.

 Lesser Black-backed Gull. I hope. My gull ID's leave a lot to be desired at times.

 Pied Wagtail. At the waters edge, of lake Ullswater.

And to end this selection, another shot of the Dipper, that I was so pleased to see recently.

Enjoy the weekend.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

World Bird Wednesday

For the second year running, I have a pair of Blue Tits nesting in my garden.

 A quick look, before going inside.

An even smaller bird, is the Wren.

 They may be small, but they have a powerful voice.

A bird that has done its best to make my attempts at capture, difficult, so far this year.

 The Brambling.

Another difficult subject, that constantly hides amongst the reeds.

 Reed Warbler.

Another reed dweller; collecting some nesting material.

 A female Reed Bunting.

And finally, someone who occasionally poses.

 Grey Heron

Lots more birds over at The Pine River Review: home of World Bird Wednesday.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter Sunday

I was up with the lark this morning. I had a plan; go to Ivinghoe Beacon, in the hope of getting the sunrise, and maybe a Wheatear or two.

Five thirty, I made my way from the car, in the almost deserted car park. Almost.
There were two other cars; one had a lady, who was about to walk her dog, and the other, a lady who had come for the 'Easter service' on the hill.

Easter service?

Well, the dog walking lady, told the religious lady, that the service wasn't on. I must admit I was a little pleased to hear that, (lots of people), although maybe a few prayers might have made the birds easier to spot.
Off she went, with dog in tow, and the religious lady, who I found out later is called Sue, asked if she could tag along with me for a while.
"Of course you can." I said; and we set off down the path, that leads up to the distant hill.

We chatted in hushed tones, and I pointed out the various birds we saw, and heard.
Chiffchaff, Pheasant, and as we neared the summit, a pair of Ravens.
It was becoming clear by now, that any hope of a sunrise was going to be thwarted by a mist that hung all around us. More like a fog, after a while.

We reached the summit, but the view was limited, and the sun non existent. A few birds were about though, and I managed to show my companion a Skylark, as it took to the air, singing its wonderful song, as it climbed higher and higher.

Where the Wheatear should be, there were only sheep, Crows, Rooks and Jackdaws. And picture taking was proving difficult.

 A Yellowhammer, that came fairly close, for a picture.

After about an hour, and still misty, Sue had to leave. She explained there was another service, at Dunstable Downs that she wanted to go to. Today is a big day, if you are religious.

We said our goodbyes, and before she left, she insisted on saying a prayer for me.

As I watched Sue disappear into the mist, I made my way back to the sheep slope, and where there should be Wheatear. After a lot of scanning with the binoculars, I finally found one. Miles away! No good for a picture, although I did try. Not even worth keeping for a record shot; so straight in the bin. But at least I saw one.

I walked back to the hill, and decided to try another spot further along.

 A Linnet. The best I could manage with the misty conditions, and high ISO.

I watched some Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, and a Kestrel that glided past; and the mist slowly began to clear. As I got lower down the slope of the hill, the sun made quick, brief bursts, to light up the landscape.

 A lone Bluebell, forcing its way through the bramble floor covering.

I reached another slope, that led to an area known as Incombe Hill. A steepish climb, but worth it. I could hear Whitethroat calling from every bush, and bramble covering. The sun was making good headway through the mist by now.
I wanted a picture!

I followed a calling Whitethroat for ages, and was in danger of becoming labelled a stalker, when suddenly, briefly, there he was.

 A beauty! He posed briefly, and then we played 'catch me' again. 

I caught him, again.

 I was very happy with these.

The sunlight was making such a difference. I reached an area of scrub, beyond a style, and a sign that warned of possible danger ahead.

 I love signs like this. We must take care, and ensure the safety of those that struggled with the gene pool. 



More wildflowers;


More birds singing amongst the brambles and bushes, and I chased a Garden Warbler for an age; only to get a very brief out of focus shot.
And then I found a lone Bluebell, growing through the grass.

I laid down on the damp grass, to get a few shots, as the sun began to make things easier. As I fired away, a butterfly landed on the flower.

 I thought at first, a Speckled Wood, but it didn't seem right for that.

 A Grizzled Skipper.

Quite a rarity, I've since found out; and usually seen on the wing, on hot spring days, late May or June.

A really good morning.

Hope your day was good too.

Friday, 22 April 2011

The beauty of the Lake District

A few more from the visit at the beginning of the week.

I'm not really a landscape picture taker, but I hope I've managed to capture the beauty of the place with these. 

I'll kick off with a hill.

The rest are Ullswater.

And I'll finish with a bird.

 The Dipper

Enjoy the day.

I hope the sun is shining where you are. 

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Some away days

I've just spent a few days in the company of fellow blogger, Adrian; he of Adrian's Images fame.

If you don't already follow his blog, you should. He's an extremely witty gentleman, excellent photographer, and wonderful host; along with his travelling companions, Molly and Alfie.

I met up with him at a secluded campsite,

 in Patterdale, close to Ullswater


 in the Lake District.

It's been about 30 years since I've been in this part of the country, and the weather couldn't have been better. Wall to wall sunshine, high temperatures, and not too many people about.

Ullswater is only a few minutes walk from where we were parked, so daily visits to the shore were a must. The usual Canada Geese and Greylag Geese, along with Mallard and Mute Swans, and a life tick for me; a pair of Red Breasted Mergansers.

A poor shot of the male. They would insist on keeping well away from the shore unfortunately, but at least I managed a record shot.

And running right by the campsite, a fast moving stream, with its own small waterfall.

Now on a fast moving stream, could there possibly be a bird I've not seen for over 30 years?

Adrian knew there was; and on the first visit there, we found one.

 A Dipper.

I was so pleased to see one of these birds again. A fascinating bird, and one I'd get to see a few more times, before I left for home.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

A quick Sunday post

A brief post for today, and then early tomorrow I'm off to meet up with fellow blogger Adrian, somewhere in the Lake District.

I understand there might not be internet or phone signal while we're there, so some catching up to do when I get back.

Just a few pictures for now.



 Blue Tit


 House Sparrow


 Willow Warbler

See ya when I get back. Got a bag to pack now.