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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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

About time

It's been a while since I've posted. Got a few pictures still to sort through from various days out recently. That's one of the reasons I took a break from blogging. Sometimes the internet just seemed as though it was taking over.
Here's a couple of pictures from a little while ago.

This is my buddy, Bud, using all his powers to make the plate come closer.
He lives in Wales. I wish I did too.

This is his new 'friend'.

She's called Ellie, and tries very hard to be loved by Bud; but he's not that bothered by her juvenile antics.

A sunrise, from back in May. The Grand Union canal. One of the pictures I've entered in a photographic competition run by The Canal and River Trust.

A pair of Avocets, that were desperately trying to make their nest containing four eggs, safe from the high spring tide at Titchwell recently.

Spring is definitely in the air, as the following two videos show.

The first is a short clip of a pair of Mute Swans mating.

The second is another short compilation of a pair of hedgehogs.

For some time I've had one visiting at night, so I put some dog meat and dried mealworms down for him. One night, the night camera recorded over an hour of the courtship between a second hog that turned up. It doesn't always end in mating, as the female sometimes just isn't 'in the mood'. During this time, a third hog, presumably a male, turned up, and had to be swiftly dealt with.
A few nights later, they managed to actually mate in peace.

OK, back to some more pictures.

A recent visit to Minsmere nature reserve with Trevor, gave us some stunning views of a couple of birds of prey.

First up;


and he treated us to a fly past with his lunch. A Four-spotted Chaser.

The second bird was this stunner;

A Marsh Harrier.

I was going to have some butterflies next, but I'll do them another time. I want to keep with the raptor theme for now.

The garden has been invaded by lots of juvenile Starlings at the moment, and last night a Sparrowhawk dropped in for tea.

The following were all taken through the glass in the back door, so maybe not as sharp as I'd hope for.

If nature at its rawest is not your thing, then skip the next five pictures.

I may post the video another time, or you could seek it out on my YouTube channel if you want. It's quite graphic.

Enjoy the rest of your week, and weekend. 

I'm back to picture sorting for a while.


  1. This is a great post. Well worth the wait.
    Good to see the dogs. Great shots of the Marsh Harrier and the Sparrow Hawk.
    Can't get the video as bandwidth is limited here. I doubt I'll watch cos I'm not into sex these days.
    Good to see you back.

  2. Hey Keith, what a lovely collection of Pictures i especially love Bud for the awww factor. The Marsh Harrier is stunning one of my bestist birds ;)
    Hope your keeping well.

  3. Thanks Adrian, glad you enjoyed it.
    Yea, the videos pass me by for the same reason. The Sparrowhawk was amazing to see so close.

    Thanks Kath. The Marsh Harriers are stunning, aren't they. Keeping as well as I'll ever be lol

  4. Those images of the dogs are real crackers Keith, especially the one of Bud.

    Good luck with the canal comp. What's the first prize? A brand new narrow boat would be nice!

    Excellent images from Minsmere...it was a good day out!

    Tut!..Tut!..risque videos now is it?..whatever next?

    A cracking set of the Sparrowhawk doing what Sparrowhawks do!

    Great post..even if it has been a while!...[;o)

  5. Cheers Trevor. Yea, those little dogs are very photogenic.
    Competition prize is an i-phone, I think, but I just fancied entering anyway.
    The Sparrowhawk was spellbinding to watch.

  6. oh, those raptors are so gorgeous! i loved your wales furry buddies, too. :)

  7. Brilliant post - love the avocet photo and will be checking out the sparrowhawk video - I have one in my garden from time to time but not seen him catch anything, now that would be a thrill - that's nature for you - sparrowhawks have to eat - they haven't the luxury of popping to the supermarket like we do!

  8. Thats some great photos of the Sparrowhawk Keith, Thats how it is in the wild......Hard.

    Good luck with the photo comp too.


  9. Yeah, we all need a break from the pressures of the internet from time to time.

    Good to see you haven't lost your touch with the lens. A cracking series, especially the Sparrowhawk.

  10. I like th eCanal shot Keith. You also got some great shots at Minsmere especially the flight ones.
    The Hedgehogs had to be careful.{:))

  11. Thanks Theresa. Yea, those furry buddies are the best.

    Thanks Sharon. It was amazing to watch the Sparrowhawk. Surprisingly all bird activity ceased while he was there. :-)

    Thank you Peter. The competition was entered on a whim, so not too bothered.
    The Sparrowhawk was great to witness.

    Cheers Frank. Taking the pictures I enjoy; it's the rest after I have trouble with. lol

    Thanks Roy. I feel privileged to have the hedgehogs visit every night; especially as they are in such decline.
    Minsmere is a great reserve.

  12. Well firstly I would vote for the canal image if I was on the judging panel, very nicely composed. The raptors have blown me away I like the Hobby, but have to confess the Sparrowhawk images are my favourite, brilliant.
    Did you know in Sweden every year for three days they encourage the public not to use the internet, and a lot a people are starting to equate net usage to an addiction, it's useful to log off from time to time...dare I say refreshing!

  13. Thank you Doug, glad you enjoyed the canal shot.
    The Sparrowhawk was certainly a memorable encounter.
    I like the Swiss idea. I think too much can be spent on the net.

  14. Wow Keith, you pictures get better and better. The power of the Sparrowhawk and the look of the starling's face make a high impact shot.

  15. Good luck with your photo competition keith. Like the picture of Bud, I think he is thinking 'Oh how depressing...it's salad'

  16. Fantastic post and photos - a little something for everybody - the dog lover, Harrier lover, brutal nature lover. :-) Shelley

  17. Thank you Heather. I've still got loads of Sparrowhawk pictures to sort through yet.

    Thanks Linda. Yea, Bud's a great little dog.

    Thanks Shelley. Glad you enjoyed them.
    Hope you're well.

  18. HI Keith...That first shot is a classic...should be framed and
    hung :)so darn cute !!
    Wonderful set of photo!!

  19. Hi Keith What a wonderful post. So much content. the dogs are gorgeous, I loved the 2 videos, the Sparrowhawk shots are tremendous and I have missed your posts although I know what you meant that it can take over our life! Margaret

  20. HI Keith, glad to see a post I got worried! WOW so much to see in this post, love your dog friends, and the landscape is a super image good luck with your entry!
    The birds of prey are stunning, that one in stop motion is stellar...I just couldnt look at the last hawk I figure it was gresome, I know its nature Im just too much a softee.
    I'll go have a look at the Sexy stuff now...lol

  21. Thank you Grace. Yea, Bud is a great little character. I've got so many pictures of both the dogs.

    Thanks Margaret. Yea, I sometimes think I spend far too much time on here.

    Thank you Sondra. Glad you enjoyed the pictures. Hope you enjoy the videos too lol

  22. Super photos of your lovely Welsh pals Keith.

    Good luck with the photo competition. The photo of the Avocets is really striking, you should enter that one for a photo comp too.

    The Sparrowhawk series is a sight I have seen in my garden and of course all part of nature but such difficult viewing. I can just about cope with them eating their dead prey but I do so wish they would dispatch it quickly and cleanly before they start eating (I find that unbearable), I may be wrong but I think some raptors deliver an immediate nip to the back of the neck.

  23. Thanks Jan. Yea, it was hard going watching the Starlings demise, but interesting too. It can seem a cruel world at times, in the animal kingdom.

  24. Some cracking bird-of-prey shots there, Keith. I love the drama of that Hobby-in-flight pic. It's not always great living in Wales, you know!

  25. Thanks Jeremy.
    I was up in north Wales just before Easter, when it snowed. Snowed in for a week, hard, but enjoyable. lol

  26. I love the photos. The raptor ones just prove what I've always suspected: they are beautiful but not cuddly. The good news is that they eat rodents, too.

  27. Nature does not bother me at all Keith. In fact, it grounds me. Awesome captures of your blog break.

  28. Thanks JoLynne. The raptors certainly are beautiful animals. It was great to be so close to one.

    Thanks Nancy. I don't think there's anything better than watching nature.

  29. These are some wonderful images.. such great action with the bird of prey.. and the hedgehogs, I guess. ;)

    Love that photo of your Bud. It's says so much about the patient optimism of canines.

  30. Thanks Hilary. Yea, I really like that shot of Bud; and you're so right with 'patient optimism'.