Thursday, 12 September 2013

Blog now on website

 I will be posting a periodical BLOG on my web site pages in future, this will keep everything in-house and be a bit more tidy. Cheers for looking. This is the link if you are interested.....

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A True Fairy Tale.....The Bitch, The Witch and The Swan

Once upon a time a photographer was minding his own business overlooking a pond at a local nature reserve, when all of a sudden a huge bull mastiff bitch with huge dirty, slavery chops came beside him and wiped her dirty mush all over his pants and jumper.
Arrgg  cried the photographer, you dirty bitch. At that moment he heard howls of laughter coming from a "lady" obviously the the bull mastiff bitches owner.
You should keep her on a lead cried the photographer.
**** OFF said the owner of the bull mastiff bitch as she gave him a strange two fingered sign in passing.
Oh dear, thought the photographer, shes no lady, she must be a Wicked Witch and she has cast a spell on me with that strange two fingered sign, what ever will the future hold.
Well, the photographer tried to clean himself up as best as he could as the Witch and the Bitch went on their way.
Now, it came to pass a short time later, that a great commotion ensued on the other side of the pond, with ducks and geese and swans scattering about all over the place. At first the photographer couldn't see what was going on as the mist of water with all the splashing obscured his view. Then, when it quietened down a little what should be stood there in the water, you've guessed it, it was none other than the bull mastiff bitch. 
All the little ducklings and goslings and cygnets were paddling as fast as their little feet could muster in order to escape to a safer part of the pond. Then the the witch appeared, well she laughed and laughed until she could laugh no more, this is so much fun she thought. Go get em she yelled, and the bull mastiff bitch obeyed, jumping and pouncing at anything that swam on the water.
Mummy and daddy swan lead their brood out to deeper water, and after making sure all his cygnets were safe, daddy swan set off to confront the bull mastiff bitch, as she was still bouncing about in the water  terrifying all before her. 
The swan twisted and turned in front of the bitch, this dance mesmerized the her and almost trance like she followed daddy swan . Daddy swan lead the bitch away from his brood at the same time going into ever into deeper water.
The bull mastiff  bitch was now out of her depth and clearly struggling to stay afloat. The witch noticed this and called for her to come back, and no matter what commands she screamed to her charge it was ignored,  her laughter had turned to hysteria, help me, help me, she cried, to anyone who would listen, but none did. 
Daddy swan was now in completed control, after all this is a his territory, not a lumbering bull mastiff
Time for the hunter to become the hunted.
Sensing a weakness daddy swan turned and reared up out of the water his huge wing spread high, transforming himself from the graceful creature he is into a towering white giant, he lunged overshadowing and completely enveloping the bull mastiff bitch.......and under she went.
Wow did you see that a passer by said to the photographer, yes said the photographer, wasn't it wonderful just wonderful.

A happy witch

Come on chuck

This way

ah feeling tired chuck 




And all the little ducklings and goslings and cygnets and the photographer......................................................................... LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Silent Majority

No riots, no histrionics, no banner headlines that other disgruntled groups of our society display when they feel aggrieved. Only a quiet inward deep-seated rage that ordinary people up and down the land held that expressed itself in the form of letters to MPs, emails, phone calls and petition filling to complain about the outrageous decision by DEFRA to sanction the destruction of buzzard nests.
Amazingly, within a week all that quiet diplomacy resulted in the decision being overturned.
Everyone who reacted with the smallest voice can be justifiably proud, for those small noises accumulated to a massive crescendo that punctured the eardrums of our Mandarins.

The Common Buzzard ...Wild and Free

A word of caution, the Countryside Alliance is none too pleased with the outcome, so expect a counter attack by fair means or FOWL.


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

One Good they say

Over the past few days the heatwave has kept me close to home, not wishing to travel too far in the heat of the day. I have confined my photography to late afternoons but even then the light has been too strong and the contrast too much for my liking, even so I had to try and do something.

Common Tern

Common Tern

Black Tern

Having purchased a 400mm lens I thought to try it out on a pair of common terns that have recently arrived at Yarrow Valley Park and a trip to Southport on Saturday three black terns twisted and turned and skimmed the waters relentlessly. The problem with Marshside as anyone who knows the place is that you face straight into the sun until very late in the day and to add to my woes a stiff easterly breeze had the terns hovering away from for ninety nine percent of the time...still I gave the lens a good try out and managed to pull out a couple of shots.


Saturday, 19 May 2012

Starting to see Red

The top of my hit list too photograph this season is the redstart along with pied flycatcher. I don't wish to travel to the likes of Gilfach Farm where the photographer is pretty much guaranteed sightings of these beautiful species, if for no other reason than the cost of that liquid gold.....PETROL!!!
But in my case their's another reason, and that is they occur only eight miles from my home on the West Pennines. In past seasons I have been successful locating and photographing the pied flycatcher latest effort at the bottom.... but the redstart has always eluded me, even though it's call could be heard around one certain area.
 This year I have made half a dozen visits and seen fleeting glimpses of the bird, so last week I put in a concerted effort and finally managed to pin it down. When I say pin it down it isn't exactly sitting out in the open, it is flitting about the heavily leafed trees and that gives awkward views for the photographer, that said I have managed a long shot, heavily cropped snap presented here, whether I will improve on that, it remains to be seen. But whether or not I do, it is eminently more satisfying tracking and finding your own material than joining the masses on the merry-go-round.

The Common Redstart

The Pied Flycatcher


Friday, 11 May 2012

Flights of Fancy

A couple of flight shots from last week......first I managed to get reasonably close to a cuckoo, but where on earth is a blue sky when you need one

......second was a female orange tip flirting about a meadow feeding on cuckoo flowers.......

I wonder if two cuckoos make a summer.


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Golden Days

It's always a bit sad returning from holiday, but at least I have stacks of images to sort through to remind me of the long tranquil days in Coquetdale. Unfortunately I haven't had much time to process them in earnest as events in the garden have kept me busy. No, not mowing the lawn (meadow) or tiding the borders, nothing as mundane as that, it's just that my resident goldcrest have been extremely active and for once on show. Normally they feed at the very top of my silver birch, but as they are nest building they are coming out into the open seeking nest material and of course feeding on the abundance of aphids.

                                                   No need for insecticide with these hovers about.

                                                        Collecting cobwebs for the nest.

Two jays nesting close by come to devour my nuts, oops! sorry, the nuts I lay out for them, but they have to play second fiddle to the goldies at the moment as I fear these Golden Days will be over all to quickly.