Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Second Home

Back from my third trip to Northumberland this year. The place is like a good malt whisky it gets better with age.

Coquetdale was as expected pretty much on the quiet side, but boy did I need a rest, that said I had a few trips to the seaside Cresswell was good for Sanderling in particular, nothing much on the pond, although I believe a Glossy Ibis turned up on Saturday, missed that one, there are plenty in the country though so maybe one will return to Lancashire.

I have rented a cottage at North Brewick situated right on the harbour next April, so I nipped up to have a gander at it, while I was there took the opportunity to photograph the Gannets off the cliffs at the back of the Seabird center. The birds were dive bombing all around, although never close enough for a top shot, but food for thought next time there.

Then there was good old Seahouses the run of mill waders were scattered on the rocks, but what took my eye was four Bar-tailed Godwits feeding opposite the entrance to the beach. I was frustrated on the Sunday, it was a gorgeous day and as you would expect the beach was packed resulting in the birds constantly being unsettled. I gave up in the end but returned for a couple of hours late on Friday, the light was fantastic and with only a few dog walker around I had another crack at them. I approached slowly, five steps, stop for a minute, five steps stop for a minute, they never stopped feeding which is always a good sign, it meant the Godwits were contented and not bothered by my approach, eventually I was in a position to get almost full frame exposures. I knelt in the wet sand hand holding the camera and was transported to heaven as I clicked away.

Getting close to nature like this gives me a great deal of pleasure, far more than shooting from a hide and the slowly slowly approach seems to work a treat.

On my way to Seahouses I passed a Kestrel feeding on a fence post, I turned round at the first opportunity and returned, it was still there, but on my drivers side, I once again turned the car round and after setting the camera up returned once more driving ever so slowly and at a distance where I could get a shot and hopefully not disturb the Kestrel I switched off the engine and turned the car at right angles to the road. Perfect, the only thing was cars were approaching from in front and behind, quickly I picked up the camera and managed only two shots before the on coming car blasted his horn at me to get out of the road, The Kestrel flew off prey in talon as I switched on my engine and righted the car in accordance with the Highway Code. I waved at the gent as we passed, he waved back with two fingers. Strange!!! Now where's that malt whisky.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

A Web of Intrigue

Speckled Wood

Painted Lady

Small Tortoiseshell

Garden Spider

I have been committed to work over the past week, and wouldn't you know it summer makes a glorious return. DRAT!!! Not to worry Saturday dawned well and I desperately needed some fresh air, but before I left home I had to try and photograph a garden spider that had built a fabulous web in my patio. I played about with a macro lens I seldom use, as I manually focused and hand held I wasn't expecting anything good to come from the shoot, but I have to say that I am quite pleased with the results.
Then I set off to Martin Mere. Nothing of interest to photograph, I was hoping for some pink-foots, and although a few did land they were too far away to get anything decent, so I turned my attention to the butterflies in the vicinity.
Then I went Mere Sands Wood and immediately bumped into Jackie and David Moreton both photographers and ended up putting the world to rights without taking another shot.
But it was so good to be out.