Saturday, 28 May 2011

Just for Laughs

A life size ornamental Canadian Grey Squirrel creates a perfect perch.


Thursday, 26 May 2011

A Downpour and A Sunny Spell

If you don't get BBC North West Tonight you won't know in my opinion the worst weather presenter in the world.
How Eno got the job I don't know, she can't articulate, pronounce, remember her lines, so she usually waffles along it will be mainly cloudy and fairly wet and with some fairly sunny spells with temperatures mainly in the in the twenties but falling fairly quickly in the evening mainly after it goes dark tommorow it.... god I thought she was on a work training scheme but we appear to mainly stuck with her and that's fairly bad!!!!!
However here's what she really meant to say
We will have heavy showers......

......with sunny spells

Taken within an hour of each other

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

New rules on Submissions for Birdguides

Since my post Blazing it has come to my notice thatnew rules on photo submissions. In case anyone thinks I have thrown my toys out of the pram by leaving Bgs, I'd just like to set the record straight, I left prior to these new rules, some seven days prior in fact and had no knowledge that they were about to be introduced.
Birdguide have now banned all photo uploads of schedule one birds, plus three additions from March through June. This apparently is to be an automated blanket ban, with a few exceptions....once you have an exception you have an anomaly, so we will have to see how that goes.
Had these rules been in operation in the first place I wouldn't even have tried to upload, I would have accepted the rule. But in the absence of such a rule I couldn't understand being rejected while others were not. I won't go into all the details of our exchanges, but two things rankled, one, the inconsistency and two, the assertion that I was encouraging nest photography, and that after a full explanation of how the images were achieved.
The announcement on BGs has produced a lot of strong comment, with some forceful points being made. What has struck me from these comments is the disunity from the different faction of the birding community. As I see it we have as follows:-
Twitchers (Believe it or not until the BBC documentary I didn't know what they were)
Bird Photographers of which I am one......and after some venomous remarks on BGs just below us are Egg Thieves, or maybe it's the other way round, until now I never new we were so disliked in some quarters.
I'm a big fan of musicals, Oklahoma springs to mind.... Territory Folks...The Farmer and the Cowboy should be Friends etc.etc. On Birdguides I have made lots of friends, it is billed as a friendly community, but as this event has show.....just scratch the surface and.....
I have in the main enjoyed my years posting on Birdguides, it has if you like been my camera club with some top photographers producing stunning images that have inspired me. It has been a pleasure endeavoring to be up there with the best, it has without doubt improved my skills no end.
Will I go back? No I won't, and not because of "The Ban", they have every right to introduce whatever rule they like, they are first and foremost a business who make their money out guiding folk to birds, photographs are secondary, they have given the likes of me a place to air my wares completely free of charge and in return they have accumulated a massive photo library, free of charge.
No I'm leaving not because of the ban, I left before it was introduced and now its time to move on and I wish Birdguides every success in the future.

The swallow signals a new Spring


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Young Guns

The garden's alive at the moment, not with tits and finches, although I have a few, but my more common species are four rooks and a bakers dozen of jackdaws, with blackbirds, mistle and song thrush also in attendance. The mistle thrush brought along it's young yesterday amidst the gales, thank the lord it brightened up later.
A popular food seems to be digestive biscuits, but were the smaller species are satisfied with crumbs the jackdaws and rooks go through a full packet in five that's expensive!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Marshside in Glorious Colour & Black at Home

Whilst visiting Marshside over the past few weeks I've had to contend with a mixture of greys as far as the light was concerned. So it was a pleasure to visit the other day in beautiful Spring sunshine.
Strong light isn't always the best for photography, but when a Black-tail Godwit puts an appearance in in stunning plumage then good light lift's the shot no end.
On the home front my latest garden visitor is a very un-colourful Rook.


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

As one door shuts..........

Well the bridge is burned the drawbridge and portcullis locked.
So what now, well plenty, for starters BBC Springwatch have just picked one of my Dotterel shots as favorite for mid May. Not the Pic above, you can view by clicking the link the Springwatch link. It was taken t'other week on Champion Hill cheers to P.W. for directions.


Saturday, 14 May 2011

End of the Day

Little Stint

Curlew Sandpiper

The Grand Tour...Mearsands Wood...Martin Mere...Marshside, not bad for a day out, completed three times this week, although MM gets only a cursory glans these days as the wildfowl are back in their breeding grounds.
Just about to return home on my last visit, when a quick change of mind found me in the Nells Hide instead. Below me with a flock of Dunlin was a Little Stint and a Curlew Sandpiper.
I class these as record shots only but in the absence of anything better here they are.

Thursday, 12 May 2011


A couple of shots from a packed hide at Marshside, where two pairs of Avocets and a pair of Oystercatchers are nesting on the scrapes directly outside the hide. In fact one of the Avocets stretched his legs to reveal the new chick to the world.
Evidently these photographs contravene Birdguids rules on nest photograph, and refused publication even though they allowed a photo of a full nest of brooding Blue-Tit chicks earlier in the week, and a Sand Martin in the nest-hole, also a pair of Kingfisher obviously around their nest.....what hypocracy. I have told them!!!!
Just look in on Birdguides in the next few weeks (I won't) and you will see photos of parent birds with food for their hungry chicks by the bucket load.....obviously taken at or around the nest....ops, and then what happens when Farne Island pic start to flood in? Will they be published? Yes of course.
While I'm on the subject I did think of applying for a licence last year to photograph nesting Kingfisher, until I found out that the licence was a licence to "Disturb Nesting Birds", Natural England, watch my lips you won't get a picture if you disturb them!!!!


Sunday, 1 May 2011

Just Champion

An offer to go to Fair Snape to photograph dotterel was declined as I was feeling distinctly under the weather. I instead went to my local cemetery to photograph whitethroat, I drove home still feeling quite rough. As I sat having a bit of dinner Pete Woodruff called to say there where nine dotterel on Champion Hill just east of Stocks Reservoir. I phoned the couple who had offer me a lift to tell them, but they had already sussed that out and where on their way back.
A good friend of mine Barrie Kelly phoned on another matter and during the conversation the dotterel sighting came up, I'm up for that shall we go, I explained that I was a bit under the weather, I'll pick you up, you'll be OK, it'll do you good. Reluctantly I agreed, I must be mad I thought to myself, its already gone three.

So at five in the evening I found myself standing on top of Champion Hill, when I say standing I mean leaning at thirty degrees into a very strong wind.
Strangely for dotterel they where very flighty and after an hour and a half we were about call it a day, when in the flew and landed right beside us, they were quite confiding for the next half an hour, but obstinately they had their backs to for most of the time. On the other hand we had some glorious evening light and observed a wonderful sunset.