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.