Garth Peacock
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Archive

September to date.

Friday 10th September 2021

A brief conversation about photography

Friday 20th August 2021

Back again

Wednesday 18th August 2021

Not everything goes to plan

Tuesday 13th July 2021

East Yorkshire Day 4

Sunday 11th July 2021

East Yorkshire Day 3

Saturday 10th July 2021

East Yorkshire Day 2

Friday 9th July 2021

East Yorkshire Day 1

Thursday 8th July 2021

A different experience

Monday 7th June 2021

Interesting times

Tuesday 25th May 2021

The last 10 days or so

Monday 10th May 2021

Something different at last

Friday 30th April 2021

March/April update

Tuesday 6th April 2021

Remembering the highlights

Monday 22nd March 2021

Three weeks of not very much!!!

Saturday 6th March 2021

Minor successes despite Covid

Tuesday 16th February 2021

Desperation strikes

Monday 8th February 2021

Keeping sane during lockdown

Thursday 28th January 2021

View Blog Archive >>
Friday 10th September 2021

September to date.

Days out with the camera have been rather sparse so far this month.

On 1st, I spent the day at Bourne, Lincolnshire, in Tom Robinson's pond hide. A few weeks ago, I has a 24 hour session but no Kingfishers turned up. This was to try to rectify that omission. The weather was dull and uninspiring but one has to make the best of it with relatively high ISO's to compensate.

The range of species is small and common - a family of Moorhens.

The obligatory Grey Heron that was fishing there for most of the day.

and a Little Egret that was fishing on-and-off, when the Heron would allow it.

But Kingfishers were the main target, even though I have loads of photos of the species. The usual one with a catch

and one of several successful attempts to get one rising from the water.

Just a snapshot of the selection of the photos taken.

On Friday 3rd, I saw reports of a juvenile Black Tern at Dernford Reservoir, just south of Cambridge. I was not able to get there until early afternoon - high cloud so not ideal for the expected flight shots. I did not even take my tripod, assuming that only flight shots would be possible - a mistake.

As I got to the reservoir, the Tern was flying around but landed on a small patch of reeds just out from where I was standing. I needed the 2x converter for the distance but - no tripod so hand held - far from ideal.

Anyway, it was soon seen off by a Coot so flight shots became the order of the day.

More photos from both days in the Recent Additions page.

 

 

Friday 20th August 2021

A brief conversation about photography

Last Monday, 16th August I went to the RSPB  reserve at Frampton Marsh. A bird had been there that was totally new to me, a Pacific Golden Plover,  a variant from America of the European Golden Plover.

When I arrived back home, the conversation with my wife went something like this.

'Had a good day?'

'Not bad but really only one bird to photograph but that was the one we went for.'

'Many photos?'

' Just shy of 700'.

'What of one bird?'

'Yup'.

The look my wife gave me was a conversation all on its own.

Well, there was another species worth the odd photo, a Yellow Wagtail.

But down to the main reason for the visit. When you see a species for the first time, and distant too, a few record shots are required in case it flies off never to be seen again. Then, after a time, the bird gets used to you so you can move in closer - many more photos required. And so it goes on over a three hour period until you get the best photos you can in the circumstances - 693 in my case. A simple explanation for photographers but to my wife, it cut no ice what-so-ever. Another nail in the coffin of increasing insanity!!!

So some of my better photos.

and finally one at the end of the session when it was seen off by a Lapwing.

That brings my tally to 369 British and European species. Another 31 and I will have reached the target that I set myself many years ago.

Wednesday 18th August 2021

Back again

Of course, I fully expect that no-one has missed me as it is over a month since my last comminucation. Simple fact is that I have been unable to get out due to family illness but I did manage to squeeze a few hours at the Wildlife and Wetlands reserve at Welney on 11th August - my first attempt at photography for over a month.

Didn't expect much so I was not disappointed. A  Great White Egret was feeding outside Lyle hide

and managed a fly-by.

On the same scrape there was also an adult Spoonbill that stayed in the reeds on the bank

and managed a yawn

before being spooked by a Grey Heron to land in the middle of the scrape to do what Spoonbills do best - head under wing and sleep. And so it stayed for the two hours over lunch until I gave up and went home.

As I said, I did not expect much so wasn't disappointed. At least I managed to get out.

The next day, a friend and I had booked another afternoon session at Horn Mill to see if we could get better images of fishing Ospreys.

A couple of Grey Herons, probably adult and juvenile soon arrived with the adult settling in a tree.

As soon as the juvenile strated to fish, it flew down to see it off.

Later, one caught a fish

but then was surprised by a Buzzard that saw it off and took the catch.

The Grey Herons proved to be a nuisance. One Osprey landed on the usual perch to view the pond, only to be seen off by the Heron and did not return.

A Kingfisher turned up, perched but did not fish.

And then when it was getting dark, another Osprey turned up, landed on the same perch as the previous one.

Not long after, a rapid dive, caught a fish and flew off with it.

The only problem was that it was dark. This photo was taken at ISO16000!!! Really glad that I had the Canon1DX MK2 that was able to track it in the dark and provide a half-reasonable photo.

Not what I really went for but better that nothing.

 

Tuesday 13th July 2021

Not everything goes to plan

After the reasonable successes during the trip to Yorkshire, two recent trips did not end as well as I would have liked.

First was a trip to Horn Mill Rutland for the Ospreys. Horn Mill is a working trout farm  that was being plagued by Ospreys from nearby Rutland Water looking for an easy meal. So, in conjunction with the wardens from Rutland Water, the owners decided to net all but one of the ponds, leaving the largest open, built a hide for 6 people overlooking it and started to operate session for photographers to photograph the fishing birds.

I first went there a couple of years ago - not an Osprey in sight. This time I was more hopeful. During the wait. I tried to photogrpah the Swallows coming in to drink. Partial success.

The windless day had gradually turned to a light southerly wind - not a good sign as the hide faced south so any birds would land and take off into the wind - away from the hide.

Surprisingly, a Red Kite checked it out, seeing a dead fish in the surface. A successful dive for the fish away from the hide unfortunately so not the best photos.

Then the spotter called for an Osprey overhead, very high. Without warning, it suddenly dived, coming in from behind the hide. The first dive was not successful.

It flew round

and again came in from behind for a second and successful attempt but still going away from us.

No further action so some photos but not what I really wanted.

With a few hours to spare, on 8th July, I decided to go to Welney reserve. I would have liked to have improved my catalogue of flight shots of House Martins and Swallows - not to be. The clouds came in and only cleared after 4.00pm when the reserve closed early due to lack of visitors. The base of the observatory is now open for photography - basic and too much foliage in front of it but worth a try.

A few Black-tailed Godwits were feeding although not close.

Tried some flight shots with but limited success due to the cloudy conditions.

House Martin

and Sand Martin

Any Swallow shots were just not up to standard so binned.

Three juvenile Shelduck were feeding in front of the hide

as were a  family of Moorhens.

Not the most attractive fledglings I have ever seen. With the reserve closing early, it was time to go home - another rather disappointing day.

Sunday 11th July 2021

East Yorkshire Day 4

Friday and time to go home. On the way we called in at two new reserves for me just to see what was around.

North Cave Wetlands. A surprising subject was a Black Swan. A native of Australia but there are a few around the UK , mainly the East Coast, presumably escapees from collections. Many would consider them to be 'plastic', a term meaning unnatural but a beautiful bird never-the-less and, in my view, one worth switching the camera on for.

With nothing else of interest, we moved on to Potteric Carr near Doncaster. By this time, my knee was beginning to complain with all the usage over the last few days so I could not walk too far. As a result, the only item of interest was a distant pair of Roe Deer, mother and fawn that, I think, made a pleasing image among the foliage.

With nothing else of interest, after a coffee on the terrace, we made our way down the A1 and home.

Overall, a very pleasant and fruitful few days.