Sunday, January 29, 2012


Yesterday was a good day, even though I didn't get out snapping.  The sun shone, a couple of nice walks with the dog, the first rabbits of the year were out and about and we added to our village tally of bird species with a pair of goldcrest peeping away from a conifer.  Don't get me wrong I know they will have been around we just haven't seen them - no conifers in the garden.
It was also big garden bird watch day.  I haven't kept note of entries from the last couple of years, but looking further back we seem to have much the same mix of species each year - just with some variation in numbers.

This year house sparrows topped the bill (no pun intended) with 9, and it's nice to know they seem to be at least holding their own.  There may well have been more, but it's a struggle to count, especially now the bamboo has grown on.
Collared doves next on 8 - some years we have had up to  20 at a time,
 then the ever hungry starlings,
 greenfinches - again a good find given the problems they're having
 and blue tits - all on 6.
 It was nice to find a blackcap after a couple of barren years - Kay told me the other week she'd seen one around.

Friday, January 20, 2012

In search of snow .......

It's hard to believe that the last time I posted about the UK was early November, but a combination of a holiday, lousy weather and other commitments (including walking the dog!) has meant photo trips have been limited.  I failed dismally to snap the Slimbridge bitterns, and the tawny owl that took up temporary residence in one of Rich barn owl boxes.  The foxes are around, but making use of the long nights to avoid anything but the trail cam, and there's just no roadkill to pull in the buzzards.

So last weekend I devised cunning plan and we went to walk the dog by the sea.  Good chance to socialise her, you see - she's a rescue border collie, so has her issues!  As there are no beaches to speak of nearby a trip over to Burnham on a day with a piercing wind turned out to be a good move.  The wooden lighthouse is quite photogenic (or would be if you took the time to compose something arty),

and the dog behaved herself with some distraction from an increasingly soggy and sandy ball.

I'd swear I wasn't the only one keeping an eye out for the bird, but I knew the sky wasn't the best place to seek this little gem.

That said I was beginning to fear the high numbers of people may have put off even this tame creature, but in time

In classic snow bunting tradition it was really very tolerant of me and my lens, although the last shot is heavy crop - I'm not going to push it that far.

The only downside was it's choice of location.  I wanted low angle views so there was no choice.  Let's just say the dog wasn't the only one with a soggy ball - I had 2!