Monday, 25 March 2013


....I got my camera back today!    (it was on Friday actually but it didn't scan as well!)

So, needing to test that it was working okay, I had two options...option 1.   to go out into the arctic conditions that seem to be passing as Springtime at the moment or option 2.  stay indoors in the warm and take pictures through the window of the birds visiting the garden.

Which option to choose was a no brainer really... so it was on with the thermals and the woolly hat and....ooops!!.. sorry,  I got carried away there, what I meant to say was ...on with the kettle, crank up the central heating, make the tea and then sit back and enjoy  the birds as they came down to feed in the garden!

After heavy snow on Friday evening/Saturday morning it snowed lightly, but continuously, for most of the weekend and the light was dull and grey meaning that high ISO's were required so not great images but at least I know that the camera is working okay once again.



This young Woodpigeon  was clearly on a steep learning curve as only a couple of days earlier it had crashed, not once but twice into my patio doors, thankfully with no apparent ill effects, and here it's sitting atop the bird table wondering what on earth all this white stuff is!


female House Sparrow

Collared Dove

There are two Robins visiting the garden at the moment. I assume that they're a bonded pair as they tolerate each other and are feeding close together. A few days ago I saw, briefly, one of them clearly displaying to the other.

This female Blackbird, who I think is building a nest in a tall shrub at the end of the garden and 'sees off' any other Blackbird that comes into range, struck this weird rigid, contorted stance and held it for quite a few seconds. I don't know for what reason, maybe a threat or display?

I can't wait for the next couple of months to pass when we can move into Spring and experience some decent light during those warm sunny  days with the wild flowers starting to show their beautiful colours and the butterflies taking to the wing  and the build up to a long hot Summer....aahhh!....Oh!.. bugger!.... I forgot,  it IS Spring already!!

Take care and stay warm!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

'ERR 99'....

Yesterday was not a good day! was sunny and warm, reaching a high of 14° fact it was  a proper spring day...but it was not a good day!

I went to Verulamium Park and Lake in St. Albans, the main reason for going was to take pictures of the Grey Herons that nest on the small island in the middle of the lake. Unfortunately  as I got to the perfect position for taking photographs my camera decided that it didn't want to play anymore and, after massively over exposing a few shots,  it decided to cry enough and popped up an ERR 99 message on the LCD screen!...So that was it...Game Over!!

A few images taken before the camera died...

This Black-Headed Gull looked like it was trying to make a noise but when it opened it's mouth nothing came out!

What Ice?

A Coot - not fighting for a change!

A Grey Heron delivering nest material.

Tomorrow  I'm taking the camera to the 'fix it man' to see what the prognosis is, hopefully he'll say a couple of quid should fix it!! (I can hope can't I?)

The good news is that Keith, (he's a wonderful chap) while he's away in Wales, has offered to lend me his spare camera until mine is sorted. Thanks Mate..[;o))

Monday, 4 March 2013


Around 7.30 this morning I received a phone call from Keith asking me if I would like to join him at Willen Lake in Milton Keynes  (he was already there by the way!) to see if we could locate the two Otters that were giving good views yesterday.

So, about an hour later, after a quick rush around to get everything together and a 15 mile journey through the rush hour traffic,  I met up with Keith by the side of the lake as the sun was beginning to make a welcome appearance through the hazy blue sky, sadly though it wasn't having much effect on the cold breeze.  

We made our way around to the hide on the North lake  and soon got good views of  a dozen or so Teal loafing in the sunshine  and a single Snipe searching for food at the water's edge. A large flock of Lapwing were on the distant spit and ten or so Grey Heron were on or around the beginnings of a Heronry in the treetops on the island, one already sitting on a nest and another pair doing what comes naturally for Herons at this time of year!!

After a time, sitting in the cold and drafty hide, we decided to go for a walk around the lake. Keith soon spotted a female Kestrel sitting on a lamp post, after a short time it took to the air, spooked by an oblivious pedestrian walking along the footpath directly underneath!  

  I did, however, manage to get a picture as it took to the air.

After steady stroll in the sunshine we arrived back at the hide once more, unfortunately it wasn't long before all the birds were up in the air spooked by the arrival of a Reed cutting craft crewed by members of the Parks Trust, who proceeded to navigate three quarters of  the way around the island before landing  and getting off  to, presumably, check on the goats that live there!

All was not lost however, as it gave me the opportunity to practice some flight shots...



Grey Heron

Not a bad few hours out in the sunshine but sadly no 'otter(s)!!

Or to put it another way...the sun was bloody cold in the wind...the birds were spooked...AND... we didn't see any Otters!       

 I still enjoyed it though!!