Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Simple Pleasures . . .

A bright start to the day (literally) with a handsome male Reed Bunt in the garden (complementing the female that was in a couple of days ago) but like his female counterpart, he didn't hang around long enough for a photo.

In need to get out before I go 'stir crazy', Far Pasture beckoned, and despite on arrival being told there was nowt about, I had a pleasant little session there.
Granted there wasn't much variety on the pond though a low flying snipe was a bonus, but a singing Reed Bunting out in the open was a glorious sight, and this one did stick around for a photo, though I found it difficult to get him in focus.

Reed Bunt in between songs

Mallards synchronised farting team
A moorhen chase, a squealing but invisible Water Rail and a posing though too distant sparrowhawk all added to the late winter scene, and five soaring buzzards and three red kites were a calming watch in the bright blue skies.
A kingfisher eventually appeared, like an Irn Bru can suspended from a string it hovered on the spot for a lengthy period mid-pond, before zipping off to the right.

In the car park it was a lot warmer than in the hide, and tits galore fed at the Flat Rock bird cafĂ©. I set my camera up and tried to snap a few, with better results than last time though still far from perfect.

Great Tit, poor photo

Best of the Blue tits

At the gate I tried my best to catch an elusive wren but he was far too flighty for my elderly reflexes, and most of the action now took place in the skies, in quick succession a sparrowhawk, 2 red kites and a buzzard came overhead, so time to practice another setting on the X-S1.

Peek-a-boo Wren

High-flying Sprawk 

Displaying kites

Out of focus Buzzard
Soon after, it clouded over, and as I walked along the road a silhouette caught my eye on the dead tree, a kestrel, excellent. Would have been a fine stroke of luck had the sun been out but I snapped away and got a couple of canny pics (after they'd been brightened up in Photoshop.)

Having a scratch

Had enough, I'm off . . .

After he flew off the sun (typically) came out again, and a woodpecker could be heard drumming opposite the sawmill, just as it had last time I was down. He seemed to be testing out his 'drum kit' as he flitted from branch to branch of varying degrees of thickness to change the pitch of his hammering, before settling on a thick trunk to emit a deep far-travelling machinegun-like rattle.

Quite pleased how I managed to get him through all
the branches, right at the top of the tree as well.
Now it might not sound much but this little scene was the highlight of many a day. As I stood at the gate listening to the heavy metal drumming of the woodpecker, on the next tree a treecreeper was scampering up the trunk, at the same time the soft wittering hoot of a tawny Owl could be heard coming from the woods to the right, as a gang of chacking Magpies came in one by one. Just ahead of me a pair of long-tailed tits flitted through the brambles in the bright sunshine, possibly looking for a suitable nesting place. A different pair of GS Woodpeckers  bounded over from the woods, and a red kite glided slowly over the tops of the trees, continually appearing and disappearing from view through the bare branches. Idyllic.

Nowt about? open your eyes man!


  1. I dont know how many times i've heard that line "Nowt about" and......

  2. I think it's in the eye of the beholder John.