Wednesday, March 16, 2011 11:46:40 PM
A very short entry tonight. One of contrasts (I guess). These two shots were taken at just before 6pm this evening.
First, facing west:
Now facing east: Camera note: all shots taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.
Sunday, February 20, 2011 12:35:40 AM
The mists are finally clearing away from the Downs. It's good to have clear night skies once again, especially with the moon almost full.
The pond is doing well. Three frogs spotted tonight (there may be more), and several newts.
The damselfly nymphs are also developing well.
The nightly meanderings of the various foxes continue. The young male has developed a limp (there's a small wound low down on his rear left leg), but as ever he ignores it most of the time.
And to complete the recent activity, a short clip of a badger seen on Friday night.
Camera note: all animal shots taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens. The moon was photographed with the EF 400mm f/5.6L USM and Kenko Teleplus 1.4x Pro 300 DG teleconverter.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011 11:34:43 PM
There really isn't much of a theme to tonight's blog, just a series of shots taken at lunchtime in London, and then late afternoon in Brighton. It was sunny in both locations. In London the herons were busy with their nests.
And now the required cautionary note about photographing nesting birds. All the above were taken from a good distance away. When photographing nesting birds keep in mind that you should on no account do anything that will disturb them, and in some cases even photographing the nest site may be illegal given the high likelihood of disturbance and the fragile status of the particular species (those on what is known as Schedule One). Grey herons aren't on the prohibited list details of which are here
The swans weren't nest-building, but were at their most elegant.
Late afternoon I was in Brighton (Hove, actually) and managed to get a shot of a modest flock of starlings sweeping over the derelict West Pier. And this really is a small flock. At their peak, the flocks can number thousands of birds.
Of course, being a sunny day and late in the afternoon and down on the coast there is always another shot to be had. But before I add the ubiquitous photograph of a sunset over the sea, it was that other celestial orb that captured my imagination. That's not quite a full moon (it's waxing gibbous, to get technical), but it's very close.
And now for the sunset... Camera note: all shots taken with the Canon 40D and EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM.
Friday, January 1, 2010 11:12:26 PM
2009 ended in grey clouds. There is still an uncertain chill about the place, and the forecasts are at best mixed. The sky last night was mainly shrouded in mists, but occasionally the clouds moved away and the moon emerged with that familiar winter haze set around itself. Seeing out the old year
Today was altogether brighter. The starlings were flocking in the garden this morning. Starlings flocking
This afternoon I headed over to the Downs in search of kestrels, but almost the first creature I saw was too fast for the camera. It was a stoat, stepping out across a path between two low areas of undergrowth. I stayed put for about an hour, hoping it would return. It didn't, but a sighting of a stoat is always a treat. Less happily, I also saw a fox there. Sadly it had not survived long into the new year. Its body was hanging, tangled in the thorny undergrowth. There were no obvious serious wounds on it, and it looked as though it had made a fatal leap, possibly after a rabbit, become entangled and failed to free itself.
There were kestrels though. The main focus of my attention was a female which was out hunting voles, with some success. I saw her come to ground with prey on at least three occasions, though usually tucked behind a hedgerow. I did eventually catch up with her though
The last shot of the afternoon was a stonechat, sitting proudly as the sun began to set.
Here's hoping that the new year will prove a good year. No doubt there will be changes (there's an election here in March or May... my guess is May 6th). The global warming debate will hot up (I'm less certain the planet will, if I'm honest); and with luck the foxes will return to the garden (precious few sightings over the past couple of months, though they are around and I can hear them calling nightly at the moment).
So very best to all for 2010! Camera note: the starlings and the moon were photographed with the Canon 40D and EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens. I used the EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens for the kestrels and stonechat.