Sunday, 19 July 2015
As I saw on Staffordshire Bird Guides, that the Red Footed Falcon was still Present at Chatterley Whitfield Colliery and as it is only a stones throw away from me, it seemed remiss of me not to go along and have a look, I got there at 11am on Saturday morning to find around 30 to 40 people present and the bird was in a small tree close to the access road, but was not coming out soon, as always there were the usual comments that "you should have been here earlier", as apparantly the bird was showing well for a good half hour in the near left hand corner of the paddock, my companion could not see the draw of standing looking at an empty field, although it was a lovely sunny morning, but did find an elderly gentleman jumping out of his car and trotting up the road, shouting "is anyone on it""!! very ammusing indeed, so I decided that even after a very damp night and waking up to showers, that I would give it another go on my own this morning and arrived at 8am to find only four people there, two having travelled from Sheffield and one from Wales, who very kindly put me onto the bird in one of the trees along the left hand back corner, it was still showery at this point but just as the rain stopped and the sun started to push through, the bird came out of the tree onto the overhead cables, dropped onto the floor and then flew into the same tree just to the right of me, that it was in on Saturday morning, all this happened within a few moments and although the sun was not in the right place, I managed to get my first record shots. Also present was the Black Redstart and a Green Woodpecker, the first being very bedraggled from the rain, and I was not going to beat my shots I got of one in Norfolk a couple of years ago and the Green Woodpecker was too far away. Also a gentleman told me that Little Owl and Barn Owl have also been spotted in this area, so I think it will be a regular area for me to check in future!! As quick as the clouds had parted, the sky became black and thunderous again, so if it stays any longer I will pop along later in the day.
Monday, 1 June 2015
I was meeting up with good friend Di Stone and left Saturday Morning at 4.30am just in time to enjoy a beautiful sunrise, arrived on the cliff's at 7.30am, with only a handful of other visitors, amazed at the fantastic new Visitors Centre that has been built, Di had arrived the previous evening and was enjoying a full breakfast at the B & B we stay at, just a short distance away (which is highly recommended, AKO'S B & B, run by Keith and Nancy),there was brilliant sunshine and not a cloud in the sky, could not ask for more!!! Di arrived with her friend Marie, who lives locally and has the Cliff's on her door step (who Di introduced me to on my visit last year), Marie stayed with us until lunch time. Although it is tempting to photograph everything moving, sleeping or flying, I was trying for something a little different this year, although as there were so few Puffins in view, I took what I could of them. We went to the B & B to get me booked in at lunch time as the Cliffs were starting to fill up with visitors and to our amazement all the overtaking spaces on the approaching lane were full of queuing traffic waiting to get in and as the car parks were already full there were RSPB staff there holding them back until space became available, there must have been over 40 cars waiting. Not wanting to join them, we decided on a drive round to Flamborough to check out the cliffs there and ventured back to Bempton around 3pm by which time we were able to park easily. Marie re joined us at 6.30pm as the previous evening Di had seen the Barn Owl out at 6.45pm, so we positioned ourselves along the hedgerow between the two fields and almost on que it appeared from no where at 6.50pm, shot off into the distance, it did come back and quartered the lower part of the field we were in but never came too close, then as quickly as it had arrived it was gone at 7.10pm, but it was fantastic just to get a sight of such a majestic bird, and a brilliant day ended that way too!!! I have also this trip managed to get the best shots I have ever got of a Peregrine, usually by the time I have them in focus they are gone but this one although very high did stay around for sometime. We left the Cliffs at 7.20pm and just had time to hear the last five minutes of the F A Cup Final on the radio and as I had a £2 bet at 25/1 that Arsenal would win 4-0 you can imagine my delight, as with the winnings my trip was curtesy of Arsenal Football Club, THANKS LADS!!!! just a few images below, will be putting more onto my Zenfolio Site shortly, the first is Di doing her "I see no Ships act".
Tuesday, 5 May 2015
After such a fantastic day yesterday mainly spent in the Garden, I decided to put the Night Camera out in the Coppice my side of the Bosley Reservoir, not expecting the rain that came through during the night, and even though very welcome for the garden and new plants, not so for the recovery of the Camera this morning!! Even after many dry days the floor of the Coppice is still very soft, so after a down poor such as we had last night, I was not looking forward to ploughing through the Bog that it turns into after it's rained, the trick is not to stay still for too long as you just sink and to have my mobile at the ready, in case I have to call for help!! As it turned out it was well worth it, as for the second time only on this side of the Reservoir, I got shots of the Badger, and although using exactly the same pathway, this time it entered stage right and exiting stage left, this time hanging around for a little longer, so I think it is time to deploy one of Johnny Kingdom's renowned Badger Cake's, devised by his wife Julie and as he quotes in his book, not a cake you would want to offer the Vicar's wife on a Sunday afternoon. So hoping for no more rain for a while so I can give it a go!!
Monday, 27 April 2015
What a difference a day makes, after the change in the weather Saturday, did not expect Sunday to be any better, but as the title states there was not a cloud in the sky, so inspired us to get out on our bikes and did a quick 9 mile ride, with a top speed of 20 miles per hour, my best yet!! I took along my Canon Compact Power Shot just in case and managed a couple of different shots of Mow Cop Castle and found what can only be described as a " Chocolate Box Thatched Cottage".
Thursday, 23 April 2015
Having got the Fox the other night and realising that a small amount of clearing the area was required, for a clearer shot, I again set the Night Cam, although the water in the Coppice has receded, it is still too boggy to walk through, so I set the Camera on the same side path as before, hoping that the Fox would feel the same way, I put it in place around 7.30pm and as the pictures uploaded onto my computer the first burst of shots went off at 9.46pm, not thinking it would be anything other than one of my Fox's, you can imagine my surprise when I started looking through them and found it was the Badger, in all the time I have been putting the Camera out in this area, I have never before got anything other than Fox's, as I have always had to walk a good distance round to another part of the Reservoir to set up for the Badger, I am also very surprised considering the large cumbersome animal that it is, as to how fast it was travelling not only by the blur of the shot but also my Camera is set to record a blast of three shot's every time it is triggered and the Badger was only in frame for two of those and showed no interest in the food put out. It also entered stage left and exited stage right, had it approached along the path I would have got shot's of it's approach. So my appologise for the poor quality.
Tuesday, 21 April 2015
I put out the Night Cam in the small coppice at the edge of Bosley Reservoir last night, the Reservoir is very high at the moment and the coppice is vertually all under water, which helps with my placement as it restricts the area were my local fox's can roam, I had one expected visitor and one very large unexpected one, both enjoyed the Dog Biscuits.
Wednesday, 15 April 2015
While the sun was still shining this morning, I went for a drive to Redesmere Lake, have not been here for over 12 months, as no matter what the weather the refelection on the water is crap!! I can only put this down to the fact it is so shallow and the only reflection that gets picked up is the filthy bottom, but it is a good place to practise flight shots and close up encounters, Redesmere lake is in Capesthorne, near the village of Siddington which has a lovely church, which is well worth a visit, especially when it is decorated for festivals such as Easter or Harvest Festivals. I was suprised to see a lone Oystercatcher taking a morning snooze and had seven Buzzards up in the air, my record so far has been four at Bosley.
Thursday, 9 April 2015
Having changed my Career yet again, I will now only be working for two days a week Yipee!!! and so can officially put my status as Semi-Retired, and will be hopefully using the extra time to do more travelling, my Father's greatest wish when he Retired was to travel the whole coast of England, Scotland and Wales, unfortunately due to ill health he never got to do that, or to even reach Retirement age, so I hope to pick up the mantle and do it myself and will log my travels as I go.
Tuesday, 7 April 2015
Picked up my new toy yesterday, and we went for a 5 mile Bike Ride to test it out, as it was due to be as Sunny today I cycled down to Bosley Locks and went down the Towbath to Fools Nook, a total of 6 miles, I am hoping to travel much more of the Canal networks and get fit in the process, it was still quite misty on the outward leg and I was surprised to find what I think was a Dunlin, (anyone who can confirm this or identify what I have would be appreciated) as the eye stripe looks a lot stronger than in my Bird Guide Book.