Monthly Archives: January 2014

Dipper-dee Doodah!

Since I was in the area today I popped in to see if the Dyserth Dippers were around. As last time, the pair were busily feeding on the swollen stream. I managed to sneak up on this one just before it was disturbed by some visitors to the waterfall who saw me with my camera lined up but proceeded to walk along oblivious – grrrr! I was really chuffed with this as it was hand-held at 500mm at only 1/100 sec at F4. No chance of stopping the lens down to get more depth-of-field though! IMG_0625

The bird scooted off towards the waterfall, stopping briefly to sing on the handrail before flying into the waterfall area. I went to have a better look where it had gone but there was no sign. It had either gone behind the water curtain or flow over the top upstream. Amazing birds. One of my favourites!


Go on – count ’em…

I’ve always watched with awe when I’ve seen huge flocks of waders gathering at high tide in telly programmes. This time I watched with soggy feet on a beach. This time the picture was even better. (Next time – wellies!)

Hoylake was the location.
Knot, Grey Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Oystercatchers were the cast.
The show was fantastic.
I was only the cameraman. Click on a pic to enlarge it and really appreciate the incredible numbers of birds and how they manage to fly without crashing into each other.

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and an attempt at an “arty” shot…IMG_0607

Rocks have whiskers?

Walking the dogs at Penrhyn Bay today was always going to end up at Angel Bay. Knowing it’s the time of year when the seals come ashore I remembered to grab my Canon SX40 on the way out of the house. Its fantastic zoom lens is so well suited to taking pics from the edge above the beach without disturbing the residents.

As it turned out there was only one seal on the beach when we arrived. Let’s see if you can spot it. You can click on a pic for a larger version.

These pics are all taken from the same spot, hand-held in pretty poor light.

Here’s a bay….. (28mm)


and here’s the beach…..


and here’s the rock with whiskers! Amazing camouflage! On the beach pic it’s 1/4 cross from the left and 1/4 up from the bottom -information which doesn’t help much! (850mm)


After a couple of minutes a couple more appeared, playing like pups in the surf.


another outing made worthwhile by the amazing SX40!


Staring into the eyes of a killer

I took my son over to south Yorkshire today to see a friend of his. This left me free to go birding for the day so I headed off to my usual destination RSPB Blacktoft Sands. It’s a great site for ducks and waders plus the ever-present Marsh Harriers. I arrived to find the place flooded out by an overnight high tide. The paths were all closed. End of visit. It’s a good job I have a sense of humour about these things having escaped the worst of the flooding that we’ve just had on the west coast!

My fall-back reserve over there is RSPB Old Moor. It can be really good but today was just downright boring with really bad light and just the usual suspects to add to my imaginary year list (I don’t actually keep one).

As the late afternoon light deteriorated and rain became even more likely I retreated to their feeding station which can be excellent. I managed to pick up my first Long-tailed Tits of the year and a real bonus in the form of a Willow Tit which is one of the site specialities but the feeders soon went dead – not a bird to be seen, except this one which was watching the feeders from high in a tree but just at the last moment swooped down and posed for me only 20 feet away. That murderous eye!


(It’s a male Sparrowhawk btw, for anyone who might be unsure)