Saturday, 29 October 2016

A damp drizzly morning on Spennells this morning, highlight was this nuthatch on the bird feeder.

Not much spare time today so had half hour stroll close to home, saw a lesser spotted woodpecker, couple nuthatches, lots of robins, tits, finches, a jay, couple wrens and think I may have seen my first nightingale, oh how I wish I could have got some photos, hopefully they will come when I have a bit more experience, this bird photography is not easy.

As usual loads of ducks up on Captains Pool, don't know why the brown one was carrying the leaf round with him though.

The leaves are now dropping off the trees quite quickly, hopefully it will help me get some decent bird photos.

Not decided where to go in the morning but will definitely be out taking photos somewhere.

This photo made BBC weather today at 6.45 am, I was still fast asleep though.

This one was taken at Hurcott Pool a couple of days ago and I submitted it last night, so far I have been lucky enough to have 9 images of mine used, 8 of which I took in this current month.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

cookley & wolverley canal walkabout

Picked Brett up this morning whilst the sun was shining and sods law we got to Cookley and the sun went elsewhere, never mind we were still doing the walk, it wasn't cold, actually just right for a walk.
These cottages must be so photographed especially from the other side on Lea Lane.
So peaceful walking along here, here's Brett surging along up front looking for rare birds.
You can see now the autumn colours starting to come out, such a lovely time of the year, just got to love doing this walk.
Stopped here and got the flask out, such a pleasure to just stand and look along this stretch, it's sandstone a lot of the way along here, narrowboats are still very active at the moment.

We soon got to Wolverley, had a quick chat with a fisherman who we both new, he wasn't having much luck though.

We were going to walk back along the road, but as we saw a nuthatch on the way down we decided to go back and try and get some photos, luckily Brett got a cracker, sadly I didn't, Brett is getting damn good at this bird photography.
Never mind we shall be back in the same spot again in a couple of days, nuthatches I think are pretty much territorial and we did see 3 or 4 in the same spot for a good hour or so, but waiting for them to settle for a decent photo is like waiting to see the Dodo.
That's about it till the next time.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Knapp Papermill worcestershire wildlife trust reserve

Was hoping for a bit of sunshine today, but sadly it didn't happen, well not while we were out it didn't.
Had more or less decided the wife and myself would try a trip to the WWT reserve, Knapp and Papermill, even though it was dull we were not disappointed, a very nice place and earmarked for a return visit pretty quickly.

On drive there we did see some misty scenes from the top of Ankerdine Hill, been quite a while since we have been up there, make sure your brakes are okay though as it is quite steep, but worth the trip just for the views.

This photo is taken from the road before entering the reserve

And this one just a few minutes inside

My best shot from the morning, I can already visualise a better shot with some sunlight on the water, also perhaps take some wellies next time so I can move about in the brook a bit more.
Good boots are needed here for when it is damp as we found out.

We spent about 90 minutes here walking around, plenty of birds heard, I need to research bird sounds as I would like to know what was about and the bird noises were very active, did see a couple of buzzards overhead, walking back to the car I spotted the un-mistakable blue flash of a kingfisher flying down the brook, but never saw it settle.

One tip, take a tripod if going to take photographs, you will need it.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Catching up with past exploits

I am a member of two camera clubs, one being the Postal Photographic club I am a member of 2 online circles with this club and also a member of the United Photographic Postfolios of Great Britain, this one I am a member of a postal circle, both are great fun and I don't have to leave home for either, except to take photos of course.
Anyone interested in joining this type of club I can heartily recommend it, I have learned so much already from comments on my photos and have vastly improved my photography.
Earlier in the year I joined the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and below are a few photos from Upton Warren which is near Bromsgrove.

Not as good as what a lot of others are producing but they are images I am happy with, although I have enjoyed sitting in a hide I do get bored when sitting there too long, so I shall be doing a lot more walking in future, also intend exploring a lot more of the Trust's reserves.

So that's it for now, from here on in I shall be doing blogs as they happen and hopefully post some interesting thins from time to time.

Stop press, this morning we had a nuthatch in the garden, now all I need to do is get a decent photo.

Sunrise, well almost.

Few days after the last early start I did it again, but this time a little later, I decided I would have a walk around the fields and lane where I live. As there are lots of trees I didn't leave so early, I was actually surprised at how strong the sun was when it came through the trees. This was a short walk from Captain's Pool by Spennells, up the lane and came to the field which in October still has quite a few poppies growing.
Down on my knees then for my first shot:

Very pleased with this one and also the next one.

 This was a different clump of poppies, but the sun was coming from a better angle.
From the field I then wandered down along Stanklyn Lane.
I liked the way the light was catching these dead seed heads.
A walk along the lane and back for an hour or so and it was a return home for breakfast.
Just love walking this area and hope when I get into it a bit more that I may be able to post a few interesting blogs.
Photo of Captains's Pool, I live less than 2 minutes walk from here.
Am hopeful I may get some interesting bird shots from this area .


This was on the first day of my week off work, the forecast on the saturday night was for a cold but sunny start for the Sunday, it had rained a lot on the saturday, so images of a misty sunrise flashed through my mind and I decided to set the alarm for 6am, now me and early starts don't really go together, but I went for it.
6am Sunday morning in early October and boy it was cold, so a couple of hot drinks and off I went, only a mile up the road, but what an amazing sight when I arrived, I was heading down to Hurcott Pool but the sight of the mist across the fields alongside the main road was awesome so I parked up and took a few images from here.

Pleased with these I then moved down the bank to Hurcott Pool, being surrounded by trees it was a good 15 minutes or so before the sun started to come into view.
This one below I have to rate as my best image of 2016,  do like it a lot, was also used on the BBC.
Am hoping it may do well in a couple of competitions.
With the sun up quite well now I decided to have a walk down the side of the pool, managed a couple of reasonable shots along here, but more importantly gave me ideas for another visit.

I travelled light for this morning and only took my 10-20mm lens, will take a slightly longer one next time.
I was back home for around 9 and quite pleased with my self.

Red Kites

Early October 2016, week off work and the weather looked brilliant for the wednesday, so a quick call to my mate Brett and we decided we would go to Llandeusant in the Brecon Beacons for a spot of Red Kite photography, Brett had never seen one before.
Part way down we stopped in a lay-by which I have used many times for a coffee stop, weather looking promising already and what a view.
A quick break and we moved on to just past Brecon, couple miles up the by-pass, we both needed the loo, phew what a smell, guess we shan't be using that place again, breakfast caravan there, smelt nice so we decided on sausage sandwiches, wish we hadn't bothered with those either, £2.50 each but helped fill a gap.
After devouring them and a quick coffee we turned round to find the Brecon canal, have seen some nice piccies of this canal on the net so wanted to see for ourselves, think next visit we shall try a bit further along, very pretty place.

After a wander around we then headed off to Llandeusant, there is a farm here that puts out food for the kites and as soon as we arrived we could see the birds circling the farm in readiness, had a wander around before opening time which was 15.00 farmer very helpful, showed us best places in the hide and left us to it, he came back a few minutes later for payment, £4 for this display is a bargain.
Loaded cameras with our big zoom lenses and we were ready, wow as soon as the food was put out it was a real feeding frenzy, got some very reasonable shots of the birds soaring around.
This is the view from the farm, simply amazing and breathtaking.

We hung around for around an hour taking photos of the birds that were returning to see if any food was left and then we called it a day.
Back down the road a few miles we had spotted a place with some potential landscape photos, beautiful place, but sun was getting low and very strong, but hey we tried a few shots.
If you want to visit, this is the spot where we pulled in, just by the cattle grid.
Looks like a nice walking area, so will be re-visiting, only about 4 miles to the Usk reservoir.
Couple of photos of the area just a few yards from this sign, as I said the sun not in the best place here, but pushed for time as we were both hungry and a 100 miles from home.

This last photo was from my infrared camera, I never go far without this.
And there you are, the end of a perfect day for us and will be returning for sure.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

BBC Weather Watchers

My first one to be used by the BBC was this one
we happened to be at a barbeque at brother in law's house, this tractor was in the field behind so got out my samsung phone and this was the result, I just thought it was appropriate for weather watchers so I opened an account an uploaded it, much to my surprise it was used, this was August 2016.
My second one was in the first week in Ocotber, I had previously uploaded three others but none of these were successful.
Quite pleased with this, someone pointed out on social media about two faces and a mask in the trees, purely tricks of the light, but interesting, this was taken just after sunrise.
Two nights later we were returning home from dropping off the grand-children and we saw this most amazing sunset, so I quickly drove to a layby on the main road and again out came my mobile phone, uploaded and used by the BBC on the same evening, Midlands today and the National News.
Actually very good exposure, am impressed with what these phones can do these days.

The same week I took this one
Just a few yards from home, down on my knees for this one, bet I got some strange looks from the passers by, almost a frost this morning and couldn't wait to get home and upload to the computer, just had a feeling it might turn out to be okay, anyway I uploaded it and was used the same night, Midlands Today and again on the National Forecast. For those who may be interested I used a Pentax k20D with a 10-20mm lens with an eyepiece attached, should always be careful when shooting straight into the sun, not only can it damage the sensor in your camera it can seriously damage your eyesight.
Tonight October 19th 2016 I uploaded one from the same day as I took the faces in the trees shot, this is one of my favourite shots of the year.
So there you go, in the past few months I have uploaded 8 photos and 5 have been used, not a bad average I think and am very pleased with myself.
I will enter again, but only if I think I have a real good chance.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

cold but sunny

After a few jobs around the house which I had been meaning to do for ages I managed to get out with the cameras.
First port of call was Alveley, trying to take a photo of a plaque inside the church for a friend, but light was so poor that I had to manually focus the lens and was just a guess, so dark that I failed, but I will try again.
I did however take this shot of the interior, quite pleased with this one.

From there I drove over to Cookley and had a wander along the canal down Lea Lane, picked up a few chestnuts for the wife (I'm allergic to nuts) took a few shots in the sunshine.

I spent an hour or so walking along the canal, just love it here, spent many hours fishing here as a child.
From here I popped over to one of my regular haunts, Hurcott Pool, didn't stay too long as it was getting quite fresh, nit much about but managed this portrait of a dragonfly.

Time for home now then, stopped just round the corner from home though to see if there was much fly agaric about, have to be quick here as the kids usually kick them apart on their way home from school.