Saturday, 17 December 2011

Saturday 17th December 2011 the sun came out!

There are various formulas for calculating the optimum settings for good SLR photographs, depending on available light, distance of shot and depth of field, clothing to wear to get the shots at this time of year is up to the wearer! Experience and gear collected fellwalking in all sorts of weather means I am not short of warm stuff and it was appreciated today, the drive to Barden Bridge was uneventful enough until the last half mile when I involuntarily did a 90 degree turn, fortunately no contact with anything solid.

Setting off on my wander with ice studs on the walking shoes I turned back for a look at the view. The studs are great for grip but not for stealth, watching loads of small birds fly away as I clip clopped towards them was probably equally as annoying as falling on my backside, the studs are marginally better for the dignity though:-)
There may be better places for an early morning walk, but not many.
Mandarin ducks winter around here, a pair were spotted on the far bank.
I tend to muse as I walk, pie are squared can be represented in symbols for those who like circular puzzles, square or round pies are good!

Herons are wonderful creatures to watch, study them closely and you may be lucky enough to see them strike for a catch. More often you see them like statues studying the water like this.

This dipper, sorry for the poor quality, was singing its heart out. If you have never heard one, and it is rare, normally the sound of the water overpowers the song, it is truly stunning, a joyous tune with occasional coarse notes that I can only think help carry the song above the crashing water.

Almost back to the car and I have a crisis, a lovely robin appears and the auto focus on the camera will not behave! A play with the settings and I switch to manual, not good for someone who enjoys a good Friday night out!
Time for home and a warm up then down to the canal, with the sun out and no wind it can be a stunning place.
Long tailed tits were aplenty on the next stretch, a half decent pic was the best I managed, they don't stay still for long but knowing where they are likely to be seen means better chances to come:-)

The light started to deteriorate badly at this point as I entered a stretch of the canal with lots of tree cover, just the place to encounter a pair of photo friendly goosanders!

Scraping the mud from my trail shoes at this point I was passed by a fellow walker heading the other way, "crap innit mate" he uttered as he wandered on without waiting for the courtesy of a reply. No actually it wasn't, just an accumulation of mud and the view was good too, Nab End our local high point.

Time to think about beer now, the first pint is never ever the best, that's a thirst quencher and the second one is perfection normally.

Just about to put the camera away a sparrow appears, once common now sadly all too rare for lots of people, the rascal of the hedgerows!

And now as Homer Simpson said...."I've tried religion after religion...and yet all along there was beer" bless:-)))

Have a great Christmas and New Year everyone.


  1. Hi Dave, enjoyed the humour in your blog, and the wildlife too fo course. Yes I remember when sparrows were the commonest little bird around, such a shame they're in decline.
    Sorry to read about you hip problems.
    All the best for Christmas and 2012.

  2. Love to see gangs of long-tailed tits here squabbling over whose turn it is in the bird bath