The fast and the furious


For the uninitiated The Fast and The Furious is a hugely popular film series with lots of heavily muscled men shouting at each other, scantily clad girls running about the place and extremely fast cars burning up and down highways at speeds above the national speed limit.
This blog posts contains none of the above.  But the Internet is a vast place and any one of the aforementioned can be found very easily via the world wide web (which I STILL don’t have after nearly a month – but that’s another story).
Anyway lets get going.
Westhay was the place (again).  After waiting out the dreadful weather I pedaled down in the afternoon.  Buffeted by gusty wind, I was certainly not very fast but far too tired to be furious.
I visited what I think is the “Lake hide”.  A Cettis was belting out a tune but I couldn’t see him for the life of me.  2 Great Crested Grebes were busily nest building and one of them came close enough for a half decent picture

Great Crested Grebe

London Drove in all its glory

View to the side

After a while I decided to get some pictures of Swifts – such a cleverly named bird.  Unlike Swallows which should be called “Fasts” and House Martins which should be called “Quickies” (oh er).
Now I was starting to get furious.  I couldn’t get anywhere near any of them!  By the time the camera had focused they were half way to Weston!
I left the hide, grumbling to myself.  But I didn’t give up.  Along the track I noticed the Martins were flying really low and also coming very close.
I also bumped into Mark Fisher (the man with an extremely big lens – oh er!).   He had seen some otters, I was a bit jealous if I’m honest.  However he is from the army so I wont call him names.  I bet he's got some great photos on his Facebook page – sadly I can’t look at them yet as I don’t have the Internet (I won’t mention it again)

Then Andrew came up the track, all freshly pressed and suited up from work – It didn’t really go with the surroundings
At that point we got a bit obsessed with getting a Swift, or House Martin.  My furious levels were rising but in the end I got these.

 Andrew - You see what James was doing wrong was trying to get these zippy darts with a big old 400mm lens when what you really need is a Macro. Yes you guest it I was using that uber all rounder the Takumar 50mm Super-Macro on my Canon 70D. Single shot mode to boot. I managed to get these............

Some Swifts were about

James in all his fury

James and Mark Fisher 'comparing'

Andrew was in a bit of a hurry and had to get back.  Leaving me with the Fast little devils zipping about.  I didn’t get any more worthwhile shots.
Then I had a phone call from Andrew.  The baby Tawny was back! Mark had spotted him.  Much higher up this time.  So he can either fly or has a grappling hook…

Andrew - Mark was the man who spotted it. I ran back and he kindly lent me his bloody great 500mm F2.8 (I think) beast. It is very nice but maybe a tad too heavy for me. I did get this though which I'm chuffed with.

Tawny Owl Chick using 500mm

and using the 50mm

Back to James............

We then met with 'The mushroom man' (Steve Balcombe) and much exchanging of business cards took place.
On the way home, the wind was behind me.  I was fast and no longer quite as furious (just don’t mention the Internet…)

Linnet on a brick

POSTSCRIPT:  After reviewing some images from the other day.  It appears the tatty harrier I saw may well have been a tatty Red Kite.  Here are some terrible pictures to prove it.

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