(CLICK ON A PIC AND IT WILL GO BIG)
It does seem like ages since I was out on the levels. Manualfocusuk.com seems to have taken my time and in particular the thorny subject of scanning film. But lets not go there shall we. So the opportunity arose for a few hours out and about. Unfortunately this was a bit short notice for James but he would let me know if he could.
Off I went down the familiar routes through the enchanted wood. Now avid readers, and there are lots of you I know because you all say you've read the blog when I ask, will know of my on off battle with a certain Greater Spotted Woodpecker within the Enchanted wood. Alas this battle withered on the branch and the fruits of conflict have dropped to the worms to rise again another year since my adversary hasn't been seen for some time. So this can't be the nemesis I refer to in the title. Who or what is it then! Read on and discover.
Hamwall was very quiet. No bitterns, no Marsh Harriers just a couple of Great White Egrets to brighten the place up. No photos were taken as I stood relaxed and admiring the view. A view which soothes the eyes and soul very nicely. Those soothed eyes lowered to the bugs but little stirred in the grass and brambles just a few late flowers and over ripe berries dotted the green with colour. The detail is increasing as life starts to deconstruct, the flesh exhausted leaving frames on which it hung. Delicate trestles the ghosts of life linger till the next birth and forgotten.
But onward and upward I poodled along like a 1950's midwife admiring the views until the end of Hamwall and the road that divides. A familiar face greeted in the form of Lee Dutton. I almost didn't recognise him as he wasn't in is uniform blue shirt of the RSPB but in civilian camouflage ready to go a birding. Bit of a busmans holiday if you ask me but hey ho! Being a Spurs fan we chatted of the beautiful game for a while. Is Lee my nemesis? How could he be he's an amiable sort of guy always greeting with a ready smile despite being a Spurs.
Then another figure came towards us at first with little regard then the pennies started tumbling down. Bright red (but slightly faded from a few internationals and not a fair weather supporter) England shirt and a long black Tamron hanging from a N N Nik...... N N N........ Niko...... No I can't bring myself to say it! It could only be non other than Carl Bovis. At first he didn't recognise me but soon we were in catch-up mode. Lee sensed the mighty battle that would ensue made his excuses and left to safer climes.
Yes I can now reveal that CARL BOVIS is the Nemesis of the EFRS!!!!!!!!
I haven't seen Carl for ages. Not since entering his local lair at Greylake a while ago. We walked, well Carl walked I wobbled along on the bike, in an amicable sort of way talking of birds and seasons and camera settings. He was on a mission for the Osprey on Noahs. I had bagged it previously and so had he but was eager to get nice and close. On the way we stopped at the Reichenbach Falls erm I mean the Scrape to see what was what.
One of the Glossy Ibis
Carl gave me a few tips on snapping white birds
Black Tailed Godwit in flight
We stopped again along the side of Noahs to scout for the big bird. It wasn't on it's usual perch and hearts sank. Had it buggered off to North Africa or was it wandering round for fish? Then I saw a dark specter between the trees! Was it it? I wasn't sure but Carl was keen and decided to go to the hide and left me pondering. Solitude started my minds cogs and visions of Osprey so close it's breath was fogging Carl's lens. Bokeh of water drops splashed from it's wings as Carl perfectly framed its swooping dives inches from him. Fame and glory would ensue with headlines and awards a plenty. He came trudging back with shrunken shoulders. It hadn't been seen for hours. Oh well never mind. I had text'd James that the Osprey was there, suddenly he was on his way, then he might be then when I told him it wasn't he wasn't either!
Carl missed this as he went
glory Osprey hunting
Let me just put everything into perspective. Carl is blissfully unaware of his Moriarty status. Everyone else except for James is to. This is a healthy respect, a bench mark, a means to keep you on your toes, an aspiration. Carl's ability to capture birds has, along with a few others within the local birding community, our utmost respect. He has been chosen as what we aspire to as far as media savvy crisp and interesting bird photography and blogging is concerned. This is his blog and I urge you to keep an eye on it. He knows how to take a pic or two.
With Carl wandering off into the distance I was back on my own. I fancied a bit of macro so went to a little spot I know for that sort of thing. Somewhere I'll keep to myself for now if you don't mind. We'll call it my secret garden.
These are the size of rice
Those trestles I was on about
Mmmmmm lovely decay
Still at it!
The cutest furryist flying thing eva! It's soooo tiny!
This fella sat still and was not for moving
This fella was in a bad way. The white is a fungus thats killing it slowly
On the way back I saw one of the Ibis drop down onto Noah's I thought I had got it but alas. Carl would have got it though.
An hour or so back at VP2 Hamwall reaped good results with a pretty good shot of a Female Marsh Harrier worrying the residents.
Gadwall in flight
Been a while since I snapped a Buzzard
It was a good day with a few faces not seen for a while and a few good snaps. The days are not as long, the sun a little yellowed. I watched a few leaves fall and admired those trestles a while. Echelons of Geese are mixed with Starlings ganging up a little more each day. Soon it will be as if summer never was.