Night Manoeuvers


After James' shameful exhibition of alcohol misuse I went out later on Saturday with a sober head, the sun on my face and the breeze in my hair. Ok so I was a little hung over to. I had quit a night with a good pal jamming and drinking and jamming and putting the worlds to rights and drinking and jamming and eating Chinese and jamming and drinking and so it went. James, as you have previously read, had invited me but I just couldn't face the AM.
The good friend in question was one Richard Flahant. You'll find him on twitter at @MusiCatMan A very cool guy who, like I'm sure you do since you'r reading this, has one of the most sincere and honest regards for animal life and life in general. He puts my meager efforts at being veggie to shame. He doesn't just talk it he does it. Not only that he is a pretty damned good song writer, musician and Brian May stalker. Take a look and make you'r own mind up.

 But the day was young(ish) and I started snapping away..............

Previous to my arrival at Hamwall I stopped at Aqueduct Crossing Bridge. Apologies for duplication of pics but I can never decide on landscape or portrait.

After extolling the virtues of the Takumar Super-Macro 50mm I went back to my Ordinary Takumar 50mm F1.4. I can see the difference. Wow this is a peach of a lens. Bit more popular and therefore more expensive than the Macro version but worth it.

A Goldfinch wizzed by and I managed to catch him with my Photosniper

Plus lots of House Martins wizzing under and around the bridge.

But back to Hamwall. As usual on beautiful sunny days the wild life tends to not bother. The most popular of birds were Great White Egrets and Swifts.

Great White Egret Pair


Two Swifts

Lapwing got close for a good shot

I popped over to the Tor hide and after seeing quit a few Bittern fly-byes very close. I tried to resist but temptation over came me. Off I trotted. Guess what. Not one very close. There where in fact a lot of Bitterns flying around but I didn't manage a good shot. Oh well. While there a gent walked in and inquired about Marsh Harriers. I told him what was about and we settled down. After a while I realised who it was. I've been an admired of this guy for quit some time. He is one hell of a photographer with one hell of a lens. A 600mm to be precise. It was non other than Tim Taylor. We swapped a few words. His reply to finding out I was one half of the EFRS; "I was wondering when I would bump into you lot". I'll take that as a compliment!!

Lovely direct sunlight from the Tor Hide

One sometimes nice effect of the 1960's Soviet industrial lens known as the Photosniper is the Chromatic aberration. The purple and blue is not there in real life. I liked it so I left it.

Female marsh harrier

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

Marsh harrier

After that I popped back up to the main track and spent the remainder of the day with the fantastic views and light

That was Saturday, now on to Sunday.................

After some communication reminiscent of 'Where eagles dare' I rendezvoused with Robin Morrison again at Hamwall VP1 and Jerry Hawker. Jerry was someone the EFRS had met before but not for a while. The lucky bleeder had a pretty good shot of a Night Heron. I verified it for him so it must have been. Right?

We chatted for a while but they both had to be on there way and left me to it...........

After yesterdays lack of decent Bittern Pics they came thick and fast

A White Throat

And take off

There was much debate as to what this Buzzard had picked up for lunch. General consensus was a Chick

A Sparrow Hawk gave a good pass

After a wander about, of which more later, I settled down at a strategic position at the far corner of Waltons facing the Tor. The plan being to bag me the Night Heron previously seen at this spot. I stayed for a few hours with the lowering sun behind me. No Heron but plenty of other stuff to be entertained by.
Twice a Cuckoo flew into a tree right next to me. Twice I went to investigate and twice it flew before a good sight.

Yet more Bitterns

Thousands of these babies flying around.

This Mallard had 11 chicks. Good girl!

Poor shot of a Jay

This is the spot to get that Night Heron and Tor pic. Oh! well.

My manoeuvre didn't pay off but it was worth it!

And so to the wanderings. I popped down to Catcott Heath. I really love this small secluded spot. The old peat diggings, the trees, the heathland. I was totally alone save for two parties I wont go into that passed through quickly. Not a sound except for the birds and wind in the trees. It was time to whip my Gynecology kit out. It was macro time. Excuse my language but there is some really weird shit going on in the undergrowth!

Quatermass Experiment anyone?

Brilliant day! That is all.

Oh I nearly forgot.......

Looking forward to the next outing................ Hope you are to :¬D

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