Tempus Fugit and all that


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. As the saying goes. A day with Mr Riley is always a plaintiff affair. He brings out the melancholy like no one else I know. This usually manifests in stuff like "Ah! your still young with your best years ahead and I'm an old fart who's ready for the scrap heap". So we headed out to Steart. I patiently listened to his rambling on about work and ex colleges and "I used to work for Phillips don't you know". When the hand break was pulled and the engine died at the main car park I called time. Time on wittering on about what we do all week. It's bloody Saturday and it's bloody lovely, Ok so it's a bit misty but I'm sure it will clear up in a bit. It's fun time David shut up and bloody enjoy the day. You haven't got many left.......

Factor 50 was not needed

UFO's often pop in for a visit

"The usual trim sir"?

"Anything for the weekend sir"?

We wandered along the path admiring the sheep when we heard a bicycle coming behind. It was non other than Joe Cockram on his way to the office. He's bagged a rather nice job working at Steart. The EFRS have admired this chap with his striking beard for a while. Dashing off all round the world birding and getting payed for it. It's a dirty job but someone has to do it. More to the point he knew who I was. I'm flattered. He even reads the blog!!!

We also met a personal friend of Davids, non other than Chris Sperring MBE. I've shaken hands with an MBE!!

Shelducks in the mist

Little Egret in the mud

Some more Little Egrets

After visiting the excellent exhibition held at the Provender Deli in South Petherton last Wednesday showing Robin Morisson, Francesca Mikola and Henrietta Van den Bergh's work I decided to try for a replication of Roberts amazing Dandelion clock and dew pic. Work in progress I think

Some Pintails going somewhere else

Then the sun came out



After gorging on the last of the summer fruits we carried on a wandering around the estuary side of the crescent. There is one over powering aspect of the estuary by here. The pylons spanning the divide. There is no avoiding them. Best to just embrace them. Lets face it if it were a castle we would be gushing at its Majesty forgetting it's true meaning of suppression and tyranny. Time has strange effects on the human psyche.

A Kestrel catching dragonflies in mid flight

We settled down at a convenient spot to just take in the moment. These moments will never be repeated no matter how many times we come and sit here. Every moment is a one off no matter how many monkeys you pack into a bullet train with ipads.
It was at this point that a bit of a blast from the past wandered by with his wife! A chat ensued between Riley and non other than Malcom Muggeridge. Well a six foot six reincarnation of him.

The Kestrels are a bit tamer round these parts

Well I've consulted the karma Sutra and I can't find this one!

Pastoral Grey heron

Thats the one

Davros will be appearing as Widow Twanky in a Panto near you this Christmas

While Riley and Mugaridge where decrying the demise of western civilisation I risked life and limb at the waters mud's edge to bag some pics of grass and sticks.

Mr Riley was quit taken with the effect of the mud. There was a ripple all along the flats which gave the impression of a wave frozen in time. I agreed. It's quit impressive. 

"You see Andrew your still a young chap with all your life ahead blah blah blah"

As I've often said a day with Riley is a day well spent. It's sanguine and thoughtful. You put your camera down and look. He knows the sounds, he knows nature in all its elements. He knows more than I ever will. But time will tell.

A quick cuppa back at his country pile and I was off back. I pondered to pop into somewhere on the way. Westhey? Hmmm theres nothing there is there. I mean what could there possibly be to see there. I ended up at Catcott. I know its empty this time of year but I was in a solitary mood. I wasn't disappointed.

Solitary Buzzard

Solitary Heron

Another Solitary Heron

They've done a grand job with the new screen

Bit solitary init!

I didn't get a chance to write Saturdays escapade up so I'm doubling up with Sundays. Flying solo while James recovers from a bout of cold and broken phone! Usual haunt of Hamwall and Shapwick with lunch at Eco-friendly bits. It was just a quicky or that was the idea.

Solitary Heron oh! we've done that one haven't we.

Kestrel just before the entrance to Hamwall from the Glastonbury side

A bit deja vu from yesterday with foggy foggy dew. There were Marsh harriers showing well from VP1 and 2. At one point two were being mobbed by a crow

VP1 was rather disappointing from a birding point mainly because the local volunteers and wardens were busy doing a bit of scorched earth policy essential maintenance work on the reed beds. It could have been 1815 rather than 2015

Where I'um be to my gurt lush luvver? 'e be that there Lee Dutton 'e be


So after a hard days work they popped into the local Sauna then a quick Skinny Latte in the Costa below.

Couple of Canadas

The only living thing viewable from the Tor Hide

 As I cycled back to VP2 for the last few hours I was just about to ring my bell to the two inconsiderate individuals blocking my way on the path when I realised it was Steve Balcombe and some yoof. They were bothering some young Grass Snake. I grabbed a few shots.

We met up again at VP2 and spent the next few hours talking lots of talk. The yoof in question was Max Thompson. A great guy with gear that a kid of his age shouldn't have. In other words better than me! Still it was great to meet them and the time flew as we chatted. The reason for VP2 was the Glossy Ibis. It never appeared but we weren't bothered in the least. It's about the day.

I borrowed Max's 500mm L to get these Gadwall I was very impressed

Macro using my 17mm Fisheye

Great weekend! Met quit a few names and faces and passed the time as you should, on your own when you want and in great company when you want. But remember time and tide waits for no man. Go out and enjoy it..............


  1. That 'Yoof' was pleased to have met you! Great blog post, your old lenses certainly get the results. It was a shame to have missed the Glossy Ibis but the Grass Snake made up for it.

  2. Ditto! Checked your flicker- all good stuff. Particularly like the leaping fox. Did I spot a fisheye pic or two?

  3. Anonymous7/10/15

    This is Malcom Muggeridge calling in the general and overseas service of the EFRTS. Nice to chat to Riley and? Andrew. It was a magical day by the Parrett that Saturday. The river/mud boundary was almost invisible, so calm and millpondish was the water and so sleek and smooth the mud. Still not sure if I saw c. 10 Avocets because they had gone when we chatted. Regards Richard and Judy (we were on the sofa first). rpgosnellg4muf@compuserve.com

  4. Come in Malcom we hear you loud and clear! Yes it was pretty special out there. Glad you had a good day and safe journey home etc. Good to meet and you thanks for taking the time to have a look at the blog. And yes this is Andrew (The other one being James who wasn't present. Mr Riley being honorary) Nice sofa by the way :¬)