Saturday 28 January 2017

A Buzzard in the Wolds.

Buzzards are becoming more and more common these days as the effect of more relaxed game keeping regimes and the banning of organo-chlorides in agricultural chemicals kicks in.  It is an almost daily occurrence to see a buzzard wheeling in the air and listen to its wild mewing call and they can regularly be seen perched on hedges and roadside fence posts.  To stop the car to get a better look, however, is the signal for the bird to immediately fly off.  Although I have many shots of buzzards flying overhead, obtaining images of them perched up is nearly impossible with these wary birds.  So I was absolutely delighted to come across one over recent weeks that is much more tolerant.  I had seen the bird and stopped and watched it, both in the car and whist cycling on several occasions and so decided to try to photograph it, fully expecting it to fly off as usual.  To my surprise it tolerated both my presence and that of the camera, just for a short while. Since that first occasion I have seen it each time I am out and have photographed it on another couple of occasions.  

To view large, please click on an image

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Fog in The Wolds

A trip out to Scallows today to top up the feeders at the feeding station.  I was surprised to find fog.

To view large, please click on an image.

Sunday 22 January 2017

Tuesday 3 January 2017

New Year at Hartington Hall Youth Hostel, Derbyshire.

At New Year we made our annual pilgrimage to Hartington Hall Youth Hostel in Derbyshire to meet up with my brother and sister-in-law.  We have been doing this now for about the last 15 years and it is a great way to see each other and have a second Christmas without any one having to cater and we love the bustle of life in the youth hostel.  Once we have parked the cars we don’t touch them for the next three days and we enjoy doing the same walks each year.  The biggest decision we need to make is which way round we do the walks.  This may seem a little ‘samey’, but the walks are not the same two years running.  The weather is always different, the underfoot conditions different and we never know what we will see on the wildlife front.  Already snowdrops were poking through the ground, some of them with the first white of flowers showing; daffodil bulbs, too, were showing through.  We saw large mixed flocks of winter thrushes: fieldfares and redwings which visit us each winter from Scandinavia and Northern Europe.  They migrate to our shores as our climate is milder and it is easier to find food.  Large numbers of them feed on hawthorn berries until the hedgerows are picked clean and then they move on.  Both alder and hazel catkins are showing on the trees now and it won’t be long before the long ‘lambs tails’ on the hazels will be shedding pollen.  We delighted in watching a large dog fox one day loping along the valley sides beneath us.  Although they are a regular sight in town, there is nothing like seeing them in ‘the wild’.  On the river Dove we saw herons, wildfowl, dippers and kingfisher.  Peter and myself were thrilled one day to watch and listen to a dipper singing from a rock in the river – wonderful.  On our final day we had a hard frost and I enjoyed making close-up images of frost crystals on bramble leaves and moss.

To view the images large, click on a thumbnail.