Tuesday 17 December 2019

First Session at the Winter Feeding Station.

On my second visit to top up the feeders at the feeding station, I noticed that already quite a few birds were coming down to feed.  In view of this I decided to take the camera on today's visit and sit to see what was coming down and also have another go with the new lens and camera body.  There were large numbers of tits backwards and forwards all the time: blue, great, coal and a few long tailed tits.  At one point they all scattered in a whir of wings and a superb male sparrowhawk streaked through the wood in front of the hide. If it is hunting round the feeders I may get some photographs this winter.  Another bird of interest spotted when I set the hide up again a fortnight ago was a tawny owl which I think that I disturbed in the holly just behind the hide.  I must keep my eye open to see if I can discover where it's roosting.

I am delighted with the new equipment; the 100-400 even with the 1.4 converter is very sharp.  As the weather was dull I had to use ISO 3200 which I wouldn't have contemplated with the old canon 7D but the Fuji coped admirably.  There was some noise but this was easily corrected in Lightroom.

Other birds that visited today were a robin, a few chaffinches and a single tree creeper which I took some shots of but unfortunately it is obscured slightly by an out of focus twig.
To view large, pleas click on an image.

Wednesday 11 December 2019

A Second Visit to Donna Nook to Photograph the Seals.

I am now the proud possessor of all Fuji equipment having part exchanged my canon gear through Wex who provided a fantastic service.  I was therefore keen to get out and play so decided to go back for another go at the seals.  It was perfect conditions: bright with a mix of sun and overcast.  I had hoped for some fighting for dominance among the bulls, but all was relatively calm.  I was interested to spot the young herring gull feasting on the carcass of a pup that didn't make it and a little egret and several pied wagtails cooperated on the photography front.  The pied wagtails all had a creamy white rather than a clean white chin and cheeks; I have read that some do but I have not consciously noted this before.  There was one completely black pup present and it would seem that 1 in 400 turn black after their first moult.
To view large, please click on a thumbnail.

Friday 6 December 2019

Whitby, Day 3

We awoke this morning, after a brief spectacular sunrise, to a grey and gloomy day which, as the day progressed degenerated into rain.  Following another excellent breakfast we packed and loaded the car and then wandered down to steps to the East Pier.  By this time the wind was biting and bowing up somewhat.  Heading back for coffee, we stopped off at Fortune's Kippers where the were just loading up the smoking ovens with herrings and bacon.  We bought some of each to bring home.  What is there not to like about a good kipper.  After coffee in the old chapel jet museum and restaurant it was back up the steps one more time to beging the dirve home.  Not straight home, however, as we called in at Burton Agnes Hall for what is rapidly becoming a traditional visit the the hall which is beautifully decorated for Christmas.  We find that it gets us in the mood for the festivities to com.
To view large, please click on an image.

Wednesday 4 December 2019

Whitby, Day 2

Another fabulous day of weather with cloudless skies all day but the biting wind and low temperatures meant a cold day.  When we looked out first thing the eastern horizon was tinged with vivid orange.  Tea in bed and then down for a relaxed 8.00 am breakfast and off to Sandsend.  There was just enough beach for a beachcombing mooch and some photography.   The groynes here always make for interesting subjects. The next port of call was the Danby Moors centre where there was an excellent exhibition. Lunch was a picnic high above the Esk Valley with wonderful views.  One of my favourite places.  Another mooch on the beach and then it was back to Whitby and shopping for some and photography for others.  Peter and I were after some golden hour shots of the old town and then some twilight images from the steps.  We were a tad early for twilight so to avoid frostbite we retreated to the Board Inn for something brown and frothy.  On our way back up the steps the light was perfect.  Shortly we shall be heading for The Marine on the harbour side to sample their pre Christmas menu.  Another good day.
To view large, please click on an image.