Saturday, 3 January 2009

Do you need a Passport?

A trip today into the depths of South Wales was the first opportunity for pictures so far this year (I know it's only the 3rd Jan).

Cosmeston Lakes and Country Park was the destination, company was provided by Chris G, and the weather could not have been more obliging.

I've never been there before so I was unsure what to expect, Chris had assured me that the breakfast in the visitor centre was well worth the visit alone but my diet wasn't going to allow that, I've got 4 or more stone to lose before July.

I did know that a bearded tit and a lesser scaup had been reported as being present, so that would be a start.
On our arrival we met up with Brian Williams and Mike Smith, their company only enhanced the experience (Nice new 500mm lens Mike).
What a fantastic start it would be, the bearded tit had heard that I was in attendance and came to see if I was all I was cracked up to be, okay I'm blowing my own trumpet here, just go with the flow!

You will remember that my trip to Norfolk in Nov had been the first occasion that I had seen wild Beardies, well now I can say I've photographed them too.

I have a few more to go through so there could be a few more posted soon.

The Reed Buntings were doing their bit not to be left out.

After a Breakfast of poached egg on toast I was well up for the next part of the adventure. I spent a short while getting some flight shots of the Gulls and a couple of shots of Pied Wagtails flitting around. Again these will follow in due course.

Whilst at the lakes a number of people advised us that there were Waxwings in a garden nearby. Brian, Mike and I set off to see if we could locate them and after a little wait at the site we did indeed get to see them. First however was a lovely viewing of a Fieldfare.

The Waxwing were only two in number and unusually they were feeding from the same apple tree as the fieldfare. I have very little experience of Waxwings but others present assured me that this is somewhat unusual behaviour.

As I'm sure you can imagine my trigger finger was well worked and i have a number of shots to work through but this is one example of the beautiful waxwing.

Something happened that just made the day for the four of us (Chris had joined us on site), The owners of the house in which the apple tree was located had seen us, and a number of others throughout the day, stood in the road. They kindly offered to move their vehicle off the drive and invited us into the garden. But as if this wasn't enough they later made us tea, and gave us cake and biscuits. I am sure I speak for the others when I say this was totally unexpected and extremely welcomed as the temperature was very low. The lady and gent declined offer of payment and took the level of their generosity even further when they said we could, if we wished, move their garden seats and use them to sit on.

This may not seem a lot but ask yourself how many people would invite total strangers into their property and provide drinks etc. I can't honestly say I'd be so kind, or at least not in the past. We did not enquire of their names but they will know who they are and if by chance they read this then we were truly grateful for their kindness.

I'm not sure if I'd go to Cosmeston again, I'd be worried that it couldn't live up to this first visit. A great day and a great start to 09.


Lewis Thomson said...

Super shots Brian!! Love the Beardie, still never even seen one! Looks like theres been a second wave of Waxwings, so hopefully there will be more around the forest by the end of the month!

Good luck for 2009!

Anonymous said...

Lewis, Hi.

Thanks mate, get to Cosmeston if you can. It is sooooo easy, must be if I can get shots like this.