Thursday, 12 February 2009

Soured day./ more Slimbridge.

Start with the sour. Some mindless prat has stolen my squirrel proof feeder from New Fancy. I have to be honest, I've expected it. It is only to be expected in this day and age where it's easier to steal something than to work hard to afford your own. It wasn't expensive, it cost me nothing it was a throwaway item that someone else didn't want. I just had to repair it.

So for the sake of some small minded thief's pleasure a large number of birds and people lose out.

Back to Slimbridge. Some more shots from yesterday.
This Mute swan was lovely in the earlier light.

A trip to the new Kingfisher hide gave me shots of a few visitors, This Rook was one of half a dozen there.

The Chaffinch's were busy.

The Goldfinch has long been a target of mine, I would have loved to have got them away from the feeder but this was the best I could manage.

There were a pair of young rabbits scurrying around the feeders and the reed beds.

On adifferent feeder in the centre was a small group of Long tailed tits. Don't you just love these cheeky little things.

This was a site that must have sent shock waves through the wardens who do their best to keep the foxes away. This appears to be a dog fox and a vixen. They were way way out into the reserve.
A second look through my pics today showed me that I did get a picture of the Heron with the fish. It's not brilliant but have a look.
Still a few more to go through so maybe another few to post in the next day or two.
Sorry if my rant about the feeder spoilt this post but It affects me so much that I can't say nothing.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Slimbridge in the Sunshine.

It didn't start that way, it was very foggy. I almost turned back thinking that it wouldn't change before lunch. Fortunately it did and when it did it was a warm sunny day.

I wanted a good day, I was desperate for some decent opportunities. They came. I took over 200 shots. I have decided in this post to concentrate on the Heron that was very obliging.

It was as close as I can remember ever having been to a Heron. At times I had to take the 1.4 converter off my camera and still couldn't get it all in.

I wouldn't say it was tame, it did fly off on a couple of occasions when people were moving by. It did seem intent on lunch, I saw him take one fish but as is always the case I didn't get that shot as I'd hoped.

It's been a while since the weather was not a concern, I had to concentrate on the shot and try to get it spot on. I believe that this series of shots, of which these are only a few, were the best Heron shots I've taken. I hope that compressing them down to this size hasn't detracted from the quality of the originals.

The day wasn't all about the Heron though, I have some other shots of other stuff that I'm really pleased with. I'll work through them over the next day or so and post some here.

But for now I hope you enjoy these.

Just a quick word about the Feeders at New Fancy. I continue to feed the birds nearly every day. I hope that my efforts have helped keep some of the birds alive during the recent cold snap. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Micheal Edwards who I met yesterday (Tues) in the Car park. He kindly gave me a donation of ten pounds towards the food. I have already spent it on fat balls and Sunflower seeds. It warms my heart that there are so many people who, in these difficult times, are still considerate of God's tiny critters. Thank you Michael and all the others who have contributed by feeding when they have attended to watch or photograph the birds.

I now appreciate how much it must cost Slimbridge to keep feeding the birds. I watched the feeding there this evening at the Rushy pool. Martin wheeled out a wheel barrow full of seed, and was followed around the lake by the birds as he spread it around so even the smallest of the ducks and waders could get some. It made me appreciate that we all have a role to play.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

The Wyedean Forest Rally.

Another year another rally. Again the Weather had not been kind and the snow would see the closure of at least one stage.
It was with a feeling of trepidation that my son, his girlfriend, and I set off for the first stage.

I'm going to have my first whinge here. A big issue is made of the parking of the spectators car's in both the press and the rally programme. Drivers are encouraged to park in the official carparks, supporting a charity in doing so. I paid five pounds to park on the carpark at Speculation. I didn't park on the parking area, I had to abandon the car on the track about 50 yds in.

Despite the best efforts of a number of helpers my poor car could not get over the snow and ice. My point is this, it would have only taken a few trips from a tractor or similar up and down the track to make it passable but no effort had been made to ensure safe parking of the vehicles. I was not alone in my dissapointment. I will contact the rally organisers to voice my concern. I have followed the rally since 1997 and I honestly believe that this was the worst year so far for verge side parking on the roads around the forest. I hope that by bringing it to the attention of the organisers that lessons will be learnt.

My second whinge is a lack of information available on the approach to the carparks. The afternoon was due to feature a stage called Mailscot, basically around the area of Christchurch, Hillersland and Staunton. This was cancelled, but there was nothing to suggest this on the approach to Car park B.

So back to the event itself. I enjoyed it, it was fun watching some of the smaller cars battle their way around the first stage. I am told by my son that the winner was local man Nik Elsmore. My congratulations to him and his co-driver and team. I am not aware of any serious accidents or injuries to any competitor or spectator. This must be a good thing.
The Rally Winner, Nik Elsmore. Car No 5.
Last years winner Andy Burton.

Excellent use of the banking to keep you going I thought.

The vintage cars were in a class of their own this year. I loved seeing these old examples.
Car 314, a SAAB 96 V4.

Car 307, a Porche 911.

Car 305, a Volvo amazon?

How did it affect the wildlife? Who knows but I think it'll happen again.