Saturday, 26 February 2011

An Oasis in a desert of foul weather.

One bright day in ages, what to do? Thursday had promised some sunshine and did deliver. I met Chris Grady for our prearranged day together in the forest. We had planned to do frogs. Mr G donned his neoprene suit and dropped himself into the water to get those special close ups the like of which he produced last year.

Meanwhile the less well prepared and in all honesty less able of us, namely me, donned our knee protectors and did the best we could. The sun came out and I did get some shots, but the beauty of frogs, in my opinion, is that they take a good photo even in poor light.

This chap, came up and said hello.

Whilst elsewhere in the pond another group of frogs eyed up the females across the way.

"Hey lads, you seen the legs on that frogette over there, cor she's lovely"
"Yeah but she has let herself go a bit, could do with a bit of attention to those spots"
"One of us should go over and say, Hi."
"I heard her and her mate chatting, she was asking how many of us she'd have to kiss before she met her prince......"
"Yeah that was his name, oh yeah I get it....Charming"

This next pic sums up the difference between a sun shining pic and a behind the cloud pic, I was left thinking, if only!

I still like it though. The picture of the session for me though was this one.

It shows perfectly the difference in size between the male and the female. For those of you who aren't familiar with frogs the male is the one being carried and hanging on for grim life.

My friend Brian Williams alludes to the noise of the frogs in his Blog (check the links on here). I want to confirm what he says, the noise is amazing, it truly does sound like scrambler bikes racing in the distance. Truly a special occasion and one that I wouldnt miss every year. I think Chris and I were there for about 3 1/2 hrs and I enjoyed every minute and every strange glance that Chris got from people out walking.

A quick lunch and a well deserved drink at Beechenhurst and we were left scratching our heads for something to follow our morning. Obviously nothing was going to match that so we settled for a few small birds at the arboretum. Here are a nice pair of tits.

Great Tit and then Blue Tit.

The light dsappeared very quickly so forgive me the lack of quality in these pictures.
Looks like the next week is not going to be much better, I hope that this is not a taster for the summer to come.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Horrible weather.

The weather has been partuicularly bad since my last post. Grey, cold and occasional heavy rain have curtailed any attempts at photography. What it has allowed though is for me to spend more time watching the birds that are coming to the garden.

I have had a new garden visitor this week, three of them infact, Siskins. I was totally amazed when three of them decended on my feeders this morning. It was only a fleeting visit, but they have returned both in a group and singularly a few times. I hope they hang around.

I have also had the male Blackcap visiting regularly but no sign of his female and the Long tailed tits make occasional visits. This is of course in addition to all the other usual visitors, Great and Blue tits, Dunnocks, Blackbirds, Collared doves, Robins and House Sparrows.

Also whilst out walking Roxy in the wood nearby a couple of days ago I saw a Grey wagtail. There are also a pair of Buzzards displaying over the field near the wood regularly and I had the amazing sight of a Sparrowhawk flying about 3 feet off the ground some 15 feet infront of me the same day that I saw the Grey Wagtail.

I cannot wait for the weather to start improving. In the meantime these Long tails were taken at Cannop ponds the same day as the visit to Hignham.

They are a lovely bird.