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Chemo Day

January 12th, 2010 by admin

Well thanks to the big freeze I was late up to Treliske for a 5.5 hr infusion of Chemotherapy which basically meant that although technically its the best time for me straight after while the steroids are in full swing there was barely enough light to shoot anything at all today when I got out.. To be honest I was so annoyed because I was already so late as I drove through Penzance early morning The bay looked phenomenal and for a brief moment I thought the sea was frozen.. There was a beautiful light and a mist hanging low over the ocean with the mount rising from it all lit by a very low morning sun. but my camera was packed away to go to the hospital and i just didn’t have the time to shoot what could have been one of the best landscapes/seascape I’ve seen in Months.  Ah well we’ll post that one in with the Bittern Flyby at Marazion yesterday too that Bob captured Once Again.

So I decided what I’d do just to keep the blog rolling is a quick re-cap of my pics of the day for January so far, so if you’ve seen all these and are already bored I’ll see you tomorrow for some High wind shots no doubt lol.  for the rest here ya go!

Flyby from a Northern Shoveler duck male

Drift was the place for me in the first couple of days of the month, basically because its quiet even when the tourists swamp all the other beauty spots :) so there we were on the 1st to see the Shovelers but didn’t quite get the snowgoose that was up in the field on the other side, so I went back the next day and sure enough there he was being very obliging.. I suspect that he’s some sort of a hybrid though apparently it was confirmed it was in fact a Blue Morph Snowgoose, anyhow he was lovely so here’s the shot

Mostly the same around on the 3rd so I took the opportunity to grab this Stonechat who was busying himself feeding from the end of some broken bramble..

I just loved this shot of the greylag gaggling away in flight there almost like he was doing the bullerubllerbul at the canada’s as he flew over them.. or maybe it was at me lol

The fifth brought a better opportunity to shoot the male Shoveler down at marazion on the marsh.. it was quieter now as most of the visitors had left. (Thankfully sigh)

The influx of redwings started to grow as the weather further up the country worsened and we’ve probably seen the most redwings and fieldfares in these parts for  a long long time, here’s one in the field by the marsh.

And the theme was to be much the same.. more and more arrived and soon they were struggling as the cold snap hit us down here and for the first time in years I was forced to stay in the village due to bad weather.. basically we were snowed in, so I took a walk across the fields behing the bungalow which was full of Redwings and fieldfare..

Fieldfare searching amongst the snow for food.. this was to become even worse and I fear we lost a lot of birds over the next few days to the cold and hunger.

The 8th of january and the day I should have been having Chemo but again we couldn’t get the van out and due to the length of time of the infusions it was too late by the time we’d cleared the road.. so we headed to Marazion and i stopped by longrock pool to shoot this..I saw such a comical thing in it.. you can almost hear the mallard taunting the cygnet for being to fat to walk on the ice.. thankfully though there was clear water for them to feed in a small area.

A nice clear shot of a redwing on the bramble in the bottom field by the marsh

and so onto the 10th of January and back down marazion again.. the weather being so bad it was safer and easier to stay on the well used roads.. Another sight that was plentifold with the cold was the song thrush, I’ve seen more of these this week in my garden than ever before along with Dunnocks all the tit family chaffinch robin greenfinch wren blackbird and now redwings and the odd fieldfare to name but a few.. but down here on the marsh they were plentiful also..
Song thrush in the warming sun

and so that brings us back to the start of today as I usually finish my blog off on the morning before I go out to see what the day will bring.. so to finish up here’s a couple that I hadn’t shown..

I spotted this chap basking in the morning sun as I drove through Chyenal to Drift earlier in the month  he was very wary when i got out of the van and I only managed to grab a couple of shots before he turned and High tailed it over the hedge.

and finally the Med Gulls basking on the fence on the dam wall at Drift..

well I hope you enjoyed the recap of the month so far. I certainly did.. its not often I look back over what the month has brought and maybe if you liked it I’ll do it again  at the end of the month from here :)

Enjoy your day in the High winds.. I may be called off to work for a change with the windsurfers but there’s always a nature or wildlife shot to be had so I’ll drop in with what I have..

M

Still Freezing, Still Starving

January 10th, 2010 by admin

Sadly this cold weather claimed another of our birds.. I tried desperately to save a lapwing which we found starving and frozen..

I took it home and kept it warm and tried to get it to feed but sadly it gave up the fight..and as always we just sit back and wonder if there’s any more we could have done..
I bought 6 bags of apples and another sack of wild bird seed today after watching Fieldfare and redwings struggling everywhere and anywhere to find food.. they were even digging the moss up between paving in the hope of finding some bugs grubs or worms.
Thankfully the sparrows chaffinch dunnocks robins thrush blue tits great tits, coal tits and the doves and blackbirds are doing okay from our feeders which we fill at least once daily.. we’ve even seen wrens and redwings in the garden today

Down at the Marsh its a different story.. hundreds of Redwings Fieldfare and song thrush are searching everywhere to find food.. the ducks and shovelers making regular round robin trips looking for holes in the ice and graceful skating swans who seem to be an awful lot thinner than htey were last week.. not a lot of big stuff flying about, I suppose due to the cold and lack of energy though I did see the bittern twice again in the same spot..

The water Rail put in a few appearances through the day but always behind the bramble making a good shot difficult, that is apart from when I wasn’t at the camera and it walked feet in front of me across to the bramble and disappeared again. Its getting like the Bittern which pops up and gives you a chance to get to the viewfinder but by the time the HSM on the lens focus’s its gone again.

The only good thing if there could be such a thing in this freezing weather is that for us as photographers the Birds are more intent on finding food than worrying where we are which does help us to get a few nice close images.

Pipit looking for water

Redwing

This Swan tried to get across the ice to where I was, probably hoping I had some food for it, but eventually gave up after looking like heather mills dancing on ice.

He finally turned tail and took off in search of water to feed on…

A Little blurred but I couldn’t resist adding this shot in light of the above statement..

And that was the theme for the whole afternoon down at marazion… more redwings more ice more hunger and nothing spectacular to photograph other than their plight. Please remember to feed the Birds where you can

Later Folks
Mel

The Freeze Continues

January 9th, 2010 by admin

Well at Least we managed to dig the van out today and get out of the village for a while, though the roads were pretty damned icy in places.
We drove steadily to Marazion to find most of the marsh was frozen over. So much so that almost all the wildfowl were gathered by the outflow on longrock pool where the water was moving slightly and managing to keep it from freezing.

The shovelers have now found each other with the male coming over from drift and they had joined the mallards and teal on longrock pool.

The shovelers keeping the ice from freezing while a female mallard walks about on the ice

The pair finally back together

This little grebe was feeding okay and kept popping up with another little fish..

Little grebe with a tasty morsel

Its these young fellows that are at greatest risk in these frozen times as their food is trapped under the ice and they are in serious trouble from starvation.. this young chap came right up the bank to the roadside to us where Leanne gave him some bread and threw som more onto the ice for any of the other fowl that was hungry.. its always worth remembering to feed the birds at this time of year but also remember if you do start feeding them at your home KEEP ON FEEDING THEM otherwise they’ll travel to your feeders only to find them empty and will have wasted all their body fat getting there.

these young cygnets are at most risk of starvation in the cold weather

something caught my eye over on the cut reeds hopping about with bright yellowy green flashes here and there.. I finally pinpointed it with the camera and after following him around for a while managed to grab at least one unblurred image of him.. fairly sure its a chiff chaff who’s colours were really bright in the cold afternoon sun.. he didn’t stay still very long which made shooting him on the dark reed stalks quite a task :)

Chiffchaff among the reed stalks

searching for food among the reed stalks

We drove up to the marsh and found this blackbird ferreting in a hole for food.. after a good 10 minutes of digging around he finally pulled out a worm which made his effort a little worthwhile at least.. watching things like this really makes you understand the struggle they have in this cold icy weather..

Blackbird digging for food

one tiny worm later he's off to find another hole to dig in

I swet off across the frozen ground towards the marsh with redwings and fieldfares with the odd starling mixed in flitting about all over the field… I maged to lock on to one in the shrubs who watched my approach with caution.

Redwing cautiously watching my approach

slowly i maged to get round the outside of him to be able to see the red underwings which gives them their name

This chap ignored the signs and braved the cold to climb over the wall and feed the ducks and swans on the ice.. personally I think he was doing the right thing as strangely enough the sign putter uppers the Royal society for the PROTECTION of birds were nowhere to be seen all afternoon. Well done my friend!!

Feeding the ducks and swans

The sight over the marsh and a common one across the country

sadly this is what we’re seeing so much with this weather.. the sad thing is this will be the way it ends for a lot of these young swans who are unable to get through the ice for food.

Fieldfare in the sun

Fieldfare’s, another sign of the snow and cold weather, were in abundance around the marsh and surrounding fields.

Another sight to be seen most of the afternoon was the regular circling of ALL the waterfowl from Longrock pool trying to find somewhere on the marsh that may have thawed enough for them to land and feed..

Circling round and round looking for water not ice

Well I’m going to attempt another trip out today and see if we can get anywhere.. at least the snow held off yesterday evening so we’ll hopefully catch up soon

Mel

Freezing Fieldfares and Redwings

January 8th, 2010 by admin

Gripped in Blizzards and Ice is not something I moved to Cornwall to Endure :) I know its all very pleasant for the kids and yes it does make a good Photo but when I can’t get my van off the street to get up to Treliske for my Chemo then things are getting purty damn tricky..

I spent 3 hours clearing the road tonight so I might have a chance to get out tomorrow, used all the rocksalt I had and sat down for a cuppa only to look out the window and see heavy snow falling yet again and covering fast all that I’d done.. then I find that the hospitals have Norovirus outbreaks and they want me with no immune system to go up there at 6am in freezing conditions.. well guess what.. No Way José I’m staying put with my Garden full of Birds including the recent influx of Fieldfares and redwings.

As I couldn’t get the van out yesterday I took a walk over the field by the side of the house to take a few shots of the snow..
The first encounter was a redwing sitting on the lawn and by the stream at the bottom of the garden a Fieldfare was hopping about.. as I got to the field gate it was obvious why as there were hundreds feeding in the field..


Fieldfare foraging for food in a snowy field

A little further up were hundreds of redwings also feeding

Fieldfare

Beautiful Redwing in the afternoon Sun

They were skittish to say the least so I was quite pleased to have got the shots I did but little chance to get them in flight.

We walked over to Quarry Field and walked the road up alongside of the hill, more fieldfares were along the roadside and in the trees lining the hill..

A solitary Fieldfare watches on as we walked up the lane

Once we’d climbed to the top of the field the view was wonderful over Penzance, snowy fields crowned the town and glowed in the afternoon winter sun. We could even see the snow falling in Bands across Helston Camborne and Redruth and an opbvious massive snowstorm flowing over the mount and marazion.

view over Penzance

Snow falling in the distance

and in no time at all closer to home in Mounts Bay

We set off to walk across the field ready to start the descent down the hill, which is no mean feat to most but those knowing my condition, and given the fact that I should have been in for chemotherapy today to help with the flare up, I was pretty damn pleased I’d managed as much as I did.
Looking back afforded me the opportunity to grab a rare opportunity of snapping Leanne as she sat on the remains of one of the children’s snowmen being blinded by the low sun but nontheless I loved the shot especiually the vista behind.

A rare chance to catch Leanne resting on a snowman with Penzance and Mounts bay in the background

The views are pretty spectacular from the top of the hill which we normally only look at out of the window of the bungalow, so it made such a change to be looking back for a change.

Road into the vllage.. looking clearer now

Snowstorm approaching over mounts bay

looking across to the village.. my bungalow is the one right in the middle of the shot on the hill

At the foot of the hill there's lots of these little wildlife corners but today just a nice snowy scene.

All except this one little fellow throwing the snow about looking for grubs and insects

Another Redwing at the foot of the hill rummaging in the snow

Well it started snowing again so it was time to head back across the field towards home in case it got heavy again (which it eventually did after I’d cleared the road)…
A quick shot across the field looking towards the bungalow… if you squint a bit you can just see the splashbus stuck in the snow outside the house on the right about a third up.. the problem is the river runs at the end of the road right in front of us so if it slides on the ice and doesn’t make the corner it’ll be definately a SPLASH Bus lol..

Looking to Trungle Parc

There was snowman building going on in the cricket field at Paul Cricket Club which made a nice end to the blog and a final look back at the hill from our usual viewpoint and a chance to see where we’d walked on this sunny but Freezing cold winters afternoon…

Snowmen in the field of Paul Cricket club

And Finally:

The hill from the edge of the field.. our view from the bungalow end window

Well thats the blog for today… hope you enjoyed the walk with us, your comments are always welcomed.. but please lets keep it nice :)

Enjoy the snow!

A Rainy evening at Gweek

September 9th, 2009 by admin

Been at the hospital in Truro and decided I needed to de-stress after a stress filled morning. Having the boat on the roof and the engine in the van I decided to go to Gweek and see how things turned out… once there I set up the boat, loaded my stuff and set off out of the creek into the main river..

Minutes after leaving Gweek, the wind started blowing up some mizzle, which for those uninitiated is cornish drizzle in the mist.. but somehow it didn’t matter.. I was already breath8ing the damp salty air and the hum of the 4 stroke yamaha was gentky massaging my mind and I was feeling relaxed again.
As I passed the seal sanctuary I spotted a great Bird heading up the river..kind of instinctively I knew, I could feel the presence and as he got nearer I could verify it was the Osprey we’d seen at the weekend in constantine creek..
He soared over me and veered off into the creek opposite the Seal Sanctuary.. unfortunately at the stage of the tide I wasn’t able to follow him so I carried on down the river following the channel markers as the tide flowed in.
There were a flock of Redshanks and curlews on the next corner and I set up the camera to get a few shots, it was then that I realised the light was actually way too low in the misty mizzly weather and I’d forgotten to pack my Flash.
I radio’d back to the van and said as soon as there was plenty of water for me to get into the far creek I’d call back at the van and get the flash.. Leanne said there was already enough water so I spun the boat round and headed back up river towards Gweek Boatyard.
Approaching the creek where the Osprey had gone I found I couldn’t resist a brief look, so I cagily headed into the creek.. churning the odd bit of mud as I did, but by raising the engine a little I was able to make my way into the channel of the creek.
Sure enough there he was, sitting proudly on a jinned branch of one of the old oaks at the far end of the creek… I set the camera as best as I could get for the light and fired off a few shots.. too far away and too shaky for the light I realised I wasn’t going to get much from there so I edged my way closer.. he wasn’t having any of that and dropped from his perch towrds the water and me and soared over my head looking down at me as if to say No Way José.. he looked so majestic in the half light but he flew straight on and down the river, so I had to make do with what I’d got but the experience of seeing him fly warmed my soul.


I called back at the van picked up the flash and beamer and set off again back down river in search of the Osprey or anything else of interest.
I checked back in the creek but no sign of him, however 2 Kingfishers went past me, too fast to catch as an image but again a great experience seeing the bright blue and orange fly past you.

Headed down towards Bishops Quay and got a couple of Canada geese on the corner along with a grey heron up a tree.. unfortunately even with the flash I’d left it too late and I was fighting a battle to get any kind of decent image now in this half light.

Curlews lined the grass bank on the corner of the creek but flew as soon as I got near enough to shoot but a solitary Greenshank lingered long enough for me to switch off the engine steady the boat and get a few shots of him.


I carried on to the end of the creek and saw another 2 Kingfishers flying by and the light was dropping fast when about 6 or 7 grey wagtails flew past me and landed on a log in the edge of the creek…
I set up the camera knowing I’d only get a couple of shots at the most if I used the beamer  and carefully lined up the shot…
Bugger!! I’d forgotten to shift the flash position to Backlight which means it shoots at the end of the shot rather than the beginning and stops shots like this happening.. however in its own way I liked the image so here it is.

Well the mizzle had now turned to light rain so I figured it was around High tide and probably a good time to return to Gweek Quay>
It was probably the right decision as it happened, as I pulled out of the creek and looked towards Helford, I could see a heavy mist moving up the river behind me.

I called quickly in the top creek again to check on our Osprey but the light just faded away so I turned round and headed out to the seal sanctuary.
I was passed by the last boat up the river and a friendly wave as I rounded th corner into the Quay Creek where my good lady was waiting with a nice cup of tea.

 We got the boat out of the water and loaded onto the van just in time as the rain got heavier.. even so there’s some kind of magic surrounding this river and we sat on the wall watching the rain droplets in the water under the brolly whilst having a nice cup of tea… a Perfect end!

Mel

Whitethroats & meadow pipits

July 13th, 2009 by admin

Well its been a while since I updated the blog and my apologies to those who enjoy reading it, been so busy throughout April May & June that I simply didn’t have the time and it took all my resources to keep the galleries updated… but with a bit of luck we’re back on track and here’s the first entry for a while from a stop off at Sancreed in the rain.

I wandered into the field and literally 4 yards from the van was confronted by this whitethroat issuing me with a scratchy warning call to let me know I was just getting too close to the nest for comfort..


I moved further up the field and the whitethroat carried on with the task of feeding the chicks and gave me the opportunity for a few more nice shots..

Next was a little wren sitting singing on top of the ferns in the relentless rain

and then from nowhere came the shrill song of the whitethroat, turning round he’d popped up out of the bush to say hello.. all this in the space of 10 minutes as well as the swallows and swifts flying all around..

 I wandered up to the top of the field all the time being surrounded by birds flitting backward and forward and three were constantly chasing each other in and out of bushes and finally it stopped raining long enough for them to settle and I was able to grab some pictures of what turned out to be Meadow pipits..

slowly back to the van to be once again confronted by a very wary lesser whitethroat and the rain started again so we headed off home.. not bad for a 20minute stop off though.

Thanks again to Paul at Cornwall Birding for the help in ID’ing the birds.

see ya soon

Hayle and Rain

March 28th, 2009 by admin

Couldn’t think of a better way of putting it today, manky mizzely day with a few bright periods but Frikkin Cold again.. roll on next weeks high pressure spells again.

Due to the rain we headed for The memorial Hide at hayle and found .. bugger all (now there’s a surprise).. one Mute swan and 2 herring gulls on the main pool at ryans field and a couple of Mallard on the back pool  1 albino (domestic) and then the swan took off and buggered off across the Saltings and up the estuary…

Albino Mallard or Domestic?

Albino Mallard or Domestic?

Crossed over the road to have a look for the cattle egrets but again Bugger all, well a pair of Teal a redshank wrestling something and lots of blackheads black backs and herring gulls

Back to the van and off for a ride up the saltings in search of the elusive cattle egrets (which have probably moved on by now.. all we saw were a few small egrets

 

A Herring Landed nearby after diving for a small crab which made a nice couple of images

A couple of obliging Cormorants took the trip down the saltings affording us a few nice shots as the tide rolled in.. its a really nice setting to watch the tide from, kinda reminds me a lot of Old Otis Reddings dock of the bay (without the ships lol)

That more or less wrapped it up for me.. I was getting a lot of pain in my hands with the ruddy arthritis so decided to head over for our usual stopoff at Mazza and Newlyn on our way home..


The usual Herons swans and rabbits on the marsh and Bob mailed me later to say he’d found the barn swallow that some had reported seeing, meanwhile I was looking over at the sunshine from Penzance harbour and the one remaining sandwich tern..

Thats it for today folks, all in all not a bad day for the weather conditions.. hope you enjoyed a few of the pics..

Mel

 

 

Marazion marsh – 26th March 2009

March 27th, 2009 by admin

Another Hospital appointment this morning with my Occupational therapist and suffering quite a lot of pain in the hands and feet from the RA, so we decided to stay local on the Marsh today for a change :)

Started off hanging over the gate while having lunch and got a few more nice shots of the herons for the library collection..

 

 

 Just stopped for a while to have another unsuccessful attempt at getting good shots of the sand martins and a little Grebe ran past… on the water.:)

 

Met up with paul who told me there were some Sandwich Terns further down the bay so we set off in search and found them sitting on the Bouys by the harbour wall.. so we’ll round off today with a couple of the shots..

We’ll see what the morrow brings :)

Night all :):D

Plenty to Crow about – Tehiddy to Maz via Gwithian

March 27th, 2009 by admin

Hospital appointments.. well at least they drag me out and about, so after seeing my Spesh we headed off to meet up with Bob who was already at Tehiddy in search of Jays..
One thing about tehiddy, there’s always something to photograph, and as usual we were greeted in the car park by the calls and commotions of the crows nesting and claiming territory..

Bob and I set off to our selected spot leaving leanne to brew some tea for lunch :), we stopped briefly for Bob to grab a few shots of the squirrels playing and scavenging for food.. Meanwhile I spotted a couple of great Tits and a chiff chaff in the wooded area beyond the lake.. bob went off to find the Jays.

 

 I was then distracted by a nosey Squirrel who wanted to know what I was up to pointing this thing up at His tree…

  I crept past where Bob was set up and left him in peace to find his Jays and wandered down the bottom by the stream and came upon one hell of a commotion.. I was a little unprepared for what I saw next.. live pornography in Tehiddy woods lol I suppose this is what they call a duckdoo the mallards were going for it big time..  The stars of the show agreed to pose for me first..

 

And then the Gang Bang commenced in Earnest :)

 Well enough of the excitement for me I decided to walk back up to the lake and get a few shots of the grebes, as I walked up the path a Jay decided to descend and park itself on a branch right in front of me.. I looked around to see bob trying to get across the woods to where I was to shoot it.. well I thought I’d best at least get a shot just in case..

 Truth is I shot about 10 shots and as Bob arrived to set up his camera, the Jay Flew off into the woods.. but at Least Bob had managed to get a nice shot of one through the trees so he was happy :)

Up past the lake and a couple of shots of a Little Grebe but no luck with his fishing today, and then back to the noisy car park and the Crows.

 Well that kinda wrapped up for Tehiddy.. we left and headed home via Gothian sands for a quick look but it was really windswept.. just a raven enjoying something and a couple of jackdaws along with the usual pipits mallards and shell ducks..

 Final Call at marazion on the way through to Paul, just a snipe and Gadwall so we called  it a day and went home for tea..

not a bad days shoot to say we were at treliske at 1-30pm :)

Mel

Hells Mouth to Tehiddy

March 24th, 2009 by admin

A bit too windy to be on the shore today so we decided to head over to tehiddy and see what was about around the lakes..
I decided on the way to stop off at Hells Mouth and take a quick look over to see the Cormorants Nesting, not always easy for me as I suffer terribly from Vertigo but hey sometimes ya have to face em lol…. Here’s the Cormorants!

Bob decided to get a bit closer to get the money shots lol, problem with Vertigo is its not just the wobble ya get when you’re looking down, its the bigger wobble ya get when someone else is too close to the edge.. a wierd and wonderful world is vertigo.. I had to get my back against the bank to take this….

Needless to say he got some great shots, sometimes as i say ya have to let them have it :) and enjoy what ya got

Well on to tehiddy… was it worth it?? well it was for leanne who got some great shots of the Jays while Bob and iI were still squinting to try and see where they were.. Mind you I got the Buzzard and that was worth the wait..

being closely watched by Jackdaws

being closely watched by Jackdaws

Menacing

Menacing

Having reviewed these I retract my earlier statemen, yes it definately was worth the trip even facing Wayne & Waynetta who wanted to know if I was looking for squirrels cos they’d just seen one was worth it..

Well that was that as the skies clouded over and we lost light in the woods we headed for the van and a nice cuppa before stopping off at mazza on the way home and regardless of the shite pics due to poor light Gale force cross shore winds and BLOODY DOG WALKERS.. I witnessed the strangest thing which I’ll show in the next post as it needs a post of its own so stay tuned!!!!!

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