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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..


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


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

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


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


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!