Saturday, 23 December 2017

September and October 2017 a few highlights

Autumn was really quiet in NW Norfolk this year and as I write this just before Christmas I can't recall last time time the wind switched to the east for more than a couple of hours. So that's my excuse for not blogging for a few months.

However having just had a quick look through my photo files on the PC I clearly have been out a fair bit and seen some interesting stuff, so here are a few highlights from September and October.

Amethyst Deceiver, Ken Hill Woods
I really know very little about Fungi but this small purple one caught my eye in Ken Hill Woods and it turns out that the Amethyst Deceiver is a distinctive and well known species.

"Falling leaf", Ken Hill Woods 
Another lunchtime walk with my old Pansonic Lumix TZ30 and I thought it would be fun to try and capture images of falling leaves. This little compact camera isn't up to the job of focusing on leaves tumbling through the air but it can take pictures of leaves caught mid fall on the thinnest of gossamer threads and left dangling in mid air over the path. Even with a suspended target this was still a remarkably difficult picture to take. 

Bearded Tot, Digiscoped at Titchwell
Water Rail, Digiscoped at Titchwell
The pictures of a male Bearded Tit and a Water Rail were both taken on the same morning from the Island Hide at Titchwell by hand holding by Lumix TZ30 to the eyepiece of my Kowa scope with the camera set to macro mode and then zoomed out. Nice if soft pictures that don't blow up to well.

Grey Squirrel, Rosary Cemetery Norwich
Sanderling, Gore Point
Turnstone, Hunstanton
During the autumn I found myself returning to some of my photographic obsessions. I have been visiting the Rosary Cemetery in Norwich at lunchtime for over a decade. These days I visit less often mainly because I now use my lunch breaks to go swimming and fight the flab. But I do still get out sometimes with my TZ30 and managed the shot above of one of the resident squirrels, I like to give a feel for the location of the pictures I take here and having a squirrel on a gravestone with a striking inscription is one way of doing this.

It would be odd if living on the coast I wasn't interested in shorebirds and this summer I developed a interest in taking photographs of Sanderling feeding on the same beaches my children were playing on.  Using and old Canon 100 - 300 lens and EOS 400 body I was able to inch forwards in my swimming trunks at eye level with the birds and you can see here how they push the sand in front of their bills and see why their old English name is Sand Plough. 

Turnstone's are great waders,often approachable, adaptable and striking to look at, I know that if all else fails me I can go to the beach in Hunstanton and photograph Sanderling most months of the year. This picture was taken in a short session one evening and I like the way it captures a little of the birds movement and character.

Red Backed Shrike, Heacham

Black Necked Grebe, Snettisham

Osprey, Holkham Park

I haven't seen any rares this autumn but I did manage to luck onto a few scarce migrants. The Red Backed Shrike was a post work Twitch to the northern end of the coastal park. The Black Necked Grebe similarly another after work twitch this time to the pits at Snettisham. We "found" the Osprey fishing on Holkham Park Lake during a family visit and enjoyed watching it plunging into the lake several times before being chased off by an Osprey.

Hobby, Holkham Pines
A family walk at Holkham Pines was enlivened by this Hobby hunting Dragonflies over our heads as we walked along the edge of the pines. 

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