Sunday, February 28, 2010

Floods in Toft

After a day and night of heavy rain the road into Toft is flooded and closed. However, a number of motorists take no notice - ok if you have a land rover and if something doesn't come the other way
There is a height marker in the river and as you see the water level is almost to the top at 7 feet. In Brookside the river has broken through and flooded all the way to School Lane. All the warning signs are a bit redundant as noone can walk or drive this part.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Travelodge Series

This is another in my series of blurry pictures taken when staying in Travelodges while away lecturing. This is from the Ilford Gant's Hill TL - any guesses and, no, they are not trees this time.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Swedish Town in Blizzard

I did not take a note of the name of the town with the excellent cafe for tea and it was only when I downloaded the images from my compact that I realised that I am missing a whole batch of images that I took on my 5D in the town. The most likely is I reformatted and overwrote the files but I have done a recovery on all the cards and found no trace of them, which is unusual as a few usually survive underneath. Hey ho - definitely the images that got away as those that know me will know that these were my perfect photography conditions.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Two-barred Crossbill

This was for me the best bird of the trip as it was a new one for my list and is such an intense colour. We waited for quite a while in a blizzard for it to appear at a garden bird table. I managed to get this one while it was perching in the apple tree. Pretty noisy as it was getting late in the afternoon and therefore I had to use high ISO but I like the atmosphere of the low light and snow

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sunday's Trip to the Woods

In temperatures of minus 17 we tramped our way into the forest to look for the Siberian Jay. The snow was waist high in many places and, while we waited for the jay, we lit a fire and grilled sausages. Eventually the Siberian Jay came down.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Saturday continued

We finished the day in blizzard conditions looking for a Two-barred Crossbill in a town garden and were rewarded with excellent views of the birds together with redpolls, siskin and bullfinches (not shown). I have other views of the Crossbill but they need some work tidying up.

Saturday's Birdwatching

Saturday was another snowy and very cold day (minus 15 degrees) but, undeterred, we went off to a forest feeding site to look for Nutcrackers. A lot of other woodland species use the feeding station (Crested Tit, Willow Tit, Nuthatch, Tree Creeper illustrated) but we were rewarded with views of the Nutcrackers though they appeared more interested in courtship than food


Friday, February 19, 2010

Three-toed Woodpecker

Today we made an excursion into some local woods to look for the three-toed woodpecker. The snow was much deeper than in normal years so I decided to stay back a bit and concentrate on the snowy forests rather holding everyone up. However, Daniel soon came back to tell me that the woodpecker had been sighted and was very close. So I made my way through the snow to meet Michael, the local expert on woodpeckers, and he kindly helped me through the waist high snow to get photos of the bird really close. I have a lot more images of this little woodpecker but, with a quick look, I chose this one as his beak is free of background distractions.

Closer Waxwing

Today we saw a flock of around 70 waxwings and some of them landed on a berry tree near us. These was taken with ISO 1600 so may need a bit of noise reduction but lovely colours.


One more from yesterday before setting off for another snowy day. Here the party are trying to get closer to an Hawk Owl spotted a long way distant

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bird Watching Trip to Sweden

I am on a birdwatching tour to Central Sweden run by Nature Trek. We flew out of Heathrow at 7.15 am, which meant a very early start today. We were met at the airport by our guide Daniel Green (see his blog listed opposite). Our first stop was at an area good for Hawk Owls and certainly one was spotted a long way in the distance. The rest of the group decided to cross the very snowy fields to try to get a little closer but I took a walk along the road and was rewarded with a very good view of a White-tailed eagle as it passed over my head.

We then drove to our accommodation for two nights at Svartadalen and on the way stopped to view a small flock of Waxwings.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More blurry trees

I think you may wonder what I am 'on' at the moment as this is a car park in Welwyn on a very wet dreary day yesterday.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Trees from the Travelodge

Looking out of the Stevenage Travelodge window at the snow falling when I arrived this afternoon, I liked the various colours of twigs in the garden. Used slow shutterspeed and zoom and was very surprised at the results. You can even see the snow flakes!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Corsac Foxes at Hamerton

The Corsac Foxes looked quite at home in the snow on Wednesday. They are very active but stop long enough for a shot while looking around before grabbing the food that had been put out.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Maned Wolves at Hamerton

The Maned Wolves from South America have a very strange build and gait. I decided to do some slow panning to get rid of the fences and posts in the background and was quite pleased with the effects.

Cheetahs in the Snow

We visited Hamerton Zoo near Huntingdon yesterday and had intermittent snow storms. The Cheetahs clearly did not like the snow and went inside fairly quickly.
In the third picture, the camera chose to focus on a snowflake rather than the cheetah but I like
the effect.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Pram

Sorting through photos for a new photographic talk, came across this one taken in Brighton in 2002. The West Pier is still there (just visible behind the Palace Pier); ther was a serious fire there a few years ago and now only a skeleton remains.
Very surreal image as no signs of the baby or the pram pusher!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Couple of Lion Pictures from Woburn

Woburn Safari Park did not open the drive through part till around lunchtime as it was too foggy for the Rangers to see the gates and any animals that might be attempting a breakout with the cars.

When we did get in the mist made for very attractive backgrounds though the low light levels meant using high ISO settings. Need a bit of 'gardening' to remove stray twigs in top image.

Long-tailed Tit

Flock of five Long-tailed tits visited the bird feeder this morning - a nice addition to the Blackbirds and Robins that dominate at the moment

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Strolling along

Another grey day so not a lot of images to add to the bank but liked this view - need to take out the mast that is showing above the bank

Images from Clacton

A couple of images from a very wet windy Clacton. Managed not to get completely drenched walking along the Promenade. Even the snake looked a bit apprehensive - reminds me of a certain dog at home that doesn't like slippery floors.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Almost monochrome

Not a new image today but sorting through images at weekend, I found this image from Wimpole and thought it would fit well into my Monochrome and a Bit of Colour lecture as it is an image that doesn't work in monochrome; the small amount of colour seems essential

Ann Miles Photography - My Favourite Images of the Past10 years or so