Sunday, 15 June 2014


Well Le Mans was never going to be a race I was going to try and predict and my decision not to do  my usual trick of popping over to Paul's to watch it on Eurosport via a Sky dish was an even harder call. My decision was based on the ACO (organisers of Le Mans) to put more effort into their web based broadcasting and a rather smart app. I was not disappointed, the app was fantastic, you could choose from several cars (mostly LMP1 and sadly not many GT cars etc) and watch on board footage live, no adverts, no commentators just the sound of engines, braking, gearchanges etc. I was worried when it came to the night section of the race I wouldn't see much from the cockpit....WRONG. It did show some curiosities in how the different LMP1 cars used headlights, for example the Toyota's lights were almost dim, normal car like, the Audi's when in a straight line cast a 180 degree view (lucky Audi drivers) and the Porsche's were also very bright. It was odd to see the 919's when they went down the straights they were vibrating and bouncing like mad, I think this might have been the cause to their retirements...something literally shaking loose...perhaps? Watching the LMP1 cars closing in on the slower cars was scary at night time, proper driving.  I also found it odd that given what the Red Bull owner said about Mark Webber last year in F1 Mark still had the drinks company logo splashed all over his helmet!
Like I said it was a shame the app didn't have more GT cars to choose from as there was a fantastic battle during the night with Bruno Senna which sent me back to watching the "net" TV coverage/streaming and a brilliant job of streaming they did my opinion better then shelling money out to the Murdoch empire for sure.
The start of the race was brilliant with rain make an exciting 4-5 hours. My driver of the race has to go to Oliver Turvey who won the LMP2 class, this is a man who is contracted to Mclaren as a test/simulator driver whose team faced money struggles and pulled out and even as late as Thursday didn't even have a race seat!!! My second place driver goes to Fabian Barthez, yes he who fumbled his way between the posts for Manchester United, and finsihed 27th, and at least he handled his steering wheel better then he did the ball for United. It was looking like a Toyota win but early in the morning the lead car had it. It then looked like we were in for a battle to the end with Porsche and Audio a great weekend for the V.A.G however Webber car lost all power, I was watching on board at the time and it sounded like a turbo failure I could be wrong. STILL given it was Porsche first visit to Le Mans they didn't do too bad...roll on 2015.
I think a 2015 visit to Le Mans is on the cards....if only I could find a camper van to hijack for the weekend......
 I did on Saturday manage to combine birding and Le Mans (thanks to the app) light wasn't brilliant but thought I would stake out the Little Owls I had found. The owls decided to stay even further away then on my previous visit, they do have a vast area and a lot of posts to perch upon. So I opted to try for some of the other birds around the site.
The swallow's and their young were out in force flying low with me ducking out of the way a few times just wish the light was better the birds would've looked better and a little less wing blur (more shutter speed would've been handy).
It was encouraging to see new nest building activity and some mating activity...second broods hopefully.
The House Martins were busy both picking up stones(!) and even though I didn't catch it on camera were laying on the ground covering their wings in dust...A way of catching insects?
Plenty of juvenile Blackbirds this one's antics made me chuckle as it tried worming...not quite got the hang of it.

There was a few juvenile Song Thrush around too and loads of Goldfinches both too far away for images.
I did like this cheeky chap who was in the tree I was stood under whilst hoping the Little Owls would come closer.
A rather short post as I am struggling to keep my eyes open (that's Le Mans lag for you) I hope you all had a good weekend.


  1. Great shots Doug, but those Swallows are a bit special.

    1. I would've liked a bit more light on the swallow's as it makes the blue on the bird more shiny..but I like the results given the light

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  2. I don't have access. I suspect I'd rather pay a grand to take the truck over and watch the TT.
    Trouble is you can't get to see much. Perhaps the NW 200 would be a better bet.

    Grand shots as always.

    1. Thanks Adrian. I think with some events it is a case of being there and soaking up the atmosphere.... £1000 to take the van is bit steep though!

  3. It was a fantastic race Douglas (I'm afraid I didn't have the stamina to do the middle stint!) with some excellent driving skills and some outstanding performances (for the most part!) on show. It would have been good to see Webber make it to the end, they did well tho'. It must be a mega gig to organise and to keep it running smoothly?
    You should make the effort and go to see it, it's a great experience, although it's so big and spread out (when you're there) it's difficult to keep up with what's going on!
    I went many years ago with Page and Moy (are they still going?) spent the night in the fairground and drinking cheap red wine and slept in some sort of sand pit!! ...never did get the sand out of my clothes!

    Super shots of the Swallows and the House Martin. It's fun watching the young birds as they explore their surroundings and learn the skills that they'll need to survive!...[;o)

  4. It was a great race. Apparently they run a classic event before the main event too now. There is a rumour that the World Endurance Series will start in January at the Daytona 24 hour and finish at Le Mans should be interesting plus there is one more in September at that great circuit in Texas, can't wait. I am defiantly going to Le Mans in 2015 time to brush up on my french lol
    The young birds do make me laugh always comical and not "human aware" yet

  5. The juvenile birds in the garden are brilliant to watch and very distracting when I have homework and stuff to do. From Findlay

    1. Without blaming a dog/hamster for eating the homework I can't think of a better excuse for not doing the homework Findlay lol

  6. Great set of flight pictures. If you have any interest, I run a "link up" called Wild Bird Wednesday on Wednesdays (!) on my blog - a couple of the people who comment here are already involved, so it would be good to see you link up.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne