Tuesday, 16 December 2014

MOULTON QUARRY 14th&16th December 2014

A mixture of really poor weather and rubbish work has again prevented me from getting out and about. With typical "Doug's" luck the good weather has coincided with my shift patterns. The days when I wanted to get out on the bike and explore the wind's been against me, seriously cycling into a strong head winds really blows, at times it almost feels like you've not even cycled anywhere but backwards but the occasional lifting of head into the cold wind did confirm I was moving forwards...just not very far. I won't mention icey paths and mushy leaves that has twice had my rear wheel overtake my front wheel how I haven't ended up on my arse not quite sure
So I kept local and went up to the quarry on Sunday and today. It's been a bit quiet up there of late. The Kestrel is still hunting on the site but in good light always a bit distant (see image below) and in poor light it would be within touching distance.
The Snipe haven't been seen on the last few visits nor the Chiff-Chaff. Did on Sunday get a Goldcrest flitting about really low to the ground and almost got some flight shots, lack of shutter speed meant they were a bit soft but reasonably pleased with this portrait.
Some Long Tailed Tit took my interest and despite their hyperactive nature and slow shutter speed got one I was happy with.
Today I was hoping for a bit more what with the good light. Plenty of common stuff, especially with Blackbirds and Robins there always seems to be quite a few on site. I attempted Fieldfare flight shots but were a bit small in the frame, some Yellowhammer and Linnet and a solitary Meadow Pipits were the only semi-interesting birds.
I went to Doug's pit, still no Snipe looking around the net/twitter a few are up at nearby Pitsford reservoir so perhaps the ones from this site have moved up there. The other bird in the pit that would look good in the light were Reed Buntings of which there was a lot of but all hiding behind willow branches. The one bird that never let's me down is the Blue Tits on the Bull rushes.

Upto four at a time feeding away. Fascinating to watch as they cling on with their tiny feet. Their bills opening to their full extent and after a few pecks easily slicing through to the good stuff...


It's always a joy to photograph these doing this and when they pull the Bullrush apart the cotton like remains of the seed drifting like snow and covering the ground.


10 comments:

  1. These are excellent. I dread to think how long it took you to get a Goldcrest free of obstructions. The Blue Tit looks great on the Bullrush.
    The wind is a real pain at the moment. There have been days I could barely stand up in it.

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    1. The Goldcrest was odd it was busy hunting away for bugs in the top of the bush which was only about 3 foot high, I've never photographed one so easily. The wind has been unbearable a 15 minute cycle to work took me 25 minutes one day and the cycle back from work mostly up hill takes 27 minutes yet with the wind behind me 22 minutes, very annoying :-)

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  2. Once again another cracking set of images Douglas. I really like the sequence of the Blue Tit(s) on the Bullrushes.
    It's probably a bit late now but have you thought of writing a letter to Santa asking for one of those battery assisted bikes?....Think of all the huffing and puffing and the time you would save!!...[;o)

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    1. Thanks Keith, I asked Santa when I went and sat on his lap, he said just two things, get off my lap you're to old and no electric bike no pedestrian would be safe, guess I'll have to struggle on :-)

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    2. That's okay John, you're forgiven!...[;o)

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  3. Nice to see you out and about Doug .... great images of the Blue Tits on the Bullrushes. We are all suffering from the prevailing winds and low light.

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    1. Thanks John, hopefully more time out for good behaviour especially if the weather improves

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  4. A super set of images, Doug - as always! I love the Blue Tit sequence, which captures the character of that most delightful of species superbly. It might be common, but there aren't many species to rival it for plumage and character. I can't go without a special mention for the Goldcrest. Again, your super image says it all!

    Best wishes - - - Richard

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    1. Thanks Richard I 100% agree about Blue Tits plumage and character weird how so many dismiss them as just "common". The Goldcrest I just keep bumping into them which is always pleasing.

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