Sunday, 15 March 2015

A VISIT TO SUMMER LEYS, A POOL AND A MARINA

Well first thing my arm is still very painful, makes some very odd clicking noises and is generally a pain in the backside.
I have been getting out and with my camera. Sometimes a combination of bus/foot and when the girlfriend isn't at work/shopping/seeing her friends I pinch her little automatic Corsa. Gear changing in my car from anything between 4th and 6th isn't possible without screaming in agony (it's that painful) and super light steering means one handed or two if I spot the ol'rozzers isn't an issue.
On one walk I found a swimming pool in the middle of nowhere.
Check the chewed (cows) gorse in the background! The semi circular structure is a water seat. There's a couple of small holes in the concaved seat bit and underneath visible from the other side is the remains of the plumbing. It's a sizeable pool not your average sized garden pool. Not sure how long it's been abandoned but nature hadn't taken long to take it back.
The base of the pool is covered in a thick layer of moss, very soft and spongey underfoot. This one is taken looking down to the deep end.
The concrete sides on three of the four sides have collapsed revealing a big earth bank. The trees breaking through the floor and the sides aren't that old. Full of common birds such as wrens, Robins, Thrushes like Blackbirds and Song Thrush. Loads of Long Tailed Tits and both Goldfinch and Chaffinch feeding off alder. Heard a pair of Skylarks despite no "patch", a Kestrel and Redkite, Linnet and Yellowhammer  too. Definately an oddity of a site.
In the car I ventured to Billing Aquadrome marina just for a few shots of gulls from the car seat. This was really an experiment to see if togging from the car was possible if so I could go to a Little Owl site. I got a Common Gull that proved it was possible so have plans to visit a Little Owl site soon.
On Saturday after removing the girlie style air freshener and cuddly toy from the parcel shelf I went up to Summer Leys. The light was great to start with and cold. From the screen hide I managed a couple of Little Egret shots and a couple of Gadwall shots. Slightly overexposed the flight shots.

The footpath from the screen hide was very productive though with the constraints of my arm movement meant I was content to view rather then photograph. Bullfinch, Song Thrush thwacking snails, still good number of Redwing and a Goldcrest were the visible highlights though I did hear a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming at the feeding station.

I popped into the double decker hide. The water levels are still very high in an attempt to prevent the gulls from taking over the scrape. Not sure if it was because of the water levels but the Lapwings were a bit sparse, there was a few but most were on Pete Wilds field. A Sparrowhawk flushed the gulls from the corner of the scrape and disturbed the small raft of Widgeon. It also pushed a pair of Oystercatchers over, two images of the same bird.

By the time I had walked the short distance to the Rotary Hide it had clouded over, still reasonably bright though. Rotary Island has been colonised by the Black Headed Gulls. Which even though common and dull as dishwater to watch, sorry but they are, they can provide some great scrap shots, as long as your arms up to the task, it wasn't but I had to try.

Not much else was seen so with my arm hurting a bit I opted to call it quits. I stopped off on the way home at the site of the old Cherry Orchard Middle School. Even though the school has closed down the old football/playing pitches are used by the neighbouring college. Occasionally on my dog walking duties there has been on occasions upto twenty Pied Wagtails. On Saturday there was just 10. We normally get two/four all year round on the park/estate but this winter you're tripping over them....


12 comments:

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    1. Cheers Bob, not quite there yet. I'm OK if the bird is stationary or slow moving :-)

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  2. That swimming pool looks a great oddity. Any idea of the history of it?

    Despite the injured arm Doug, you're managing to produce some cracking images.
    I love the first Gadwall shot, and the Black heads ain't too shabby either.

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    1. Cheers Keith, I prefer the first Gadwall shot too a better body angle/posture. Sadly I've tried finding out about the pool but no luck so far, weird isn't it? I'd say art-deco style so not very old

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  3. Glad that you're managing to get out and about Douglas and it seems that the old war wound hasn't had a major effect on the quality of your images with another cracking set here..and you even made the BHGulls look interesting!

    That swimming pool looks interesting, is it out in the middle of nowhere or are there other building/ruins nearby?

    And I bet you put that cuddly toy back where it belongs when you got home?...[;o)


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    1. There are a few properties close but not close enough to be related to the pool, I did look for a building foot print but found nothing. No road access that I can see either. I'm doing some more research on the area later in the week. As for the cuddly toy, sadly I'm holding it to ransome

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  4. Just wonderful shots as always and if it's any consolation I never felt a thing.

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  5. Hi Douglas. I am glad you are on the mend because you have produced some cracking shots here. Love the Gadwall shot.

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    1. Thanks Margaret it's been a long time in healing so hopefully not much longer now

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  6. Great in flight shots Douglas ........ I also like the Oystercatcher images, they always bring a smile to my face.

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    1. Cheers John, funnily enough another birder and I were saying the same thing about Oystercatchers. They always remind me passage waders are arriving soon

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