Monday, 10 May 2010

Bit of a mixed bag

After a few hard weeks at work, I went out and about this weekend for some R & R.  I think I’m becoming more and more depended of being able to get out into ‘the wilds’ and find some remote location and just sit there, listening to the sounds around me, it’s very therapeutic and seems to help increase your senses – probably some through back to some ancestral gene.  When the weather’s bad and I can’t get out I tend to be a bit more ‘ratty’.

Anyway, on this particular day, I had also hoped to catch site of the local Fox cubs, having kept missing them for the last few years and with it being now May, time was running out again.  The weather was mixed – cloudy with some sunny spells but windy and the temperature not even reaching double figures – IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE NEARLY SUMMER!! Less than four months and Autumn will have set in and we can look forward to another eight months of cold weather!

It could be my imagination, but the cold spell seems to have driven the wildlife into some kind of hibernation compared to a few weeks ago when we had some nice weather and the woods was full of noise and life.  An hours patience of sitting with my back against a tree and down wind from where I was expecting to see anything, paid off with a Roe Deer stag walking past, but no Foxes.
 
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Another hour of nothing much and I decided a new location which, after a slow start, livened up with a Magpie which kept flying down to some muddy patch and collecting what seemed to be nesting material, though I would have thought it was a bit late.

 
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A nervous Jay made a brief followed by the Magpie back to collect some more mud.
 
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Two Mallard Ducks flew in and wondered about before heading for the small patch of water.  Unfortunately, the lighting wasn’t to good with one minute the sun was out and it was very bright, the next it was hidden behind the clouds and needing a fast shutter speed for the Sigma 500mm, I had to keep changing the ISO from 800 to 1600 so that I could keep a faster enough shutter speed and prevent camera shake with such a long lens.

Not long after ducks arrived, a Pheasant also made an appearance, staying around long enough to let me take some photographs before getting a bit nervous with me and decided to fly off.
 
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Just to complete my variation of wildlife for the day a Grey Squirrel made an appearance as did a Heron.
 
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Two male Pheasants made an appearance and had a quick squabble with one of them backing off, flying straight in my direction allowing me to get some close ups of its lovely colouration, with the sun coming out just at the right time to help accentuate this.
 
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Another appearance from my busy Magpie friend and I decided to call it a day, with still not joy with even seeing a Fox never mind the cubs.  Looks like it’s going to be another year wait.

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