Sunday, 6 March 2011

Waiting for Spring

I’m really looking forward to some much over due decent weather.  So far this year there has been a couple of weekends without  some amount of rain falling, not that it’s been a particularly wet year so far, it’s just that the weekends seemed to be guaranteed dull, damp and windy.  Leaving early on Saturday the forecast for the day was at least dry though it was drizzling initially and had that damp coldness this time of year brings.  Arriving on location it was very quiet as far as what could be seen and everywhere was muddy, very muddy and waterlogged from flooding.

Since I’ve barely been out with the camera at the weekends in recent months today was more about just getting out and relaxing and enjoying a bit of peace and quiet.  After about half and hour, walking along a hedgerow I spotted a female Roe Deer followed by a Male.  Luckily I was partially hidden by a hedge (like the one you can see in the background in the picture below) which was also on a higher level so I position myself where I could get my monopod and camera set up and with a clear view but still remain largely unseen hopefully by them.  Luckily there was also no wind for them to catch my sent.

With the dull conditions it was hard to avoid camera shake with shutter speeds as low as 1/200 though this was with a converter attached and adding exposure compensation.  Surprisingly quite a few turned out ok.  As the deer slowly approached closer it wasn’t long that a dog walker came by with their dog, of course not under control (even though there are signs clearly telling owners to do so as this is part of a reserve).  The dog came bounding over to me, the owner shouted at it, the dog ignored him, but the disturbance got the attention of the deer, who started to move off.  In just over an hour this was already the fifth time an uncontrolled dog had done this, each time the same thing happened – the owner shouted at the dog, the dog ignored them until the owner had to shout louder or physically move them.  After another four times of this kind of harassment over the next half hour, I finally had enough and left.

I wish dog walkers would try having consideration for others even if they do decide to ignore signs telling them for the sake of the wildlife, to keep them under control.  There are some people who just want to enjoy a peaceful walk in the country or along a beach and don’t want their dog rushing up to them, barking or snuffing around their crotch!  I wondered the reason for the lack of birds on the large pond, readying themselves for the start of the breeding season, was due the increased number of rampant dogs.






I decided to head up to Big Waters Reserve where at least some areas are no dog areas.  A bit more lively with the wildlife though no sight of any Otters which I haven’t seen for a while, though talking to someone there, he said they were still making a regular appearance.  Normally I would look for Gulls circling an area as a clue for an Otter around, but everything was quite sedate.  Still no sunshine but at least it was a bit brighter enabling me to get down to a lower ISO speed and still retain a decent enough shutter speed, not that there was much movement just the occasional flyby from Gulls and Curlews (below).  Ironically, as I left to head home for the day, a car drove by with the dog in the back, barking at me!!





Cormorants having a slight difference of opinion






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