Sunday, 9 February 2020


Thought I better do a post if only to show I'm still around.There are two reasons for not posting for ages.The first is that now I am in my eighties I no longer can handle the cold wet winter weather so now do not enjoy going out birding.Sitting in a hide waiting for a bird to show would probably finish me off.

The second reason is my health is not so good.I cannot really complain as in all my years I can only remember needing to go to hospital once and then for less than an hour. Early in November some symptoms appeared and after a visit to the docs and a quick blood test I was told I had a blocked bile duct. If this is caused by gall stones no problem if not it's caused by a tumour. 

In the next few days I had a ultrasound scan (easy and the nurse was very pretty) a Cat scan ( not nice specially when the injection flows round your veins) a MRI scan (very noisy even wearing headphones). Then to cap it all a few days later I was enrolled as a Day patient and had an endoscopy ( not pleasant but your are put out).Here they put in a stent that diverts the bile flow round the tumour and gets rid of the symptoms which were very unpleasant. This has left me even more knackered and even less keen to get out there in the grim weather.

In order to prevent the camera from rusting up I have been trying to get shots of garden birds.Long gone are the days when I got Lesser Redpolls, Siskins, Bramblings, Winter Thrushes etc visiting but here are a few shots of what turns up now.The pics are not great but have been taken from inside a closed conservatory usually in dull conditions. 

My best visitor to the feeders have been for a while now a pair of Coal Tits but I have not seen them lately.However a new favourite has shown up recently this Black Cap. Over the years despite having been a regular visitor to local reserves the best shots I've taken of these has been in my back garden in the winter.

I have ventured out a few times but only when the weather has been sunny and then only visiting a few country spots in the car.Not had much luck as it appears to be very quiet out there even compared with a few years ago.Did get this Common Buzzard but it was a long way off  (two fields away)from the CP I was parked in in Earlswood.

Saturday, 12 October 2019


Visitors to my back garden have only just started to show up again this last week the previous few months have been very disappointing with hardly any birds showing except for my arch enemies the pair of Woodpigeon. Here are a few shots of some of the birds that have returned the best so far being a pair of Coal Tits and a lone Long-tailed Tit.

I did pop over to my local patch just the once last week but with Autumn now settling in it's not such an attractive place for this fair weather birder. Mind you a decent bird showing up would change things. All I managed was a few shots of one of my old friends.

Thursday, 3 October 2019


The sun was shining last Wednesday morning so I popped over to what is my local patch these days the grounds of the NT property at Baddesley Clinton. 

It was the first time this Autumn that I had been cold when out and about with the camera but at least it was sunny.As usual it was hard to find any birds to point the camera at but I did spot a Pied Wagtail on the roof of the main house.

In the trees and bushes alongside the lake I had a battle royal with my good friends the Goldcrests. There was lots of swearing and shouting as the little devils disappeared  just as I got them into focus.On occasions they were only a few feet away.Great fun. Here are a few shots of my better efforts.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019


The excellent weather last week encouraged me to go to my local patch (Baddesley Clinton NT) three times as usual getting there just as they opened the doors to the grounds.

Like everywhere else locally it's not easy to find birds to photograph but it's such a nice spot in the sunshine it doesn't matter too much.Here are a couple of shots both taken round the lake.

On the birding front I didn't do to well considering I made three visits. This Wren came to check me out when I arrived in the car park. 

This Bluetit was sunning itself on a hedge line.

Had my usual battles with the resident Goldcrests but I didn't do too well. I don't know whether I'm getting slower or they are getting faster. I suspect the former. This is all I could get.

Best by far for me was on Friday when resting on a bridge by the lake a Nuthatch landed very close looking for some food.

Monday, 16 September 2019


Been out a couple of times since my last post and then only because the sun was shining.I went on both occasions to what is my local patch these days the grounds of the NT property at Baddesley Clinton.

As I've said before the grounds round the house are excellent and if I get there early I have them to myself.Here are some shots taken last Saturday with my phone.

On the birding front it's like most places these days hard work.The number of birds about has reduced a lot in recent years.Other than Spotted Flycatchers that have nested there for years (not this year though) I have seen nothing remotely rare so it's a good job it's a pleasant walk.

Here are few shots taken there last week.Nothing special although I'm pleased with the Grey Wagtail shots as they were taken in a very gloomy spot at the end of the lake.