Thursday, 24 November 2011

Art for art's sake

The Safari is a firm believer in the 'fact' that there is no such thing as bad art. Some art might not be very interesting to you, or indeed many people at all, or may be difficult to appreciate and some might be just down right weird but none of these necessarily make the work bad.
So without further ado we'll crack on with a fairly arty post for today with a snippet or two of wildlife thrown in.
A breezy day but quite bright in the morning had us reaching for the camera after a trip to the compost bin at the bottom of the garden had us passing this newly opening Rose.
With the fairly pleasant conditions a mid-morning mosey around Patch 1 was called for. Passing the tower we saw there were two Peregrines and whilst looking up at these we could hear a Goldcrest in the conifers behind us.

Their favourite ledges are just a bit too high up for our camera. Having said that these are the lowest ledges anyway.
In the park the light was good and we happily snapped away for well over an hour. These Cotoneaster berries are just begging for a flock of Waxwings to find them.

Then we did get all arty and had the thought "what is the quintessential part of autumn?" Obviously it's the leaves changing colour and falling off the we set about trying to capture that moment - not easy!!! In fact bally dang difficult!!! We'd go as far as to say it proved to be almost flippin impossible! But feint heart never won fair photo as they say so we persevered, the other dog walkers must have thought we were some kinda nutter throwing leaves up and pointing the camera at them only to say shagmfagmgnagm....rrr...rrrr and other expletives followed by a minutes worth of beeps from the camera as pic after pic was deleted. Yet our dogged persistence paid off and in the end we got this sequence - hardly spectacular but we hope it captures the essence of the season.

Easier to get was a pic of our favourite young Beech tree catching the low sunlight nicely framed by the twin trunks of a Sycamore tree.

Easier still was this pale flowered Fuchsia bush, when we were kids we used to call them Dancing Ladies.

The park has a superb water feature which is in the process of being restored to it's former glory. There is a high pond with a runnel leading to a ten foot (3m) waterfall into the larger lower pond - we've never seen it working but it ought to be spectacular. We just hope that when it is in full flow the local brain-dead don't empty a jar of Fairy Liquid or bubble-bath into it like they do with monotonous regularity with the small version at the start of Chat Alley. Today there was no water just a fall of golden leaves.

If you think that's not a 10 foot+ drop you're right, the main fall is just out of shot to the left, this is the stone edging to the lower pond.
The bird-life in the park gave us the run around. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard a couple of times but not seen, several Robins made their presence known by their singing and we counted at least 10 rather mobile Blackbirds not really being allowed to settle by the numbers of people and dogs around - how much energy must they waste through disturbance?
A mixed flock of tits contained mostly Long Tailed Tits, at least eight; unfortunately they kept high up in the tree-tops and stretched our patience to bursting point - once again almost triple figures of deleted shots and this was by far the best, hardly brilliant but you can just about make out what it is...can't you?

With lunchtime looming we headed back through the Butterfly Zone and found this Drone Fly, one of the Eristalis species of hoverfly, probably Eristalis pertinax. At first we tried to get him in flight but he was having none of it, he'd allow a fairly close approach but by the time the camera had focused on him he'd buzzed off. After a little game of chase me - chase me the sun went in and he landed on a bramble leaf. But with no sun and a lot of wind-shake the pics are quite sharp enough...dohhh

To finish we'll leave you with an autumnal view of the Butterfly Zone. The central stag-headed tree is one of the ones favoured by the White Letter Hairsteaks in the summer and indeed featured in some of the pics of the aforementioned species a few short months ago.

Nice to see a blue sky without aeroplane con trails
This arvo we went back to the nature reserve a little earlier than yesterday with the specific intention of having a look to see if the Short Eared Owl was still about - it might be but we didn't see it. Then it was up to the opposite end to stake out the Otter and Bittern. One out of two ain't bad, we had a bit of a wait but the Otter showed really well, so well it could almost have been doing a top hat and cane dance routine! Our Extreme Photographer is now on a serious mission to get proper top quality pics of the beast which isn't going to be easy as it is normally at about 400m range. However, he has a cunning plan - watch this space.
Where to next? More of the same tomorrow arvo we hope.
In the meantime let us know what's been performing to an admiring public in your outback.


Christian said...

"Having said that these are the lowest ledges anyway."

Very amusing!

Good luck with the Otter.

By the way, I won't be clearing the moss off the garage!

cliff said...

Love the two peregrines in the one photo, nice hover photos too Dave.