Thursday, 20 March 2014

Getting naffed off.................

..........with the programme mode dial on Canon cameras. For the umpteenth time, on Saturday, after taking a number of images, I noticed I was on M ( manual exposure) and not Av (Aperture priority) the mode I use most of the time while out birding. The dial has a supposed lock situated in the centre but this doesn't seem to solve the problem all of the time. It's not just something that happens on the 6D I've had this problem dozens of times in the past on my 60D.
I'm pleased to say it didn't ruin any nice Kingfisher images as, although John and I had good views of this species at Far Pastures I was quite happy just observing initially and then the bird I saw was a little way distant with reeds stopping a perfect view for photography. It did spoil some potentially nice images of Goldcrest or Willow Tits in the bushes around the car park though.
We had planned to take a walk along the River Derwent but the wind was quite vicious at times and decided to head to Shibdon Hide after lunch. We drove up to the "Red Kite bus stop" to consume our bait and had cracking views of the Kites battling against the challenging conditions. We spent thirty minutes or so trying to capture images but the wind was almost lifting us off our feet as we nipped out from the bus shelter intermittently. IT WAS WILD.

At Shibdon the long staying Ruff finally decided to make an appearance hanging out with his pals, the Redshank. I have to admit the highlight of the visit was bumping to George Simpson. This septuagenarian has the vim and vigour of a twenty year old and is never short of a tale to tell. He keeps an eye on things at Shibdon and deserves a big pat on the back.
Brief visit to Gossy feeding station. THAT TREE !
I ventured into Gosforth Park on Wednesday spending most of the time wandering the reserve hoping to bump into a fox. I had no luck but came across Roe Deer on quite a few occasions but all turned tail and ran as I spotted them. I did encounter a lone Jay hopping along the path ferreting around like a Thrush in the leaf litter. I  was giving it plenty of distance, enjoying the spectacle, when the inevitable dog walker approached along the path outside the reserve. I tried quickly to get closer before it was disturbed but too late.
My best ever encounter with a Jay at Gossy.



  1. Sounds like a case of Dial M for Murder(ed photographs) :)
    That red kite bus-stop is only 2 minutes walk from my house, Had I known you were there I would have come round and introduced meself.
    Had my first sand martin at shibdon earlier today but you're right, George is an unsung hero.

  2. It's starting to get to me Alan. I don't know about murder, suicide might be on the cards.
    You mentioned about Kites nesting beside a farm near you a couple of posts that the farm directly out from the bus stop ? I'm sure I've seen a nest out there. I always enjoy visiting the area, be it Shibdon, Thornley or F. Pastures.

  3. That encounter with the Jay is still better than the one we had on Saturday