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2021......a Tortoise in lockdown hibernation?


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Soukous
40 minutes ago, Dave Williams said:

I agree with "someone", it's hard to combine bird photography with hiking especially with my other half.

 

I am sure I remember reading in one of your posts that you have a 'fits in the pocket' camera like an Olympus Tough. 

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The week wasn't quite over ( from a birding prospective) as I had expected earlier today.I had to drive down the coast to the nearest "Screwfix" (DIYshop) and as I was passing I tried a spot I might s

It was the Big Garden Birdwatch over the last weekend so I thought I'd kill an hour and see what was around. 11 species in total during my nominated hour which was chosen out of convenience to me rath

Monday's walk was without a camera but I was messing around taking some shots out of the bathroom window with my 500mm f4 lens and a 2x teleconverter attached. That's 1000mm of reach but you lose a ce

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Galana
1 hour ago, Soukous said:

sometimes lagoons or inlets, sometimes pools cut off altogether. During the high winds in December a 10 foot high wall of shingle was created.

I agree. Getting off topic a bit but even after nearly 30 years in Galana Towers it is fascinating to sea what each high tide has done. Little 'rivers' from pools left behind taking a different course you yesterday. Never the same sand patterns. Some times we got overspray onto the road but not for years. We had a right houlie onshore amnd when it was over we had a new shingle wall. The Marram grass and some rare plant, the name of which escapes me, quickly colonised and stabilised it and now we have an SSI right on our doorstep. and the sea has not come near the road in many years.

Sorry Mr Tortoise, we digress and hand back your walk with apologies.

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Dave Williams
5 minutes ago, Galana said:

I agree. Getting off topic a bit but even after nearly 30 years in Galana Towers it is fascinating to sea what each high tide has done. Little 'rivers' from pools left behind taking a different course you yesterday. Never the same sand patterns. Some times we got overspray onto the road but not for years. We had a right houlie onshore amnd when it was over we had a new shingle wall. The Marram grass and some rare plant, the name of which escapes me, quickly colonised and stabilised it and now we have an SSI right on our doorstep. and the sea has not come near the road in many years.

Sorry Mr Tortoise, we digress and hand back your walk with apologies.

 

All digressions are welcomed Fred. feel free, what else have we to do on another grey windy miserable day!!

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Dave Williams
1 hour ago, Soukous said:

 

I am sure I remember reading in one of your posts that you have a 'fits in the pocket' camera like an Olympus Tough. 

 

I do indeed have an Olympus Tough and it's a cracking little camera with far more features than cameras I have paid 20x the price for too. However, from a birding prospective it's 4x optical zoom is no better than my phone.

 

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Galana
1 hour ago, Dave Williams said:

what else have we to do on another grey windy miserable day!!

True. I have been googling to ascertain what that darn plant is without much joy. It's not Manx Cabbage, which is a slow coloniser, or Sea Holly. There is an information board down there but I am not going out just to read it.

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Dave Williams

Didn't half rain yesterday afternoon and during the night but the sun was out first thing. Alas I had a job to do so again left it until this afternoon to take the daily exercise and by then it was going dull. With all that rain we stuck to tarmac and shingle . Our 7km walk took us past the Owl Trust...tempted though I have been to add a few from there I have resisted...so far!...... and a chat over the wall with one of the volunteers there assured me that the Owls should be back in our nesting box in the next couple of weeks once they have been assured peace has been restored.Other people have reported similar instances in the past where fireworks have driven birds away only to return later. I have been hearing them in the garden again so fingers crossed on that one.

Anyway, we eventually dropped on to the beach and for a change decided to walk along it for a while imagining were were barefoot somewhere warm and sunny instead of in walking shoes , coat and wooly hat.

This is the Little Orme and the cliffs are largely deserted at the moment but in the foreground we have a pair of 7) Carrion Crows

P1120014.JPG.3b80fda1c5c829c24785603c82fabce4.JPG

 

Looking back along the beach you can see the Great Orme at the other end of the bay.

P1120017.JPG.68ff7fdd6ac76ed4667af850c43a4043.JPG

 

I have seen Twite here in the past, and there was a Snow Bunting here too, just a few weeks back but nothing quite so exotic today.Today's photos were taken with my Olympus Tough but for a better view of a Carrion Crow here's one in our back garden taken from the bathroom hide over 5 years ago!!

50828781796_279bc6a934_b.jpgCarrion Crow by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Edited by Dave Williams
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PeterHG

We'll be waiting for your owls, too!

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Kitsafari

The kestrel was a beauty - don't tell me you took that shot with the iphone? impressive, if so.

 

I'm much enjoying your wandering tales. 

 

BTW, i need shingles no more. my sister has just donated a large pail-ful of small shingles for my needs, and it's legal! she paid for them. 

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elefromoz

Wow, that's some impressive cliffs on Little Orme, my son is a climber, he could have himself some fun there.

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Dave Williams

"Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day"  borrowed from an old mate from my schooldays!

 

Life can be a bit repetitive at the moment but I should be more than grateful I'm alive and currently well too! Not only that but at least I live somewhere that's not overcrowded when I take my daily walks either.

And a daily walk is about the limits at the moment too as we are not supposed to use the car for anything other than essential travel so using it for birding purposes is a no no. I know of someone who was sent back home by the police when she turned up at a beach car park just a mile from home. Wanting to let her three kids and the dog have a run around on the sands wasn't considered legitimate under the Welsh lockdown rules. I read of other countries and their lockdown is nowhere near as strict as ours is, either that or folk are just choosing to ignore the rules which of course doesn't help solving any problems at all!

So it's carry on best foot forward for me!

We are luck in as much as we literally step out of our gate and we are on the footpath and away on our walk._G7A3552.JPG.f6f408bf47c667180f4e2e80689d630d.JPG

 

It's a round trip of around 6 miles to the Little Orme and back. During the lovely weather we had during the spring time it was wonderful  but with the winter rain lots of the pathways are slippery mud ._G7A3554.JPG.960b958690b6acc3d107998ca9433298.JPG

 

Ladies note, hairdressers are shut down and have been for a good while!

_G7A3557.JPG.1d850e27aef368d7f18fa269b4ddcc14.JPG

 

Another grey day in North Wales. Over the fields you can make out the tower of St Trillo's Church  which has some interesting residents , all unfortunately six feet under. One of them is Harold Lowe, fifth officer on the Titanic. He was hailed for saving many lives and also threatening to shoot those men who tried to board the lifeboats ahead of women and children. 

The walk has a nice mix od scenery too with choices as to taking open fields or woodland pathways

_G7A3559.JPG.1ca7a10f4f7390065aced3b83361fbe9.JPG

 

There's a small section when you walk through Penrhynside, a former miners village. Considering how few houses there were they had many chapels all of which have now been converted in to homes._G7A3561.JPG.b68e6ba030a0c65edbd6847b30824da7.JPG

The village wasn't built for traffic though and parking is a real problem.

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Not all the houses are grand residences by any means although one or two new builds do command a price for the views from up there. 

_G7A3564.JPG.a3c07f8a323104bb2c5912d12ff4ae35.JPG

Others are plain quirky! Anyway continuing on you find yourself on to the Little Orme itself and signs of the former quarrying that went on. It's a spot you often find an over wintering Black Redstart but not this year it seems.

_G7A3580.JPG.20769a307033333967b99618adc67570.JPG

 

What we did find though was the 8) Fulmars have already returned to claim the best nesting spots.

G7A3586.JPG.5b63bb26286720f816ab04d3b0889cab.JPG

 

Can you spot the two sat on the cliff!

Today I took my R5 along with the EF 24-105mm f4 lens to see what I could do with 45mp! 

_G7A3586.JPG.d07b4179c12875dc5c252820868f7468.JPG

 

Quite impressive really but not really a birding lens!

It was at least an opportunity to try it out although landscape isn't my forte by any means as the shots demonstrate!_G7A3589.JPG.5843dd7ee07c00f3de130e38b29ed86c.JPG

 

The cliffs here are potentially deadly with a sheer drop of a couple of hundred feet should you fall so I'm very cautious of going to near the edge to take a peek at the seals on the beach below!

So that was it for the day, returned home as the sun came out over Llandudno.

Typical!

!_G7A3591.JPG.edfe326e4b16ab7d47925aeef4b47700.JPG

 

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PeterHG

Impressive scenery so close by!

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Galana

A lovely area. Thanks for sharing it with us. I can quite see the Alan Whicker coming out in you!:lol: As your Agent may I suggest "Travels with the tortoise"  as a title for the series?

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Dave Williams

@GalanaI'll write the book if you promise to shell out for a copy!

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Galana

Done.

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Dave Williams

Hallelujah ! The sun came out today and I made up for being inside for two days by taking two walks but first I checked the trail camera that had been out for the last three days in pouring rain. The peanuts I had put on the sawn off stump outside the bedroom window had at last vanished.

Had the Badger returned?

This was last June.

50059333843_d82ae1def4_b.jpgBadger.... on the stump by Dave Williams, on Flickr

No, it was more exciting than that. We had a Fox visit!!

STC_0057.JPG.cb8d6c2f69801ebdf1b21cac0c36542c.JPG

 

Not sure if it was still lashing down at 3am this morning but it was pretty cool outside. I really hope I can keep getting the Fox to visit, instead of peanuts he has dog food on the menu tonight. Could be a great project to take through lockdown.

Anyway, first I set off on my own in search of reported Firecrest and Water Pipit but sadly drew a blank. I found Goldcrest in place of the Firecrest but the views were fleeting and I hadn't taken a camera anyway, just my phone.

The area of slurry I think the Water Pipit was reported on was now flooded so that was no use and besides it was too distant for a decent shot so I'll forget that.

IMG_3084.JPG.33be1a9531b9c2d1b4c2fe499e9fcaf6.JPG

 

but all was not lost , after lunch a second walk with Claire purely for a breath of air had me adding 9) Oystercatcher

IMG_3087.JPG.11bbdb51cae5971675c22cd121385a36.JPG

 

All that rain did have the advantage of creating a pool right by the side of the field and the road.

For a closer view here's one I took earlier.

48242584306_eb248a9eaf_b.jpgEurasian oystercatcher  Haematopus ostralegus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Anyway, just for a change here's a shot of a 10)Long-tailed Tit. and it was taken with a "proper" camera and lens too. Claire shouted out there was a Sparrowhawk attacking my feeders but by the time I had got to the bathroom window it had long gone. I waited til things returned to normal and snapped the LTT despite it being in deep shade by now. Still. I have hit double figures and we are still in January. A year ago today I was photographing Purple-faced Langurs in beautiful sunshine , what a contrast!!

50860186342_2d8da91a08_b.jpgLong-tailed Tit. by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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Galana

Good to see the Trail camera still in use and producing results. Not sure I would want a fox around though.

Nice LTT and pity about the Sparrowhawk.

Well done on double figures.

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Peter Connan

Nice visitor! 

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elefromoz
11 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

Claire shouted out there was a Sparrowhawk attacking my feeders but by the time I had got to the bathroom window it had long gone.

  surely this year you will count that?

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Dave Williams
3 hours ago, elefromoz said:

  surely this year you will count that?

My rules might be flexible but I do have to see the bird! 

In actual fact I have seen the Sparrowhawk on many occasions this year as I have other species but my intention is to drip feed additions to keep my interest up because once I go a few weeks with nothing to add I'll probably give up again!

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Galana

Have you considered mounting the Trail camera near the feeder during daylight? Nothing in the rules to say you have to be there.

1-1-SUNP0050.JPG.1807b95b2b421d19f6a40e3c6728695d.JPG

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PeterHG

It would be great if you managed to get more shots of the fox, perhaps even with your regular camera. If they turn out as beautiful as your badger photos, we're in for a treat! And the Sparrowhawk will surely be a target, too. Beautiful Oystercatcher and LTT!

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Dave Williams

@Galana Problem with a trail camera is that it's too busy around the feeders and you'd be taking thousands of shots before the subject of choice turned up.

 

However, as it happened the angel of death turned up again this morning and made a successful kill. Unfortunately it dropped down behind the Cotoneaster bushes and could only be viewed through a closed bedroom window. I grabbed a couple of shots then dashed outside to see if I could get a clear shot. I know that Sparrowhawks can be so engrossed in eating they sometimes just carry on but this one went the minute I stuck my head around the corner. Mind you they prey, a Long-tailed Tit I think, was so light it was easy to fly off with it.

_G7A3702.jpg.3047b0f88fce16ea2e4dd7e1b454cbbf.jpg

 

Strangely, although I have witnessed many attacks on the feeders this is only the second time I have seen a successful catch. The last one came up as a Facebook memory a couple of days ago!

11)Eurasian Sparrowhawk

50865875743_79d8cbf049_b.jpgSparrowhawk 2016-01-21 by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Edited by Dave Williams
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Galana

Well you got it in the end. EBC!

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Kitsafari

Very jealous of your backyard and walking trail. 

 

A Fox! how exciting. hope you get more brilliant shots of it as you did the badger. 

 

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Dave Williams

Well, to keep me in the game I'd better post something. The weather here is still very variable.A bit warmer but still grey and damp. The snow that was encroaching down to sea level a few days ago has now gone._G7A3848.JPG.f9a717267f3d28cfc10faf93cc594c7a.JPG

 

The footpaths have become so muddy because of the extra footfall due to lockdown that I am now avoiding them and sticking to the side roads or tar footpaths. Photography is a case of sticking my camera out of the bathroom window again!

Much as though I don't like posting birds on feeder shots that's what is today's offering.

12) Eurasian Nuthatch

50885537582_9cd029b1c1_b.jpgNuthatch by Dave Williams, on Flickr

 

Taken a few days ago, it's been seen daily for a while now.

Sadly, for the last three nights no signs of the Fox but after two night's absence the Badger returned last night despite the  torrential rain. As a bonus it brought a friend along too! STC_0138.JPG.eb1df17f1ff853edf114ec4ce1f2a152.JPG

 

A positively balmy 10 degrees last night!

 

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