Tuesday, 21 January 2014

No target bird.

I took the Westies out for their walk first thing, and as soon as I  got out of the car I was hit by a biting wind, the type of wind that just cuts straight  though you, so it was good to get back to the relative warmth of the car. Back home for a cuppa, and while checking my e-mail, the sun started to put in an appearance, so decided to make the most of it and set off in the car again.
   Its a while since I've seen Black Grouse so made that my target bird, and headed off for Hartside and the road beyond where I've sometimes found them. At Hartside summit I went for a wonder on the fell, but didn't wonder for too long. The wind was cutting down near Penrith, up there at 1904ft it was absolutely freezing. I gave a few areas a try as regards Grouse but saw neither Black or Red
    The trouble with roaming round in the car, you tend to try and do too many things at once. To start with, there is the narrow winding-twisting roads to contend with,  and at the same time you are on the look-out for birds and wild life. On top of this you have to keep an eye on your mirrors, to make sure you are not holding any traffic up, that would sooner be going much faster, and have no interest on what is on either side of the road.
      Its much easier of course if there are two of you, as one can be the spotter while the other keeps the car on the road. Of coarse all this changes when the spotter suddenly shouts stop, stop, stop, at the higher end of the decibel range, then all hell breaks loose.
     On my own though today, I had to suddenly check my mirrors when I saw what was a large flock of Starlings in a field

This is just a fraction of the whole flock

 A bit closer in and what do I see in the background.

A good portion of the flock turned out to be Fieldfare.


They where a good distance from me and very flighty.

I tended to get my shots by peeping over a dry-stone wall, and trying to rest the lens on it to prevent shaking from the cold.

I must also mention that I was down to low shutter speeds, due to the fact that the sun never shone once I'd left the house  .

I'm also peeping through the holes in the wall so as not to disturb them.





A few views from the top of Hartside, this one looking West, can you see the wreath on the post, bottom right, Possibly in memory of a biker, as they love this road.

And these last two looking more North.






And this was as near as the sun got to making an appearance.
Linking to  Stewarts Wild bird Wednesday, at, http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.co.uk/

27 comments:

  1. i like your handsome fieldfare!

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  2. Brave birder out there in that cold weather! I am always the one who shouts stop stop stop like that....my "driver" is used to it by now. But I don't usually see that many birds out by the side of the road...very good spotting especially all by yourself!

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  3. Your Fieldfare is a handsome bird! Great sighting and photos!

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  4. Good post Gordon. I am out in the morning to my local (ish) moorland for the Red Grouse. Fieldfare are not too shabby though, a splendid winter visitor.

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  5. I admire your tenacity to get out in the cold weather and your adventure paid off with some lovely captures!
    Luckily I usually get to be the spotter and get to shout out in those high decibels with an occasional What? shouted back . :)

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  6. Geweldig om zoveel kramsvogels bij elkaar te zien.

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  7. Wonderful shots of flock of birds.

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  8. Nice serie, interesting to study!

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  9. What beautiful countryside you traveled through, searching for your target bird. Nice shots of the large flock.

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  10. another braving the cold; I'm not sure I could be that keen, but then being holed up indoors for ages I guess makes you do this --- something, or nothing. Well done Gordon and you ventured out twice; good luck second-time round, the starling flocks etc. Well done. (ps, know about the driving, stalking, watching rear-view/side mirrors for oncoming traffic - hopefully none about, but sometimes there is.....)

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  11. we have rather much Field fares. But they move aroudn quite a lot. :) Nice nature area.

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  12. Handsome birds, are the Fieldfare a member of the thrush family?

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    1. Yes Karen, you are right, I failed to point that out. They visit our country in the winter, from the Scandinavian countrys.
      Thank you, and all the best Gordon.

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  13. Very nice post, Gordon, and good on you for getting out despite the cold! Good eyes to sort out the Fieldfares!

    Your landscape images give a good impression of the sort of habitat you were in. Very birdy looking!

    Our Florida weather has turned cold (for us) with temperatures from lows of 32 (0 C) to high of only 55 F (12.8 C) this week. I can relate to that camera shake phenomenon!

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    1. Thank you Wally, and everyone for your comments. I love Florida, but I think I would be a bit disapointed if I arrived to be greeted by that temperature Wally, I hope it warms up for you and the wildlife.
      All the very best Gordon.

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  14. Greetings from breezy Lanzarote Gordon. That birding from the car sounds all to familiar to me, even on the "wrong" side of the road. You got some really nice shots of the Fieldfares despite your shaking around in the wind.

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  15. Nice set of pictures - a laughed at the "wrong side of the car" bit - its a world wide problem.

    I have a photographer friend who works in Hartside - Simon Whalley - you should keep an eye out for some of his pictures. (Well, I think you should!)

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  16. Lovely scenery and you certainly were very secretive. I have such a nasty noise my shutter makes when photographing, the birds and wildlife are always on high alert. You got some wonderful images Gordon. Happy weekend~

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  17. The Fieldfare is quite handsome; those are some nice views of the species you had! Cold + wind is never a good combo! That is lovely scenery in Hartside! I hope the sun and warmth find you soon:)

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  18. I love the fieldfares and the view is lovely. We've had a sunny couple of weeks, but its been between -15 to -20 degrees celsius the whole time. Take care.

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  19. Wow that hurts Gunilla, that kind of temperature would see me off, Thank you for your comment, and a big thank you to every one who has left a comment.
    All the best Gordon.

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  20. I enjoyed your narration of your journey, Gordon. I could feel the biting wind, and your excitement at spotting Fieldfares as you cautiously captured these awesome shots. Thanks for sharing the beautiful countryside.. it's amazing.
    Be well, be happy :)

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  21. You are an example of the true secretive photographer.You definitely know how to hide to get the good shots. Nice field of birds...and the scenery in your last captures is beautiful.

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  22. I love the view from the top of Hartside. and that is one awesome shot of the osprey in your header. thanks for stopping by my thorn bugs today

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  23. Well done with your stealth in getting the shots of the Fieldfares. I haven't seen them before. They look like they were ready to fly at a moments notice.

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  24. How fun that you looked closely and saw something else foraging with the starlings. :)
    Great shots!

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  25. Thanks for taking me on your walk through the countryside. I'd love to see a Fieldfare some day.

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