Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Office Murder

My latest book is now available on Amazon 

as both paperback and ebook

A Murder Mystery

click here for Amazon page

Please leave feedback when you have read it, it helps if I know you have enjoyed it (or hated it).

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Strange looking birds - 5 October 2014

We went out to Swithland Reservoir in Leicestershire to look for water birds, there are often Heron and Egret there. After some time we had seen one uncooperative heron and a lot of gulls, mute swans and coots and we were getting bored. There had been trains on the Rothley steam trust line but I hadn't really paid attention to them. Then I began to notice there were a lot more than usual and a quick chat with a bird watcher close by told me it was a gala week end for the Trust.

Just for fun I took a couple of pictures as the trains crossed the viaduct at the end of the reservoir. Then as there was no improvement to the bird population, I decided to have a change for the day and get some better pictures of the steam trains.

1/500 @ f7.1, iso 800, 400mm 

1/500 @ f7.1, iso 800, 400mm

After taking the above photos we moved to a position at the other end of the reservoir and along a dirt track to get closer. We were rewarded with the photos below and the video, there is sound if you want it.

1/400 @ f7.1, iso 800, 400mm

1/125 @ f7.1, iso 800, 150mm


I have no idea about type numbers etc. but I do like a steam train and it was nice to watch them looking so good and cared for.

All pictures taken on Canon EOS 7d, EF 100 400mm L series lens

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The preliminaries Bradgate Park - 25 Sept 14

These two Fallow deer stags seem to entering the preliminaries of the rut, starting with the parallel walk.
1/1000 @ f7.1, iso 800, 260mm
Then it's heads down and antlers in, it was a bit subdued so obviously not yet fired by hormones.

1/800 @ f7.1, iso 800, 400mm
1/800 @ f7.1, iso 800, 400mm
They kept it up for about five minutes.

1/800 @ f7.1, iso 800, 400mm
Then separated and the dark coloured one preened himself  and trotted around proudly.

1/500 @ f7.1, iso 800, 180mm
While the white one left the field, crossed the road and didn't come back.

1/1000 @ f7.1, iso 800, 400mm
Here's one that has found it all just a little too much and decided on a nap instead.

1/320 @ f7.1, iso 800, 190mm
This one was watching in the wings and it wouldn't surprise me if he was in the middle of things when it all kicks off.
1/100 @ f7.1, iso 800, 200mm
The Red deer have started their bellowing and cant be far away from the big battles.

1/640 @ f7.1, iso 800, 400mm
By the park gate, a falconer was exercising his Red Tailed Hawk female, I posted some pice of his male a few months ago.
1/160 @ f7.1, iso 800, 200mm
1/200 @ f7.1, iso 800, 400mm

All taken on Canon EOS 7D, EF 100 - 400mm L series lens

Monday, August 25, 2014

Preparing for the Rut - August 2014

A visit to Bradgate Park showed us the Fallow deer are preparing for an early rut, there was no sign of the Red deer but I'm sure they'll put in an appearance when they're ready.

1/1600 @ f7.1, iso 1600, 400mm
The folly Old John, on the high point of the park always draws people to it and the view around is worth the climb.

1/400 @ f7.1, iso 800, 400mm
These stags look very laid back, resting for what's to come no doubt.

1/500 @ f7.1, iso 800, 250mm

1/400 @ f7.1, iso 800, 400mm
And this one wanted to pose and preen for the camera

1/320 @ f7.1, iso 800, 235mm
1/250 @ f7.1, iso 800, 400mm
This younger one was playing and copying the older deer by trying to collect vegetation on  his antlers, the trouble is the weren't big enough to keep it there.

And this is one of the adults he was trying to copy, first time I've put a video up so I hope it works for you.

All taken on Canon EOS7d, EF 100 - 400mm L series Zoom

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Birds and the Bees and Butterflies August 3rd 2014

There wasn't a lot of wildlife about today but somethings of interest raised their heads.

A Red Admiral was hopping about from bloom to bloom, but would not settle with its wings open so I could get a decent picture of his markings.
1/2656 @ f7.1,  iso 400, 400mm

A Comma wasn't as shy and was happily sunbathing completely unconcerned about the lens pointing at him.

1/500 @ f7.1,  iso 400, 400mm

And this bee was not going to give up its meal for anyone, it didn't even have time to groom itself. Either that or it was a Punk Bee :o)

1/800 @ f7.1,  iso 400, 400mm

Further round a Cormorant found a small open area in all the weeds that the parks people have left to clog up the lakes. The whole park will soon be a no go area as Mossies start breeding in the stagnant pools, maybe that's why they closed down the most popular car park.

1/800 @ f7.1,  iso 400, 400mm

The Cormorant seemed to give up the struggle with the weeds and flew away to one of the few lakes still free from them.

1/3200 @ f7.1,  iso 400, 400mm

1/3200 @ f7.1,  iso 400, 400mm

1/3200 @ f7.1,  iso 400, 400mm

A Moorhen made use of an abandoned Coots nest, it was the only place in another totally clogged lake.

1/80 @ f7.1,  iso 400, 400mm

All taken on a Canon EOS 7d, EF 100 - 400mm L series lens

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Butterflies at Sheepwash Lane 15 July 2014

For the first time since I got the mobility scooter, we took it to Sheepwash Lane. We couldn't go before they had workmen and it became very muddy, then we had to wait for everything to settle down.

There's not much in the way of birds down there, although there is a Kingfisher about and one day I might get a photo of it. Instead there are more butterflies than I have seen all year.

After only a few minutes the first one presented itself, a Skipper on a thistle head.

1/320 @ f7.1, iso 400, 380mm
Not very far away was this Ringlet, but with a bit of a breeze most weren't happy to spread their wings.
1/500 @ f7.1, iso 400, 400mm
The skipper was still crawling around the thistle head so I took a pic of his back.
1/500 @ f7.1, iso 400, 400mm
and his front ...
1/400 @ f7.1, iso 400, 400mm
I always like to see Peacock butterflies, but again it would have been better if he'd spread his wings.
1/500 @ f8, iso 400, 400mm
In a more sheltered area the Tortoiseshell was happy to show off its colours.
1/500 @ f8, iso 400, 400mm
1/500 @ f8, iso 400, 400mm

All taken on a Canon EOS7d, fitted with EF 100 - 400mm L series lens

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Flies United - 20 June 2014

Watermead park was quiet, I don't know where all the interesting wildlife disappears to at his time of year. I know some of the birds return to Africa and elsewhere, but the non-migratory birds seem to go into hiding.

Anyway the  Damselflies were making up for it in the heat of the day, I just caught a flash of blue but with my current eye problem I couldn't focus on it properly and had to rely on the camera to do the work.  I was really pleased when I realised I'd got the female as well.

1/1000 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm

1/1600 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm
There were some of the more common varieties about like this juvenile coot.
1/400 @ f6.3, iso 400, 275mm
And this Mallard
1/1328 @ f6.3, iso 400, 400mm

All taken on Canon EOS7d, EF 100 - 400mm L series lens