"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Ducks and Geese at Brueton

I've wanted to revisit Brueton Park and Parkridge Nature Area since I first visited last winter. Finally, returned one afternoon last week and this time took the camera.

There's a large pool near the car park where the ducks and geese are very tame and its a good place to practise bird photography.

Usually the only editing I do to my photographs is occasional cropping but on the first 3 photos below I have adjusted the brightness and contrast slightly - not sure if its an improvement on the original though!

Canada Geese

Mallard (female)

Drake mallard looking as though its coming out of its eclipse plumage


Juvenile Moorhen

Drake Mallard

Greylag Geese

I then went a walk around Parkridge Nature Area (a small Warwickshire Wildlife Trust Reserve and Visitor Centre) comprising woodland, an arboretum and pool.

There were quite a few Speckled Wood around

and an interesting looking bug house

I saw a few birds - coot, mallard, blackbird, a flock of long-tailed, blue and great tits and the highlight was a treecreeper. A grey heron posed motionlessly on the pool. Too far away for the 70 - 300mm lens so just a couple of record shots.

Malvern Pool

Today we went out blackberrying locally - won't reveal exactly where as we saw what looked like an active badger sett in woodland and no doubt the badger killing could well come to Warwickshire once the badger populations in bTB hotspots have been decimated.

We managed to fill a large icecream container with blackberries - certainly picked far more than last year when we left it rather late. Once washed and frozen they will keep us going through quite a few Apple and Blackberry Crumbles and Pies through the winter :)

There were loads of Red Admirals, Commas and Speckled Woods and the most dragonflies I have seen all summer.


Toffeeapple said...

There is a certain clarity in your first three shots I feel, they look very good.

Moorhen's feet always amaze me.

The bug house is far less 'constructed' than some that I have seen, perhaps it is the better way to go?

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - I think you are right about the clarity - I also adjusted one of the Greylag Geese photos. Somehow though I don't feel right about messing around with the images too much - it feels almost like "cheating"!! Probably dates back to the days of camera with film when you couldn't adjust photos!! There again the brightness and contrast "tweeking" does seem to get rid of some of the "noise" as I have to use a high ISO to get high shutter speeds as there is no image stabilization on the camera and lens.

I think in some ways the bug house is more "natural" than some. It shows an imaginative use of items that have been recycled :)

Thanks as always for your comment :)

ShySongbird said...

Hi Caroline, It sounds like a very nice place to visit and I think all your photos are lovely. I loved the first one of the Greylags where they seemed to be looking at each other.

A lot of my photos are cropped as the only lens I can carry comfortably is a 55-250mm. I do have longer ones but they are so heavy! I also use a little contrast sometimes. I don't have Photoshop though. What I have seen and read of it online looks much too complicated for me :-)

The Grey Heron is one of my favourite birds, I love their look of solitary patience. Like Toffeeapple, I too am always taken with the feet of the rail family ;-)

Apple and Blackberry Crumble...Yum! :-)

Ragged Robin said...

ShySongbird - Hi Jan - Many thanks :) I'm hoping to go back more often and take some more pictures.

Most of my wildlife photos (Birds and moths) are cropped and then resized. The lenses are heavy aren't they especially as I usually have binoculars round my neck as well! You get some super photos with that 55-250 lens of yours. We have got Photoshop - well actually its Davids as he uses it for work and making videos. I have never used it though as you say it looks overly complicated and would take hours! Perhaps one day when I have more time...... I just use the software that came with the Olympus - its very quick and straightforward :) Adjusting the contrast slightly does seem to improve the photos taken with the 70-300 lens.

The feet of the Rail family are rather wonderful :) I always find herons so sort of primeval - fascinating to watch them stalking prey.

Rohrerbot said...

Really fantastic shots Robin. Love your Moorhen pics especially.

I am so outraged by the badger culling. Who is allowing this to happen? Who's pushing this forward in the political world? It's not right at all. This would not float here in Tucson or in Arizona. None of this makes sense. Keep them safe.

Ragged Robin said...

Rohrerbot - Many thanks Chris :) I was pleased with the moorhen photo as normally you can't get so close to this species.

Thank you so much for your words of support re: badger cull. One of the Government Departments has organised it - totally against most scientific opinion on the matter. In my view it is a political decision not a scientific one and sadly thousands of badgers will have been killed by the time the Govt will finally have to admit culling badgers is not the answer to tackling bovine TB.

Am signing petitions, writing letters and emails etc., to many people/organisations so that I can feel I am doing all I can to try and prevent it happening. I just have to do something! Thankfully, the government e-petition is now attracting lots of signatures against the badger cull as the matter is now getting media attention. If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures then it will force a parliamentary debate on the issue.