Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 333 - Grey Heron

Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea) were one of the few large predatory birds that were (reasonably) common in the countryside when I was a kid.

They were waterside watchers, reed-bed statues that I saw when I fished.  They were often more successful than I was!

These pictures were taken at a range of locations in Somerset when I was back in the UK last month. It was good to get some close views of this often nervous bird.

I do rather like the last image - I think it says more about the nature of the bird than the other pictures.

As ever to join in with WBW click on the blue button below the thumbnails.  SM

(There seems to be an issue with being able to comment on some Blogs - the Google Account does not work and the comment is lost - I'm trying to work out why!  SM)

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

A walk with H

Last week I was in Tasmania with H, walking the Overland Tack.  What a week! Four Seasons of weather and views that are out of this world.

Cant think of much else to do, other than post some pictures.  More words to come at a later date I think!

However, it is reasonable to say we had Four Seasons in One Week!

At the vert start

At the very end!

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 332 - Kingfisher

Kingfishers (Alcedo atthis) are wonderful birds.  They are always a highlight for me.  Being back in Somerset a few weeks ago gave me a chance to catch up with this species.

I spent a huge amount of time as a kid fishing, so I saw these birds on a more than occasionally; but they never lost that charm of being something special.   The flash of blue as they shot across ponds or rivers was always a wonderful thing to see.

I caught up with this female (the orange on the beak is a give away) at Ham Walls RSPB reserve.  These are not the greatest pictures, but they are the first ones I have taken of this species in the UK.

Splendid birds.

As ever, you can join in with WBW by clicking on the blue button below the thumbnails.  Cheers SM

(Today I will be starting the longest day on a six day walk in Tasmania- wish me luck!)

Tuesday, 4 December 2018


The area around Priddy on the Mendip Hills is one of my favourite small places in the world.  I spent a lot of time there as a kid, and I always go back to visit when I have the chance.

The Mendips are not grand or stunning in any major way - but they do have sense of place and scale that I really like.

This single tree is a bit of a photographic icon in the area - I tried to do something that does not look like all my other pictures.

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

By the time this post goes live I will be on the second day of a long walk in Tasmania - with not a hint of internet!   Cheers  SM

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 331 - Black Swan

The Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) is widespread in Australia.  I often wonder what the first Europeans who came to Australia thought about this bird.  White swans, of what ever species, were signs of purity, and have been associated with 'angels' in many mythologies, so encountering black swans must have been a bit of a shock.

Anyway, I liked the way these birds were interacting with each other.

You can join in with WBW by clicking on the blue button below the thumbnails.  (I am finding it very hard to find the time to visit people's blogs - but please keep commenting as I am sure I will emerge from under this large pile of work soon!)  SM

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 330 - Mute Swan

I think it's the common birds I miss the most from the UK.  The everyday birds.  The backyard birds.

I never had Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) in my backyard, but as a keen angler they were a (more or less) everyday bird.

These Swans were taken at various locations on the Somerset Levels around Glastonbury. For all that I enjoyed my time 'on the Levels' the light was often difficult and the birds rather distant.  I was a relief to find some that were just a little larger!

I rather like the symmetry of the last image.

To join in with WBW just click on the blue button below the thumbnails.  SM

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 329 - European Robin

One of the (many) small delights of being back in the UK for a while was seeing a whole range of common birds that I would have once taken for granted, but now rather miss.

Not the least of these is the (European) Robin (Erithacus rubecula).  I would have never included 'European' in its name when I lived in the UK - it was simply a Robin.  And, if the truth be told, thats how I still think of them.

This bird was perched out in the open, on the dead stems of some Cow Parsley,  at Ham Walls RSPB reserve in Somerset.  It was like meeting an old friend.

As ever, you can join in with WBW by clicking the blue button below.  SM

Monday, 12 November 2018

The Hague

After a (very) long flight from Australia, a transit flight from London and then a taxi (in a Tesla no less!) from Amsterdam to The Hague, I was pleased to be able to wander the streets at my own pace, soak up some autumn sunshine to counteract the jet lag and take a few pictures.

These are my first impressions of The Hague.

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday