Monday, September 28, 2009

There's No Alternative

That’s now two and a half days without getting out birding but probably double that of “nothing” weather, as everyone describes what has taken place last week, over the weekend and now at the start of this week. No good for birding, no good for ringing, no good for bird photography.

So I thought about a few other hobbies that I might take up if this continues, ones that other blokes seem to participate in even enjoy, but there are negatives to most:

Fishing-far too inactive, and have you ever seen an angler actually catch a fish?
Train, Plane or Bus Spotting - I’m 63 for heavens sake.
Sailing Model Boats or Flying Model Planes at Fleetwood - the plastic surgery would be too expensive.
Glamour Photography - not allowed.
Shooting - much too dangerous, especially as an armed ex bird watcher frustrated by continual bad weather.
Golf - It’s just balls.
Video Gaming - sat at a desk often (SADO).
Standing Outside Shops (SOS) - precisely.
Listening to Rock Music - I can’t hear Goldcrest now.

Other suggestions are welcome, please email me.

So I thought about it a bit more then decided that maybe birding is not so bad after all, plus the weather improved a bit, for a while anyway. Enough for me to get this photo of a Kestrel, a species that normally flies away all too readily. This picture allows me to pass on today’s birding tip – Fit a sunroof to your car, but more important make sure it’s open before taking photographs.

In the interests of keeping the blog going I have posted a few previously discarded photos, firstly a picture of a garden Coal Tit in August, a juvenile. Boy I must have been bored that day, putting a net up to catch a Wren, Blackbird and a Coal Tit. Coal Tit, such a frustrating species to photograph as they come and go to the garden feeder to nick some seed or peanut in double quick time, then immediately fly off to hoard it out of sight before the shutter has even thought about closing.

Autumn Blackbirds pose other problems, mainly the indelicate subject of purple poo and how to slip stained bird bags into the washing machine unnoticed. But explaining away similarly coloured wine stains isn’t normally a problem in our house which gives some leeway for the imagination. There’s a photo of the garden Blackbird, almost in focus. Now it’s obvious why I need to practice more on my photography.

Finally a photo of a pair of Tufted Duck that sums up some digital problems; water reflections, exposure, field of view, depth of view, telephoto lenses. Things can only get better.

A quick glance at Met Office for tomorrow shows wind and rain. Oh dear, where’s my stamp album?


Pete Woodruff said...

Your post's get better Phil - Oh dear better be careful here - and the alternative hobby list is quite a laugh and well drawn up but, although I'm sticking my neck out here on the 'grammar' issue......isn't 'hobbies' more than one of the bird and 'hobby's' more than one of the leisure pursuits?

Phil said...

Well done Peter, you spotted the deliberate mistake. Thanks for reading it in such detail to do so. I hope I can return the complement.

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