3rd April.I’ve done
little bird watching these past few days but have just had sighting of my first
Sand Martins of the year on patch
Lake.In fact they are my first Sand Martins of the year.They were flying over a small flotilla of
eight Goldeneye.I was down there just before 7:00pm and it
was cold and misty once again.
On Monday I called at the Rising Sun, but this was a prearranged meeting for
coffee rather than birding, although a walk past Swallow Pond did bring the
likes of eight Shoveller, numerous Little Grebes and a handful of Lesser Black backed Gulls.The weather was as per today, chilly and
misty which actually lent quite an atmosphere to the area, but I do think
someone should try and clean up the area around the edge of the pond near the
hide where many seem to drop their litter.
As well as having coffee on my mind on Monday I also had books on my mind as
I had been offered a copy of Keartons’ Nature Pictures published in 1910, the authors
being Richard and Cherry Kearton.I’m a
go between as far as the book is concerned as it will eventually find its way
to a friend.:-)Thanks go to another friend Hilary, who
passed the book to us.
Now I’ve long thought that in many ways that today’s photographers have it
somewhat easy in having use of all of the modern digital equipment.I held off getting involved in photography
again for reasons which included that I thought it was not the skilled pastime that it once was and that everyone seemed to be ‘into it’ now.I have to
admit I was wrong on this count and having tried my hand at nature photography
I realise that digital or not it ain’t easy to capture good images. I cringe a bit
when I look at some of the images produced early on in my blog by my pocket
Canon IXUS.Having moved on a little I
find I really do enjoy using an SLR again and I’m about ready to invest in some
new equipment again.It definitely adds
to nature watching rather than detracting from it.
I still do think that the ‘old’
photographers had special skills and ways.I’m not sure many of today’s photographers would take with them a stuffed
OX skin as the Keartons’ did to use as a natural looking hide.Although mind you some of the larger
telephoto lenses I see out and about might weigh nearly as much.
The Kearton brothers were from Swaledale.Richard published his first book, Birds Nests, Eggs and Egg Collecting,
in 1890.I believe his brother Cherry
took the first ever photograph of a bird’s nest with eggs.The brothers worked together on a book
entitled British Birds Nests in 1895 and this was fully illustrated with
photographs. Keartons’ Nature Pictures is a good addition to an
already good collection.
''Use the talents you possess - for the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except for the best.”-- Henry Van Dyke.
If you think the common can be as exciting as the rare then this blog may be for you, as it attempts to express my passion for birds and nature. All are part of my daily life and my home patch is all within walking distance of my home, although I often explore wider areas. I ought to be described as a naturalist rather than a birder. I believe that all who take an interest in nature will be well rewarded, but that such rewards ought not to be without reciprocation. My own contribution is made by volunteering, much of which is done in an attempt to help others share in the experience of the natural world. I attempt to reflect my interest in conservation and the fact that I believe the future of a natural world seriously in trouble relies very much relies on an openness of information to all responsible people. Responsible being the key word, and I therefore hope to keep the welfare of wildlife paramount at all times.