Many thanks to Ian and Finola for organising a week in the Norfolk Broads to celebrate New Year. Finding a cottage with a free boat within 4 miles of the Woodforde’s was inspired, although you can’t prove that we ever visited the brewery since we managed to drink all 72 pints of the evidence.
New Year’s Eve also gave us a chance to dress up and polish our french accents, as we took part in “The Brie, The Bullet and The Black Cat”. While I won’t spoil the surprises, you can be reassured that no-one was exactly as the seemed… It also gave me a chance to play with my new flashgun, which really made a difference for indoor portraits.
Other highlights included tens of herons, thousands of seagulls and a beachful of mating, pupping and nursing seals (well worth a visit).
A freezing cold afternoon in the Cambridgeshire countryside. Not necessarily the best time of year to go birdwatching, but a heron put on a good show.
Slight oxymoron that one, as Christmas was very busy for us both. Boxing Day saw me blast up the A1 to Huddersfield to meet Sonya’s cousins, catch up with Andy from her lab and meet up with some of her schoolfriends, then it was back to Loddon for another round of dinner parties. We made it to the New Year, when we staggered to a little cottage near Bury St Edmunds to recover before going back to work. I can definitely recommend The Old Manse Barn if you’re looking for a comfortable and well-looked after break.
It’s hardly a secret that I like taking photos of animals. My parents have been carefully feeding the garden birds for several years now, and that makes my life easy. Standing at the back door I managed to take quite a collection of pictures. There are captions for those who need their memories jogged, or who don’t know their great tits from their blue-footed boobies…
Seen this weekend, click to enlarge.
Minolta 500mm f/8 reflex lens, 1/250 s at ISO 1600
A trip home to see our various families led to a great chance to try out the new lens with some garden birds. I quite like the results, this lens is definitely sharper than my zoom lens. The focussing is fast enough to catch the birds as they fly around, and it brings them up really close.
Straight after the holiday it was time to head to Bristol to watch Sonya’s little brother graduate, and to pop to the zoo, as one does at these occasions.
A quick wander through college on the way back from lunch has provided my entries for this year’s college photo competition, entitled ”Downing from a new perspective”
A recent newspaper report said that wild parakeets were a danger to British wildlife. Escaped (or carelessly released) into a reasonably warm environment, with plentiful food and nesting opportunities, they’re larger than many garden birds and could outcompete our native species. I’d find it hard to shoot this little guy though, seen in the garden over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Seen in the garden this lunchtime, my scrambled eggs went cold while I ran around with the camera.
Shot with Sony a500 DSLR, Tamron 70-300mm lens @ 300mm, f/8, 1/250s, ISO 1600