Monday 30 May 2016

Celebrating Springwatch with a Photographic Miscellania

Yes, it's the least favourite time of the year for the so called "Country Pursuits" brigade ("People need to understand that foxes are VERMIN!"), the time when "Springwatch" arrives to apparently over-anthropomorphise wildlife and encourage the people of Britain to enjoy our wildlife, rather than blasting it out of the sky or choking it in pop up mountains of fly tipped rubbish.

So, I'm going to celebrate with a few miscellaneous proper camera pictures I've taken over the past week and not fitted into any blog. Please enjoy, and enjoy what you've got while we can, on a day when the Farming Minister has said that after any putative Brexit an utter bonfire will be made of EU Environmental laws protecting our natural habitats.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.05.16

Sunday 29 May 2016

An Evening with the Swifts

A very interrupted night's sleep, as usual, left me incredibly tired for most of the day, but the desire brought about by a late afternoon appearance of the sun to get out for a walk at the end of the day.

You need it after a twelve hour day spent inside.

I've spent some time trying to photograph the swifts around their nest sites; they are having a great spring and there's at least forty engaged in sky shredding flight above the three that I know. However, knowing where the nests are is no guarantee of being able to photograph one of these fast flying characters.

My bright idea, having watched them over a few evenings, was to stand opposite the nest with my camera, and wait for one of the swifts to make one of the super low level runs that indicate it's going to duck down and head up under the eaves, offering a chance to maybe get the bird with a burst of shots as it slows to make its entrance.

Fat chance of that!

When I went to try and get some photographs last night, the swifts tormented me by staying mainly at high altitude, at no point going into their nest holes and making only occasional rooftop level screech-runs at far too high a speed for me to follow.

It didn't take me long to give up.

Tonight, I decided to just visit the park, enjoy the sun, and then just watch the swifts.

Worked for me.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.05.16

This first set of shots is from around the park.

These next pictures are where the swifts are nesting. Note the eaves they can get in to.

Friday 27 May 2016

Hornets Attack Victor Mature!

Photography has been a frustrating habit this week. Nothing has stayed in range of my camera for very long, and the shots I'm getting have been pretty low quality. The birds are hiding in the canopy, the bees are too mobile, and the butterflies seem to have disappeared.

Today has been a case in point. I'm keen to photograph swifts, but when I go out to find them they are high level rather than screeching at low altitude as they fly into their nests, and a big flock of long tailed tits in the Old Oak Wood today, but I couldn't get any kind of clear view among the leaves.

Early and tree bumblebee workers are now out and about, saddlebags full of pollen, but they ended up being just as hard to photograph as the fast moving hairy foots that have now sadly disappeared for the year by the looks of things.

And the most gutting thing? Walking through the orchard in the park, and thinking "Gosh, that was a bloody big wasp" that's just flown by. Walking a bit further, a flash of red and yellow whipped over my right shoulder and settled on a tree trunk.

It was a hornet, large as my index finger, and the first I've ever seen in Newark. When it flew, its wings made a loud, low "thrum" and it was obviously chewing wood for nest purposes. Magnficent beast! But of course, as soon as I deployed my camera, it flew up and around the tree trunk.

"Git!" I said, as I did to every other bird or insect that refused to pose for me. I was left to take photographs of the many coloured wallflowers in the fort shaped flowerbed by the cafe. Even the bees there were elusive, not to mention the fantastically fast winged silver y moth that also made a rapid visit.

Still, colours though!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.05.16. "Hornets Attack Victor Mature" was a name that REM used for a secret show once upon a time.

Thursday 26 May 2016

New Emergences

We are into a new phase of the seasons now. The bluebells are dying - although there are a few of the native ones still just about going - and to me this signifies the death of spring. But new emergences mark the beginning of the new season.

Running along the cycle path and through the nature reserve reveals ox-eye daisies, ragged robin, red clover, yellow flag and various other new species coming into bloom. No poppies this year alas, but we are still doing well for flowers, buttercups are fantastic this year!

I attach a few pictures...the white ones at the end look like stitchwort with 5 double lobed petals, not sure it is though. Perhaps it's a domesticated variety.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 26.05.16

Wednesday 25 May 2016

There's New Owls in Town

I'm used to coming across the owls and hawks from Kilton Raptor Rescue in town, but today, their owlular rivals from Lincoln Owl Rescue showed up with their feather babies, all of which had registration plates on the ground with their names on.

It was all very surreal because on the next stall, a couple of people from the FT were interviewing a E-Liquid stall owner about his Brexit views - he was all for it - while I rolling around on the ground taking shots of the owls, which as usual were being totally uncooperative about looking at the camera. The only exception to this was the tiny, but terrifying, buck-beaked thrush sized "thing" sitting on the sign.

It did love being stroked though!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 25.05.16

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Dreaming of Running AGAIN

I have been very tired again today on my first day post shift.

So tired I slept late most of the morning, a sleep constantly interrupted, a sleep punctuated by many dreams.

And in one of those many dreams, I dreamed of running again, on the same dream route I'm pretty sure I've dreamed of mentioning before; a river that starts somewhere along Clay Lane and heads out into the country before you find yourself at a couple of ponds near a cricket ground. The river is fast and shallow, with pools along its short length and unlike any river to be found near here.

However this is closer to reality than the other dream landscape I found myself running along, a much longer 15 or so mile run out of town to valley between high crags that leads you back towards town! This I have also dreamed about running on before, a wild land full of ravens and peregrines. Even crazier was that in the dream, I knew I had dreamed of running on it before.

This is all getting very "Inception"!

My mind is probably telling me it is bored of running all over the same local trails. I had a very gentle jog tonight, and was most distressed to come across what I think what a Romanian kid shooting a catapult at the local birds. Distressed too because my upset at this made me feel like a rabid Brexiter, when bad treatment of animals is also the domain of local kids too. I remember seeing some stab a frog with a fishing hook, and saying "Well, it's what the French do."


I'd rather have my dreams.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.05.16