I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN

Tuesday 12 January 2010


Regular visitors will be delighted to know that today we have been birding. Helen of FROG END WILDLIFE renown, kindly pointed out the existence of a nature reserve just up the road. Not really the right weather nor a particularly good time of the year for such an expedition but not to be thought of as wimpy, I called up a cab and off we went.

Askam Bog is a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust site and was donated to them in 1946 by Messrs. Terry and Rowntree both chocolate moguls or 'Yorkies'* as they are probably known round here. This is a swamp, not quite the Everglades but impressive and well laid out. Home to Roe Deer, their hoof prints were much in evidence but they were not. According to a proper birder I met, there are Water Rail, Siskins, Tree Creepers and spotted Woodpeckers. The latter two we saw, along with numerous Finches.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   A cold, dull, drizzly day.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Things are slowly getting warmer.

Now I was going to just forget the ornithological images but three hours wandering  had to have produced something. It didn't!

As I would rather not be held responsible for any accidents I suggest that before continuing you go and make yourself comfortable. As my mother was want to say before a car journey. 'Whether you need to or not'.



I've kept them small to save myself embarrassment from top left, Not Sure, (a common species for me). Female Blackbird, Bull Finch and Great Tit. They don't have a hide here, remiss of them I know but with a sixth form college just down the road probably very wise.

There were also Long Tailed Tits, Marsh Tits several Spotted Woodpeckers and numerous I Haven't a Clues.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      This Sedge or maybe Grass looks like I felt. Not really that bad, in fact I quite enjoyed myself. Beats sitting inside watching the rain......I think. I will call back here next week, there's a lot to look at.

Tomorrow I am going for a stroll around the city wall and on Thursday I have arranged to take a tripod and off camera flash to the Railway Museum. Spoke to a very helpful chap in their security department who has agreed, as long as my bags can be searched......Quite how he thinks it possible to pinch a locomotive I didn't like to ask as he was being so accommodating.

* A 'Yorkie' is a chocolate bar favoured by UK truckers.


  1. Your 'not sure' is a Goldfinch Adrian.
    Nice Bullfinch too. Not easy to get a shot of these.

    Looks a lovely place to visit.

  2. Yes Keith,get up here. I will go back. Loads of bog but duck walks every where. Today never really got light so although it was possible to focus manually I forgot to bang the ISO up. If ever I start producing consistent images from the Sigma lens then will chop it in for a posh Zuiko prime 300mm. Dream on...Half the time I don't know what I'm aiming at.

  3. Well done for making it in such dreadful weather Adrian. I miss this place so much - absolutely incredible to see pictures of it in the snow. Thank you :-)

    Must have been there a hundred times and each time I go I see something new. There are (loooong) species lists for all sorts of plants and animals documented in the book: A wood in Ascam, but I guess you'd have to spend a pretty long time there to see them all. I always hoped to see a turtle dove, but no luck yet.

    Your best chance of catching the deer is in the outskirts of near or far woods (the three woods are called far, middle and near woods based on their proximity to York), but that would require wellies this week by the look of it.

  4. Helen, can't thank you enough. A brilliant place. I have wellies and surprisingly was wearing them. As you may have gathered I'm a flora and fauna dyslexic. You scientists will no doubt invent a proper word for thick! When shooting fauna I get excited and forget about the camera. So hence, no sharp images, despite blurry images we had a wonderful day.

  5. Adrian, I love your birding days! I am not much of a birder myself - I think I long ago gave up due to severe frustration in my (lack of) talent in this area. I always love to see what you've found out and about (or as us Canadians would say OOT and abOOT) on your travels!

  6. Glad you had a great time Adrian. Know exactly what you mean about excitement and sharp images - I don't have a single one of the roe deer myself!

    Just posted some photos of the bog in summer on my dragonflies blog.

  7. You must have a good coat, or you are hot skinned.

  8. Great day out Adrian...some nice photographs as well...the Bullfinch gets a special mention.

    Hope all goes well with the trains Adrian. Steam Trains were my first love in life and I know if they still operated I would be "doing the sheds and works " like I did as a young boy.
    I have always said ."birdwatches are frustrated train spotters"

  9. Great shots Adrian. By eck it looks cold though!

  10. Penny, it's a matter of technique or so I'm told!!
    Helen, thanks to stand any real chance I have to sit in a corner and wait. not the weather for that malarkey.
    Bob, No and No. Damn frozen.
    Trevor not one sharp picture all day. Steam is making a comeback. Am amazed how many lines are running again. Tornado is the first new locomotive to be built in 50 years or so and is back here.
    Angie, it's worse than last week, tis the damp.

  11. I'm not much of a bird spotter but I enjoying reading about your attempts to capture them with your camera. I think I've commented before that only you could make puddles look so lovely!

  12. Pauline, that's one thing we have in common, I'm not much of a bird spotter either. Difficult to say How deep the swamp is for once I didn't fall in.