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 30 November 2010

SCRAMBLE (30/11/10)

We are still in the grip of arctic air, winds from the north-easterly quadrant providing sunshine and snow showers. I am in a better mood as I got into Seahouses yesterday where there is a CO-OP. It was virtually devoid of stock but I purchased the last three packs of Marlboro, four cans of lager, a loaf of bread and fresh milk…….The staples of life!

I could become a consultant for Supermarkets………..All you have to do to shift stock is not fill the shelves but have two yards of shelf with two items on it……In  times of inclement weather, the customers almost come to blows over the last loaf, last milk, last tin of sardines. The populace who remember war rationing are the best customers. In normal times one cannot get near the merchandise for old folk in wheelchairs trying to find a bargain peering through a magnifying glass at the cost per kilo…………..not today grab and defend is their creed. 

Today I decided it was Field Fare day. The farmer left a strip of uncut barley for the birds. So out we went to watch them. There are Pheasant, Rooks, Jackdaw, Gulls, Fieldfare, the odd Robin and several wee brown jobs which are beyond my powers of identification…………….Nothing new in that then!

My long lens is in for repair so I can’t get close up shots for you. Selfish I am. I just love watching them, pecking away, bickering but united as a disparate flock when hard times arrive. Total contrast to the CO-OP and we humans grab it all and then waste it attitude.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   I really hope after all this these are Fieldfare…………..look like Fieldfare to me!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Here’s one on it’s own……………sorry I couldn’t get closer but I was lying in a foot of snow in a hedge bottom to get one this close.

All of a sudden the Jackdaw, Gulls, and Rooks took to the air……….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   As if to defend their smaller brethren………………here it comes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     A Buzzard……..I hope, as always I have doubts it’s tail is not fanned out as they usually are. It’s not a Kite cos they have forked tails……………..I’ll commit myself to Buzzard. Whilst I’m undecided a Honey Buzzard…….I wish!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   They all pile in………….not easy being the best gunslinger in town everyone wants a go at you.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  They do not let up…………………………….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Until he is driven away…………………..How do birds know so much? If it had just landed in the field and wandered through the snow pretending to eat seed I bet it would have caught a Jackdaw.

Back to territory I’m more at home with.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Bamburgh church tower in the sunlight from a long way away…………………………..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   Sunlight on the Inner Farne Lighthouse and the Longstone Light. The last two images shot through a 200mm lens and a 2x teleconverter. Not ideal but better than nothing.

That’s all for today…………….keep warm…We are.


  1. Easier said than done - to keep warm. -10° outside here in the daytime now and even lower at night. Great shots of the birds.

  2. Glad you managed to get some provisions. Hopefully this weather might let up a bit.

    Your big group of birds are Starlings Adrian, but I can't make out what the loner is. Not a Starling, but I'd hazard a rough guess at a pipit of some sort.
    Great action shots of the birds harassing the poor Buzzard. I always feel sorry for them poor buggers when that happens.

  3. Wow! What a fun day! I love all the little birdies and the buzzard! What a fun story. I love watching birds too; they've got their own little social rule set and everything! Way more fun than a crowd of humans for sure!

    We are buried in snow here!!! Over 30cm in the last week. And it's still snowing! But it is a gorgeous -15C so hard to complain! :o)

  4. I think that it was a Meadow Pipit (no.2), or something very close.

  5. Great photos of the buzzard and the attack/defend scenario.

    Yes - starlings they are. It looks like the solitary one could be a Meadow Pipit because the rear claw looks extended more than the other pipits.

  6. Love the aerial combat, must be hard being a buzzard.

  7. Dawntreader, we are close to the sea so temperatures are nothing like as extreme as yours. Still a little chilly though. You be careful and look after yourself and your camera.

    Keith sorry about the Starlings I am a Muppet even I should be able to identify a Starling.

    Krista, good to see you back in the comments. I can watch the birds for hours. Dry cold is fine It's the damp I hate. We are hovering around freezing here.

    Bob thankyou.

    GB, my long lens is in for repair so not only do you have to tolerate my eccentric ID's but a bird as a dot in the frame.

    Pauline, the other birds always mob the raptors, I feel sorry for them.

  8. Glad you're getting dug out, Adrian. Glad too to see you fulfilled your priorities re cig and cans. It's a nice little Coop in Seahouses. You take care too.

  9. Hi Adrian.
    Lying on my stomach in a foot of snow I doubt I would recognize anything...Oh! how my eyes would water. Great shots of the chase ....probably only wanted a small mammal or rabbit. We are clear of snow in St A. but elsewhere it looks pretty grim.

  10. Interesting bird attack; I've seen that drama play out here as well.

  11. The blue sky background of the aerial shots is super, as is the snowy foreground. The light playing on the lighthouse makes for a great shot as well. Love the castle and houses, too. Glad to hear you were able to replenish your larder.

  12. Great set of photos of the aerial action Adrian.

  13. Emma it is a good shop, wish I had walked that way first. I dread to think what the place is like in summer but in winter it is charming. I'm in Stockton now with gas, water, plenty of dog food, plenty of Adrian food and a surfeit of the staples of life. Take care and if you need digging out then phone, there will be people to help.

    Trevor, I have the clothes for it, very few of these birds are going to survive, I feel so helpless. I've spread over two kilos of seed but it's the survivors get it Crows, Pigeon, Partridge and Pheasant. I'm afraid that the wee brown jobs and raptors are in for a hammering.

    Jolynne, it always happens but I've never seen such a concerted effort to drive one off.

    Glo, I was lucky the sun was behind me, It's when one could do with two or three cameras with different focal length lenses and an assistant or two.

    John, I was half a minute too late really but it was good to watch. I've never seen gulls join forces with crows before. The powers should relax regulation and allow farmers to leave still born lambs for Kites and Buzzard.....Okay it upsets the odd Orange Cagoule but better that than the death of these superb birds.

  14. Good result with the Inner Farne. I remember having a 3x convertor in my non digital days.... I think I only used about 5 times as the f rating wasn't good and by the time I put a 70 - 210 zoom on, it was too heavy to sit on a tripod. I think it's still in my toy cupboard at my Mothers house !!!
    Every time I go out to the Farnes by boat, I always seem to stock up on food snacks from this co-op.... no idea why, must think I'm on a long cruise or get marooned on Long Rock if the weather deteriorates. !
    Respect for sticking with this weather up to now.

  15. Jay, I do use a tripod but normally even with long lenses I shoot from a monopod or just make a hump of snow. The Inner Farne was easy. Just wish we had still been on the beach when the light came. Teleconverters are a pain. Zuiko ones more so as they cost a fortune. However I'm only dropping one stop on 2X. Years ago I wouldn't have considered using more than 1.4X. Glass gets better as full frame and half frame dies............Still love a full frame camera for Christmas.............With a digital back.