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

Friday 16 September 2011


I have moved back down to Darlington as it’s the Water Works open day tomorrow. Sunday as well so Water Works open days……………..I need a change and it’s pouring with rain.  So there should be plenty of water for the Works.

I need help. All the gannet pictures I shot of them in flight have fringing………..now why. It’s quite possibly my awful technique but I'm not so sure. I purchased a Sigma 50mm-500mm zoom lens some years ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time and for much of the time it works well even at the 500mm end. I would now buy a prime 300mm given the choice and bang Zuiko teleconverters on it should I need the extra reach. I need a Lottery win the lens is six thousand pounds…………Wow!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     If you can offer polite advise then give it a click. This was shot without IS on.

Back to charming. Shot the same way. I love looking at these Goldfinch. Again they will enlarge.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Two days of Gannet watching and I come back with Goldfinches……….There’s an American Lady who will have something to say about this.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          A fledgling with ………’Problems Down There!’

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA            A juvenile, I hope. The first looks fluffier so I’m going for younger. I’m only confident it’s a Gannet because they seem to accept it………….I bet it’s what those snobby birders thought was a Razorbill…….they are black and white but so are Guillemot……they always remind me of tiny penguins. I’m a little surprised they didn’t send me off in search of an Emperor…………mean people they were……..I should have let Alfie eat their bloody sandwiches.  I’ll get back here in June imagine seeing hundred of fluff balls perched on these tiny ledges. Plus Puffin. It must be a wonderful if smelly experience.  That’s all from two great days. Or nearly all.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA               The nearest I got for you Keith. it’s an arse end view but not particularly helpful. They are the very devil to sort out at this time of the year. Some are growing feathers, others shedding them. I have endless trouble when they look like the ones in the book.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                 I’ll go with the majority.  But am tending to go for a young Yellow Wagtail. A tick for me if it is………….. See!……. I'm learning the lingo.

Perhaps I got off to the wrong start with the trio of experts yesterday. I really thought they were geriatric S.A.S. All dolled up in cammo jackets and trousers.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have shouted….. ‘Eat dirt dogs!…. Incoming!’… I learnt this expression from a war movie, been waiting years to use it.

I had the best place………..I was first. One had the cheek to ask me to move I was in his way. “Excuse me! I know. I’ve been here an hour taking blurry pictures and enjoying myself. I am fully aware of the best spot for out of focus images and if you don’t put your lunch away you won’t have any.”  That told them!

Imagine in the breeding season there will be hundreds of Muppets here. I was thinking of joining the RSPB and to be fair their wardens have always helped me when I’ve shown them snaps from the camera. They are lovely. Why do they allow these folk in the club. I have stopped using hides on their patch. Yes I take the dogs but they are no real bother. They know to lie still. Yes! They do kick off from time to time but there is usually bugger all happening.

Back in my comfort zone tomorrow……………….great big machines. Have a great weekend.


  1. I'm terribly upset by these Muppets you talk about, telling you to move away. They thinks that everything gets in their way. They probably wouldn't to have me on my Tramper (scooter).

  2. Bob, don't worry. I'm used to Anoraks. We, I mean Andrew, Keith and I would help out if you fancy coming up. They have ramps on the new platform but for light it's lunch time on, also it looks as if the railings are a bit high.........e-mail them. You know what you need.

  3. That first shot looks like lots I took yesterday Adrian; except they were Terns. I put it down to poor focusing on my part.

    So good to see all those Goldfinches. Such lovely little birds. I think they've had an exceptional breeding year.

    I'm envious of those Gannet shots; as for the birders, sod 'em. I'm planning on doing a post soon about some of our local ones. Should make me popular, if nothing else lol

    Finally, without a doubt, Yellow Wagtail. Cracking bird.

    Ok, back to my bottle of red :-)

  4. PS. I'm busy trying to work out how to do this. Blogger has decided to decide what I want to post so pictures will not enlarge. Another tiff with Microsoft? grow up kids! Go here for a brilliant mind and a fix. http://englishjavadrinker.blogspot.com/2011/09/fixing-bloggers-mistakes.html
    I'm still trying to understand what Mark says. he's still trying to work out the car! We all have our crosses to carry. Ta Mark.

  5. Cheers Keith, A Lifetime Tick! Thought it might be me. Lets face it we are looking at 3k worth of gear. Trouble is one does have to learn how to use it!

  6. Keith, the intelligent never stop learning. That's what makes intelligent weird.

  7. Oh dear, the intelligentsia are out. I'll just say I love the gannets and be off.

  8. Adrian. First thought, does your lens fall in the list on this page?


    I thought I had a lot of Goldies but that, as they say, is something else.

  9. Hi Adrian...this is my second round at trying to post comments ...Blogger has to get a life or something and leave things alone like click on pictures and that's all screwed up.

    Yes this American women ( stay away from me'ee) a little ADD myself; me thinks you have the worst case going ; } !

    As for the goofed up photo's don't ask me ..I am not that savvy when it comes to all those gadgets...
    yes I know I am not going to be intelligently weird...but I would rather be a little dingy them weird! lol
    Muppet's aka Rude Bird Nerds in US another breed of there own ..stay away ..you might get trompled to death by one of them when some odd bird appears!

    Oh yes why I am here..lovely photo's and interestingly intelligent reading ..lol

    Hope you have a great one

    Grace : }

  10. Pauline, boys and toys. Sorry. Just so many things going wrong.

    John, Thanks but no it doesn't. This lens has been back for a rebuild as it fell into the sea eighteen months ago. It isn't the sharpest lens but works well enough up to sixty yards or so. Goldies everywhere up here. this is the fourth large charm I've seen.

    Grace, Thanks, You can still increase size by pressing CTRL+. I'll have a go at Marks fix later. I'm going train spotting later. that should be fun.

  11. A great read ;) and the third photo was my favorite until I got to the gannets at the end which are just amazing. You've certainly seen a wealth of bird life in that area and thanks for sharing your photos with us.

  12. That is one really impressive flock of Goldfinches. I'm made up when I see more than three together!

  13. I won't bore everyone here to death with details of the fix for the photo issue but I have just added a comment to the blog post ADRIAN mentioned to explain exactly how to go about adding it to your template should you want to fix Blogger. It should now be a case of cut-and-paste some text into your template and pressing save. Hope that helps but ADRIAN if you still are having trouble then drop me an e-mail and I'll try and walk you through things. Given my loathing of spam (the tinned or electronic variety) my e-mail is mark at dcs dot shef dot ac dot uk

  14. ADRIAN, I've just figured out that you don't have to edit the HTML version of your template to include the fix, you can apply it simply by adding a new gadget to your layout following these (hopefully) simply instructions.

  15. That's charming....not you!....the Goldfinch, could you hear them chattering to each other? it must have been deafening!
    Those Gannets are beautiful birds....[;o)

  16. Glo, one of the best couple of days I can remember. My visit to this area did not get off to an auspicious start but it finished wonderfully.

    John, they have done really well this year. I saw a much larger Charm in Smardale so i'm getting a little blasé......Hark at me!

    Mark just in and have done as you said. A bloody genius you are. It works a treat. I dropped it in the side bar. That way if Google come to their senses then I can just out it without having to recall where I put it.
    Not just a locomotive driver are you?
    Many thanks I owe you a favour.

    Trevor this is the fourth Charm I have seen. yes they are a bit vocal. The day before I just caught a flash of red and was hoping these were Linnets......I have never seen a Linnet. I'll have to get out with a sensible birder. Keith was a great help. Once I've seen them in real life ID becomes easier.

    Mark, PS. I've saved your fix to my desktop and to Word. If you don't mind then I'll pass it on with credit to you of course. I did start getting into HTML years ago. Endless fun and it does have a . I had my header diving about all over. with and without wrappers. Cheers.

  17. Adrian wonderful images of your charm..
    Sorry I can't help with the focus problem. My technique with birds in flight is that of a machine gunner. Hold the shutter down and follow the birds best I can and let the camera hopefully do the rest.
    Well done on the lifer by the way and enjoy the water works.

  18. Glad to see the fix worked for you! Feel free to pass it on to anyone else who needs it. Given the number of complaints on the Blogger forum's I'm guessing it won't be long until there is a proper fix but until then I'm hopping this will help as many people as need it.

  19. Mark, you are a star bar!...........Most don't they post any old crap......I post edited crap! Thanks again. It could have been weeks before I noticed. Posting every day i don't tend to look back. A busy and stressful day to day. Another good one though.

  20. One of the problems about coming to your posts after a week out is trying to catch up with everything that's going on. Phew. We don't get Goldfinches on Lewis but I see lots at The Cottage in NZ. I've never managed such superb flock photos though.

  21. Graham, just take your time. It is an enjoyable way of life for me. Not a chore so pop by as and when. It surprised me how these turned out! I love looking at them as I always tended to assume birds kept flapping or glided. The small ones don't they flap a bit then fold their wings in. Amazing what the camera sees.