Saturday, 1 March 2014

Garden Birds and a Trip to Sidmouth

I was delighted to get this photo, what a lovely pose from the squirrel. This was during a little trip out along the coastal road from Torbay to Sidmouth. The weather was so nice we just decided to get out in the car and it's a lovely time of year when the weather is good. The car parks aren't full, and some are even free, with the roads being quiet before the tourists arrive.


In Sidmouth we walked along the beach and then the main shopping street, but found this lovely churchyard behind the town in perfect peace and quiet and full of wildlife. 

This is in the grounds of the Parish Church of St Giles and St Nicholas.




As you can see the churchyard is full of trees and if I'd had time I could have sat down and photographed so much more of the wildlife.




Back at home the seagulls are at last coming in to their favourite nesting sites, they are about a month later than last year due to the storms.


As many of you know I'm always disappointed by how few garden birds I get in my garden. Maybe it's because they already have all they need along the coastal path and so are not as hungry or dependent on us humans to feed them. However I was treated to some lovey visitors last week and managed to catch them on camera.


Goldfinches on the niger seed feeder, this is a long way down the garden.


A much better shot of a goldfinch in the early morning sun

A male Blackcap


and a lovely Blue Tit

All these photos were taken on the new camera and I'm really pleased with the results now after my initial problems with it. Seems there are a multitude of automatic settings which were on that I didn't want or need and a few that I needed on but were switched off! I have taken all the automatic settings off and have been getting on much better with it.

I took the dog out for a walk along the marina and caught these lovely birds together on the pontoon. The Black Backed Gulls look almost uneasy to be surrounded by something bigger than themselves.



Pretty colours of the houses on Brixhams hillside


The fishermen have been suffering due to the storms and the official reports are that they have lost about 
£1 million so far, which is a disaster and I imagine life is a real struggle for them and their families at the moment. As you can see there are a lot of boats in the harbour.


To finish off my walk I spotted this little group of Turnstones resting on a small boat

We've had a very busy couple of weeks, hence my delay at writing a post. I managed to get the photos taken, but just had no time to download them or put anything together. Today is the first of March and the weather has been marvellous-just like spring. We managed to sit out in the garden and have a mid-morning cuppa, and I had my sunglasses on! I hope you have all been treated to a spot of nice weather too.

Hello and welcome to some new folks stopping by to leave comments recently and new followers Nath and Lynette. Many thanks for stopping by and taking a look at the blog.

Until next time, take care and enjoy the good weather
SeagullSuzie


20 comments:

  1. I use to live in Sidmouth. Went to the beach most days too. I use to walk through the graveyard to go to the shops and one day in the late 80's I met Joan Hickson, she was playing Miss Marple.
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sidmouth is still lovely-more houses being built, but lovely all the same.

      Delete
  2. The pastel colours of the houses are really lovely and the creatures in the churchyard look like they are really well fed! We have red squirrels and they look tiny and skinny compared to that grey!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they were all looking plump and healthy! How lovely to have red squirrels about, we went to Escot Estate, Devon and they have a red squirrel enclosure, which is massive and not caged in. We got to see the little creatures up close.

      Delete
  3. LOVE those Turnstones- some of my favourite birds. And great shots of the goldfinches and blackcaps. Glad to hear you are getting on well with the new camera. I am pondering investing in one with a bigger lens for bird shots. Hope all's well. CT x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Turnstones are here all year I think and I'm hoping to get some better shots when the weather improves. I was very excited to see the goldfinches and a blackcap (out in my dressing gown and slippers first thing in the morning) and managed to get the camera on them pretty well.
      The trouble with a bigger lens is holding it still enough, so that's why I chose the bridge camera with a 600mm optical zoom lens. However I think the 400mm Nikon lens would give me sharper images (or maybe that's just me and this new camera combined).
      All ok here thanks, just had a crazy few weeks, hopefully things will calm down very soon.

      Delete
  4. Beautiful squirrel shot, they are very photogenic even if they can be a pain!
    I will have to get a niger seed feeder, I've never had goldfinches in the garden and they are such colourful birds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, oh yes get a niger seed feeder and they will come. It's been up for a long time (over a year) and I was finally rewarded with a visit last summer. I can hear them in the trees and they seem to visit almost every morning now depending on the weather.

      Delete
  5. What super photos. We have LOTS of birds to our seed feeders, but all common as muck! Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches and Sparrows. I've never seen a Blackcap, so am envious. Churchyards are real oases for wildlife, and it sounds like the one you visited was no exception. It looks like you are getting to grips with your new camera now anyway.

    Sorry to hear that the fishing fleet has been SO badly affected by the storms. That is a BIG hole in the fishing exchequer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, yes I feel I finally 'sort of' know what I'm doing with the camera! We do get a lot of sparrows and more blue and great tits now. A lot of blackbirds visit and there have been some territorial fights recently....but I just haven't had the time to stop and photograph them and when I did I took terrible photos with the new camera!!
      Our poor Brixham fishermen have had that loss alone in just a month or two, so who knows how much the rest have suffered...all we seem to hear about on the national news is our farmers (and I've got nothing against them at all, I know they have and are having a terrible time too) but I wish they'd look at the fishing industry as well.

      Delete
  6. I love the Grey Squirrel photos and great to see a churchyard good for wildlife and full of wonderful trees :) I love the photo of the different coloured cottages in Brixham. Glad to hear you've had some good garden bird visitors and are enjoying using your new camera :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, yes I feel a bit better with it now. I just need to get out more, but have been so busy and then combined with the weather the opportunities have been few. Still I was delighted with that squirrel, such a poser and is obviously used to lots of people passing by. It was a lovely discovery and I could have sat there for hours.

      Delete
  7. Your new camera is doing a treat with all these lovely photos. A real treat to look at them Suzie. I really do feel for the fishermen who are losing so much because of the bad weather. Fair winds and following seas to them from here on. Your picture of the squirrel was lovely and the birds, I also enjoyed the shot of Brixham from across the harbor as I remember the road we used to climb many a year where we would park our car and then walk down that hill into town.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Denise, Brixham is full of hills and it certainly keeps us fit. So glad you enjoyed the photos, I hope to get more garden birds on camera soon as we have a pair of nesting blackbirds visiting every day.

      Delete
  8. Fabulous squirrel! I love the Blackcap too. Never seen one so I'm very envious. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Em, I was lucky with the squirrel, he just ran across the grass and up onto this branch in front of me-just as well the camera was ready or I would have been very cross with myself!

      Delete
  9. Hello
    Just love the first shot of the squirrel and the old wooden gate. The turnstone photo is great too seems like we are both experimenting with new cameras. Goldfinches are the bully birds on our feeders. !
    Annie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Annie, I really hope to get more wildlife images with this new camera. the turnstones here in Brixham pop up all over the place and I almost missed them resting on the boat.

      Delete
  10. Terrific photos of the Grey Squirrel. I'm glad to hear there's lots of wildlife in the churchyard, too. I love the garden birds; I've yet to see a Blackcap this year so I imagine we haven't had any over winter. The migrants should be back soon. I'm glad you're getting such good results with your new camera.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Wendy, we've had the male and female blackcap in the garden this year, just wish I had more time to stop and watch for them. I know we get a lot of migrants passing over Berry Head and I've seen a Redstart before...which was thrilling.

      Delete

Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment. I read them all. At the moment I'm struggling for time making it difficult to reply individually to each comment, but I'll do my best.