Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Berry Head Walk and in a Panic

We'll start with the good stuff, a lovely evening walk with hubby to Berry Head along the South West Coastal Path.

White Rock-rose a nationally rare species which thrives on the slopes at Berry Head

A Robin chick...oh so cute...everybody say ah!

Butterflies Galore.....

A female Orange Tip I think, as you can just about see the colourful underside.

Small Copper


A Wall Brown

The Meadow looking beautiful. Learning more about the camera I have changed the setting to get a better depth of field on these next shots.

Plants on the cliff edge

Hubby spotted The Fairmile returning from a trip to Dartmouth and Slapton Sands

The wonderful capabilities of the zoom, same boat (yes the little dot above the rocks) in the photo below, just zoomed out to wide angle to get a scenic image.

Kayaking  a perfect day for it

The start of Berry Head from the edge of the coastal path. It was about 5.30pm and hardly anyone was there. A rare opportunity to get a photo without people and dogs.

Fishing boat coming around Berry Head, way in the distance

This little butterfly just caught my eye in the grass as we walked along. A Common Blue I think.

Large area of wild grass on Berry Head again, no people in the shot hurrah!

A first try at the panorama mode with Torquay in the distance

The same fishing boat, now coming into Torbay and the gulls are still following

The very end of Berry Head and the lighthouse building...look at that blue sky!

 Another panorama

A lovely bright boat coming around Berry Head just before we returned home

Hope you all enjoyed the walk. Now for the reason I'm in a panic. We have sold our house and have been busy looking for a new place to live in the local area. We can't find anywhere we like. We can't find anyone who will rent to us because we have four cats.......there you see why I'm in a panic, can't sleep, feel sick?

I'm genuinely sorry for not keeping up with my posts and especially for just not having the time to look at your posts and comment at the moment. It's hectic, so I might be a little quiet in blog land over the next few weeks.

Whilst I'm on the subject of stressful things I note with a heavy heart that bird issues are in the news at the moment. The go ahead to cull gulls at the Ribble Estuary makes me sad. Natural England has made a case for allowing the destruction of some birds nests and eggs (robins, pied wagtails and starlings). Along with the badger culls, I hold my head in shame as a member of the human race!

Until next time
Take care all

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Last Days of April in Warm Sunshine

April flew by and now it's already May 11th. I don't know where the time is going, or what exactly I'm spending my time doing, maybe it's an age thing!

I went for a walk along the coastal path at the end of April as the weather was beautifully warm and still and I knew I'd have a chance of catching some butterflies on camera.

This lovely Robin stopped and posed for me then ran along the fence as I walked alongside. The Panasonic Lumix doing a great job here.

A Speckled Wood

I managed to capture these butterflies along the paths. Sadly I just couldn't get a photo of the many Orange Tips that were fluttering about all around me.

Small Tortoiseshell

A Small White

I think the butterflies below are Small Blues, rather than the Holly Blue, as they were tiny....but you'll have to let me know. I'm afraid they were rather busy when I caught them on camera!

Another little creature who was inching along dangerously on the bare path, just waiting to be trampled on by the many feet and paws of visitors to the area.

Is this an Oak Eggar or a Drinker or neither? I need your expert help as always.

A Greenfinch perched on top of the flowering stems of the hedgerow

A bee feeding with a great blue sea behind

One of the lovely meadows, where people are not allowed to trample about in. This one is the favourite hunting grounds of our buzzards.

I love this patch of daisy like flowers clinging onto the cliffs. They are not small, so I was thinking they must be Sea Mayweed.

After finding a moth to photograph, I took a quick tour around the garden with the Nikon and macro lens to see what else was about. 

I have looked in my Collins Guide but cannot ID this one as there are a number of moths that look very I need a little help from my moth bloggers.

Bellis Perennis up close

A few bees foraging

I never noticed before, how delicate and papery the seeds were on this plantain.

Plenty of these spiders in the flower beds, they seem to love being in the sun and run about on the big leaves of the Japanese Anemone.

For all of you who like butterflies, Butterfly Conservation have a great website here's the link to the latest news and their blog. It's a nice easy to navigate and colourful website.

Last weekend we went off to see the Rolling Clones at the Square and Compass near Ilminster. The band are excellent and so entertaining, so if they are playing at a venue near you, I would wholeheartedly recommend you go. We smiled and laughed and sang along the whole night.

Wishing you all a safe and happy week ahead
Until next time

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Camera Speed Settings Test

A walk along the South West Coastal Path with the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ72. I hope this post highlights its capabilities as a very useful bridge camera, perfect for blogging images and just a great all rounder. I can't say I love it as much as my Nikon, but then it's a completely different camera, so it's not a fair comparison.

A lovely Comma to start with and I had only just got onto the path.

A Bloody-nosed Beetle

So called because when in danger it produces a drop of red liquid from its mouth, which is a visual deterrent and foul tasting. These beetles cannot fly and so I often see them on the coastal path.

Fulmar flying across a glistening sea
Shutter priority f5.4 1/640
More nest squabbling from the almost hidden Fulmars, taken through more plants and shrubs that protect the cliffs.

Guillemots in the sea below the cliffs. This is a long way down and on full zoom, but I love how clear the water is and how you can see their feet. Berry Head has a large colony of Guillemots and a hide to watch them from.

A Cormorant preparing to take off
shutter priority 927mm focal length
Up up and away

A fairly good shot in sports mode of a Herring Gull
1/500 F5.6 ISO 125 Sports
Another Fulmar
1/500 f5.6 ISO 320 Sports
And another one using shutter priority
1/640 f5.5 ISO 320 Shutter Priority
As you can probably see I don't think there's much in it between shutter priority and sports mode using the Lumix, as they both produced reasonable images at zoom. Combined with my limited abilities with the camera I would probably go with sports mode when out on a walk because there is so much to photograph and you need to be able to change quickly between the multiple modes offered.

The one I don't like is IA intelligent auto, and much prefer P mode where I can make slight adjustments to exposure, depth of field etc and I'm still working on that, it drives me mad when I get it wrong!

The zoom is quite amazing for such a small and light camera. As shown by the images of guillemots, the cormorant, and the fulmars nesting. Even though the quality drops slightly at least I am able to capture the image from a huge distance.

Mike Langman did a sea watch at Berry Head on Wednesday 23rd April and this is what he recorded
Seawatch 0615-0745hrs: 1 Great Skua, 2 Puffin, 53 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Sandwich Tern, 61 Kittiwake, 400+ Guillemots (heading toward colony) but also good number of Razorbills 47, 1 Yellow Wagtail & 3 Swallows

I'm updating the Seagull Sagas page now and already had my first death of the really is too early for all this heartache.

I hope you all have a great bank holiday weekend. Torbay is busy with activities this year and in Brixham we have the Pirate Festival, which I will be popping along to at some point. 

In Paignton it's the BMAD Bike Festival. Last year alone these wonderful people raised over £31,000 for charities, take a look at their great website for more information on how BMAD started and what they do.

On Monday we have one of the most beautiful Tall Ships arriving in Brixham. She's called the Stavros S Niarchos. 

From the Falmouth Packet News-interesting facts - she carries enough fuel to drive a small car around the world ten times and has 50 times more computer power than the Apollo 10 space craft. She is also air conditioned and heated for worldwide operations and has her own water making plant. Her rigging is made up of almost nine miles of wire and rope.

If the weather is good I shall be off to photograph her arrival.
Happy Holidays