Sunday, 26 July 2015

A Little Bit of This and That

Those of you who also read the blog of my brother CJ, John, Scriptor Senex will have a reasonable idea of what has been happening in Eagleton over the last few weeks whilst CJ has been here and since Jo arrived earlier in the week.

The Nighthawk has had its brain re-programmed and is now as right as rain and raring to take me and my visitors wherever they may wish to wander. This particular journey was with CJ to Callanish.

CJ and I went to the shore at Barvas accompanied by magnificent skies:

 and whilst CJ searched for pebbles I photographed the surfers

CJ and Jo at the Butt of Lewis with CJ using Jo as a photographer's rest to photograph a gannet

On the way from Ness I was left musing as to what the Council was doing allowing such a plethora of road signs on a main road where the high volume of traffic (note position of tongue when uttering this statement) could cause a pile-up whist drivers' concentration was distracted. 

If anyone thinks that the people of Lewis in general and Ness in particular are staid and unimaginative then think again. However the real reason I included this was so that Spesh would suddenly realise that David had a job to do before this 'summer' is over.

The weather has been such that the young sparrow have been sheltering from the strong cold winds and taking advantage of the stones warmed by the sun at the same time.

 or sheltering in the lee of the garage. It's a hard life arriving in the world to a 'summer' like this.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Feeding The Bairns

One of the things I learned from evidence led in a planning inquiry I was involved in many many moons ago was that the common tern is a highly adaptable bird: disturb its nesting colony and it will just move somewhere else and establish another one. I've lived in Eagleton for 23 years and the terns have rarely flown over my house on the way from the feeding grounds to the nesting site. This year they have been flying non-stop for several months over the house. 

Terns fly very quickly and with a flight that is either extremely graceful (with the wind and with nothing in their beak) or extremely jerkily (against the wind and with a fish in their beak for the young).  Either way they are a difficult bird to photograph when they are in flight. Anyway in between the rain I've managed a few shots:

The distance between the possible breeding sites and the feeding grounds is between one and one and a half miles:

I have no idea how many flights a day each tern flies but several months from 0400 'till 2100 one is talking of a great many miles.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

A Post for Adrian

Adrian likes tractors, HDR and macro photographs of insects.

I like tractors, have been converted to the artistic merits of HDR (used sparingly) and have always enjoyed photographing insects (and just about everything else for that matter).

So here's the old mill and a tractor at the end of the road over the moor from Eagleton: a view I see every time I go into Stornoway:

The tractor appears to have been abandoned but I think it's still alive.

However it probably started life when photography was largely black and white so I thought I'd do an 'artistic' B&W version in Photomatix.

As for the Red Admiral on the Dame's Violet these were taken from 4.5 metres through the kitchen window using a Canon bridge camera at 50X (about 215mm). I'll never be able to compete with Adrian for detail so I just go for opportunity.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Brighter Morn

At 0630 this morning it was pouring very heavily (so CJ tells me). I was up before that but didn't look outside and went back to bed and slept until 0710 when I rose.......to a beautiful sunny morning.

It was a

We went to town and around 1100 there were people actually drinking coffee in the square in the open air! OK so they weren't in open necked shirts and shorts but they were in the open air! That's not a sight you see very often in Stornoway. 

The Marina was full with many yachts from afar including La Puerta from Denmark. The marquee is one of a number in the Lews Castle Grounds for the Hebridean Celtic Festival which is on this weekend.