Friday, 20 November 2020

Farmoor Friday Walk 20th November 2020

It was my bi-weekly wander around the reservoir today with Amanda and Dave on another gloomy morning that granted us a two hour window of opportunity before it commenced raining - again!

The three Greater Scaup were in their usual place just off the causeway and really there is not much more to say about them. I did however stop to watch the first winter female as it preened on the water, admiring it throwing shapes as it did so, spinning right round in a tight circle on its own axis, as it stretched a wing across the water, extending a huge paddle foot like a flag.

Yes the images are not your standard side on perfection but I just love taking images that otherwise go unrecorded or are discarded as unsuitable. Invariably images such as these fascinate me, where the bird is actually doing something and I manage to capture a grace of movement that otherwise would go unnoticed and unappreciated. It is impossible for it to be otherwise when the subject has no self consciousness and is behaving entirely naturally.

I find a satisfying fulfilment in the facility to record via my camera that moment when the subject does something other than pose in that 'coffee table' moment.

Watching the young scaup waving its huge foot around minded me of a poem by the English poet Stevie Smith  entitled 'Not Waving but Drowning.'where she describes a man drowning and whose frantic gestures for help were mistaken for waving by onlookers. I know. Cheer up you say but being Scots I am prone to melancholy and a degree of black humour.

A walk to Pinkhill found the male Common Kestrel and the stonechats in their usual places and the colder weather has certainly brought in many more Redwings and the occasional Fieldfare to feed on the hawthorn berries.

Male Common Kestrel

Female European Stonechat

Not much to write about today but it was so nice to be in the open air and out of the house with pleasant company, and for a few hours forget about the world's troubles and woes. Well almost!