A scruffy Red Fox from week 24.

This was my initial choice for week 24 because it was such a strange encounter. I was down at the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton on Saturday morning. I grabbed the camera I keep in the car just in case there was something interesting.

It was cloudy, the sky was grey as was the water making it hard to tell where one started and the other stopped. Not a lot of bird activity either so I sat on one of the benches around the flagpole at the bottom of High Street. I was fiddling with the strap connectors on the camera when I looked up to see a Red Fox trotting along the Lake Huron shoreline.

It stopped briefly for a drink before carrying on towards me. It trotted past me at which point I stopped taking photos and just watched it. It turned around and started coming towards me again, climbing up on the boulders that protect the flagpole. I then made a huge mistake and stood up to get a better viewpoint. The Red Fox didn’t like that, turned around and disappeared into vegetation to the north of the flagpole.

At that point I forgot about it and started photographing two Ring-billed Gulls that had landed on a boulder. After getting plenty of photos of the Gulls I had gone back to watching for interesting birds when I heard people behind me exclaim about a Fox. It had looped around behind me and was heading back down the beach in the direction it had come from.

Trotting Red Fox.

Bodies at rest/bodies in motion.

This week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge is Bodies at rest/Bodies in motion.

My first thought was a flock of birds taking flight. That should be easy as I have lots of flocks of birds in my files. Well it didn’t quite work out as easy as I thought it would be. For example, every photo of Snow Geese taking flight I checked has all the birds in motion. I checked some of the wader (shorebirds) species I have on file. Most of those photos either had all the birds at rest or all the birds in motion.

Then I remembered some of the photos from when I was part of a small group surveying and recording an inland Gull roost on Hurleston Reservoir in south Cheshire. The photo below shows a section of the Black-headed Gulls moving to a different part of the reservoir with other birds staying in place on the water.

Black-headed Gull roost in winter.

Week 24. Sunday brunch.

I had selected a photo for week 24 on Saturday evening. That pick changed on Sunday morning and changed again in the afternoon.

I set a camera up in the yard Sunday morning but as my target bird species haven’t been cooperating I set up my ground pod to target the Squirrels, Chipmunks and whatever bird species decided to feed on the ground.

A portrait of an American Red Squirrel eating its Sunday brunch. The ground pod allowed me to get down to eye level with the Squirrel. I had to lift the ground pod up a couple of inches as my initial set up resulted in most of the subjects being hidden by the grass.

American Red Squirrel feeding.

A week 23 visitor.

Sunday afternoon of week 23 saw me in the yard trying to get some shots of the various Woodpeckers and Nuthatches we have around at the moment. The birds weren’t cooperating and I was considering swapping the tripod for my ground pod.

Getting down to ground level would allow the Squirrels and Chipmunks to be as uncooperative as the birds. However, before I had chance to annoy the resident rodents a visitor wandered into the yard.

The Raccoon wasn’t sure about sharing the yard with a photographer and retreated a couple of times. I used my normal technique for those circumstances and avoided eye contact and ignored the Raccoon until it was comfortable with me being there.

Racoon or Raccoon?

Scrambling or Moto X?

It’s Throwback Thursday and as the photo was taken in the late 1970s is was called Scrambling, not Moto X in those days.

It’s also a throwback in other ways. Note the protective gear the rider is wearing, boots, gloves, helmet, goggles and face guard. Compare that to all the body armour worn by Moto X competitors these days.

Another throwback is the camera technology. Film of course but in those days manual focus and manual exposure. A rare colour image as I shot mostly black and white for the local newspaper.

Moto X