Wings over water.

The new Weekly Prompt Photo Challenge is Wings.

I thought about swarms of insects but decided that while you can see the insects you can’t see their wings while they’re flying in the swarm.

Then I thought about some of the photos from when I was a member of a small group of birders surveying and recording a winter roost of Gull species on an inland reservoir in south Cheshire, England.

A photo of Black-headed Gulls in winter roosting on Hurleston Reservoir at night. If something disturbs the birds on an edge of the roost they will fly to another side of the roost which is what they’re doing in the photo.

Black-headed Gull winter roost.

Some Best Buys.

The new Weekly Prompt Photo Challenge is Best Buy.

An unusual post for me as I don’t normally talk about camera equipment regarding it as tools used to get the image. I stopped following equipment trends long ago so most of my gear is a decade or more old and now discontinued.

Then I thought of this photo from last winter. It features some of my best buys in camera equipment, all of which is long discontinued.

  • The camera bag is a Tenba P895 purchased in the 1980s. Tenba discontinued the range about 15 years ago.
  • The tripod is a Gitzo G340, the tripod head is an Arca-Swiss B1, both from the 1990s and both now discontinued.
  • The camera is an Olympus E-3 from 2008 so around a decade old at the time the photo was taken and also discontinued.

I should add that since the photo was taken I have swapped out the Tenba bag for a canvas Domke. The reason for the change was two bad shoulders and deciding to try a bag that has a reputation for being easier on the shoulder. So far the Domke does seem easier on the shoulder but I still miss some of the features of the Tenba having used the range for decades.

The photo was taken with an old tablet I sometimes throw in the camera bag. It has an app that shows sun rise/set, moon rise/set times and locations along with a note taking app I use for recording dates and locations for future reference. There’s also an app for calculating long exposure times when using neutral density filters and an app for editing photos. Maybe the tablet should be on the best buy list.

Some best buys.

Dry Stone Fences.

Or rather some dry stone walls and and a barbed wire fence.

The new Weekly Prompt Photo Challenge is Fences.

In some parts of Britain field or property boundaries can be hedges or dry stone walls. This photo taken in the Peak District close to the Cheshire/Derbyshire border. It’s an area between Wildboarclough and Bottom-of-the-Oven. There’s two place names that are hard to forget. A lot of the field boundaries in the area are dry stone walls.

So called because they’re walls of stacked stone put together dry, in other words without mortar. Some of the dry stone walls in Britain are centuries old.

Peak District dry stone walls.

Looking up?

Or giving the photographer a look of disdain?

The new Weekly Prompt Photo Challenge is Up.

The attitude of this male Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) makes me think it’s a look of disdain for the photographer sitting in the portable canvas hide a few feet away.

Normally they’re looking down, watching for a fish in the water or an insect on the ground. It’s possible the bird was watching something in the air that could be a potential meal or a threat.

Male Common Kingfisher.

Junk pile Dunnock.

The Weekly Prompt Photo Challenge is Junk.

This Dunnock (Prunella modularis) was photographed on a junk pile in an old orchard in Cheshire, England.

There was Field Voles living under the junk pile which is why I had a camera pointing at it. This Dunnock was a regular visitor to the junk pile so got its photo taken while I waited for a Vole.

Junk pile Dunnock.

Male Northern Cardinal.

The new Weekly Prompt is Red.

My initial ideas were bird species with red in the common English name until I realised that I had already used quite a few of those in a variety of previous posts. So wanting something different I thought about mammals and insects with red in the name only to realise that I had used some of them in earlier posts.

I then thought about photo of red subjects that didn’t have red in the name. In that case one of the more obvious North American species is the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis).

The common English name derives from Roman Catholic Cardinals who wear red robes. It should be noted that the males are red, females being mostly grayish-brown with a slight reddish tint on the wings, crest and the tail feathers.

Northern Cardinal male feeding.