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Happy New Year to one and all. Let's hope 2021 sees some sort of return to normal as the weeks and months roll on

Running annually since 2013, this is the 9th photography thread. Thanks to everyone who has participated and made this such a popular and long-running thread. I'm sure we can look forward to lots of great contributions.

Given the restrictions we've been facing for so long now, getting out and about hasn't always been easy or even possible. But, with a bit of good fortune hopefully we'll get opportunities to revisit new and familiar places with greater ease. Certainly I've hardly been beyond my immediate environment during much of last year, so I'm opening this thread with a couple of favourite photos from some years back.

Both were taken in Elie on the Fife coast in Scotland.

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Happy snapping, everyone!

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Frosty Doncaster walk today 1200 noon Doncasters very own Whitewall

Whinlatter Forest walk today - got cut short to about 3 miles - 2/3 distance - due to forestry operations. Went on to Spout Force - a spectacular 60 foot waterfall on a beck where I often used to fish

A glorious spring day today - went for another Loweswater walk - half of it on the normal route along the lake shore, but then doubling back to go straight up the fell and back in a long loop totallin

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Posted

So far this year I have seen Redwing, Fieldfare, Blackcaps, Gold Crest, Greenfinch, and Green Woodpecker in the garden, as well as the usual garden birds.

A Fieldfare standing proud (this one was at Belvide whilst I was out exercising, I walked just over 5 miles carrying 7.5kg of camera and tripod on my shoulder that day ... I need a caddie 😁).

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Posted (edited)

Reflections on the Bridgewater Canal and a theme from "The Birds" on today's daily exercise 

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Edited by Soulandy
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Another local walk with sunbeams and an Owl, albeit, a wood carving. Oh and we have a polar bear in the garden 🙂

 

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Took these on the way back from taking the dogs a walk on Saturday Afternoon. The missus tinkered about and made the last one on her phone, thought it looked quite impressive 👍.

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Posted (edited)

First post from me for this year,s 2021 thread

Female Woodpecker portrait and a Lesser Redpoll

 

 

 

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Edited by Winsford Soul
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Posted (edited)

Chuffed to bits today after managing to photograph a Siskin in the garden. Only the second time in 18 years of living here that i,ve seen one in the garden

 

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Not great photos but two to show how covid is affecting things as folk are finding what's on their doorstep. First photo is from February 2020 pre covid and how the path usually is. The second is from today and shows a mud fest after 1000's of feet over the past nine months or so. I wonder if the grass will ever return.

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Edited by Soulandy
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12 minutes ago, Soulandy said:

Not great photos but two to show how covid is affecting things as folk are finding what's on their doorstep. First photo is from February 2020 pre covid and how the path usually is. The second is from today and shows a mud fest after 1000's of feet over the past nine months or so. I wonder if the grass will ever return.

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Andy.  Looks like a few dick head off road bike tracks there too mate 👍.  Not looking good for the grass though mate. Its the same around Elton reservoir one part of the path is almost knee deep in mud plus the lazy dirty bastard dog owners leaving dog crap or throwing the little black bags into the bushes is a down point. 

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Yes, a few use it to get on the Stratford meadows and you always get dirt bags hanging in the trees unfortunately. I'm usually on the other side where it's not as muddy as only half the number of people use that side but it is good that folk are getting out but if this is happening all over then it's not too good for the river banks and trails. Good and bad together I suppose.

Edited by Soulandy
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13 hours ago, Winsford Soul said:

Looks like a few dick head off road bike tracks there too mate

Maybe a subject for discussion on a new thread but the off road bikes are a real problem on the moor opposite my house, there are signs everywhere saying they are not permitted which always has me wondering where do people draw the line as to where the law doesn't apply to them. Paths are becoming unwalkable in some places. Another factor is unless you know the footpaths it is becoming harder for walkers from out of the area I would imagine to distinguish what is a legitimate path and what is a cycle track  These photos don't really convey the amount of damage actually being done. I have spoken to two local landowners who have both been threatened with violence confronting bikers.

I used to have less of a problem with mountain bikers but on some paths and one in particular that I have walked for the last twenty years which passes through National Trust land because of the nature of the path and restricted area for the path to deviate I can easily see within the next couple of years it being too dangerous to walk. 

  Don't get me wrong I respect peoples right to roam but once water gathers in the tracks left by cyclists or bikers it becomes a slippery slope (no pun intended) to a mud bath and once that happens from what I have witnessed first hand said people move to the left or right and what was once a small footpath becomes a bog to be traversed.

 Footpaths were once just that and no one I guess could have predicted the rise in Mountain biking as a leisure pursuit, I don't see an easy solution to an ever growing problem and can understand to some extent bikers not seeing anything wrong in how they enjoy the countryside but I honestly believe some areas will eventually become impassable even for them. 

  apologies for the rant, 

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45 minutes ago, Twoshoes said:

Maybe a subject for discussion on a new thread but the off road bikes are a real problem on the moor opposite my house, there are signs everywhere saying they are not permitted which always has me wondering where do people draw the line as to where the law doesn't apply to them. Paths are becoming unwalkable in some places. Another factor is unless you know the footpaths it is becoming harder for walkers from out of the area I would imagine to distinguish what is a legitimate path and what is a cycle track  These photos don't really convey the amount of damage actually being done. I have spoken to two local landowners who have both been threatened with violence confronting bikers.

I used to have less of a problem with mountain bikers but on some paths and one in particular that I have walked for the last twenty years which passes through National Trust land because of the nature of the path and restricted area for the path to deviate I can easily see within the next couple of years it being too dangerous to walk. 

  Don't get me wrong I respect peoples right to roam but once water gathers in the tracks left by cyclists or bikers it becomes a slippery slope (no pun intended) to a mud bath and once that happens from what I have witnessed first hand said people move to the left or right and what was once a small footpath becomes a bog to be traversed.

 Footpaths were once just that and no one I guess could have predicted the rise in Mountain biking as a leisure pursuit, I don't see an easy solution to an ever growing problem and can understand to some extent bikers not seeing anything wrong in how they enjoy the countryside but I honestly believe some areas will eventually become impassable even for them. 

  apologies for the rant, 

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It’s become worse with the advent of E bikes , I was on my local moor and two Billy Bunters on e bikes were coming up the hill gassing away , not even pedalling ffs It was a bit of a problem but got bigger with these sort of ‘cyclist ‘ they’ll even get home and put it on Strava lol ,  so they’ve shut it to cyclist , which I think they’ve done right and I go cyclocross and road biking . 

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Window view a couple of minutes ago. Not quite a winter wonderland, but the first snow fall (not that you can really see it in the pic) is always something of a pleasant novelty. No doubt that novelty will quickly wear off and we'll be cursing the weather tomorrow!

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Male Marsh Harrier. There,s more and more of these majestic and still very Rare ( 450 UK breeding pairs ) birds of prey deciding to spend the winter here in the UK instead of flying down to sub- Sahara Africa .

Its a massive privilege to see these birds and even more so to actually manage a photograph  

 

 

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Not a great picture of a female Greater Spotted Woodpecker, it was  taken through the kitchen window but it shows perfectly how the woodpeckers use their what looks a forked tail to help them to hold on to vertical tree branches

 

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These Barn and Short eared Owl pictures where taken just under 12 months ago at Lunt meadow nature reserve on Merseyside, yesterday the river Alt burst through and destroyed approx 20 metres of flood embankment causing massive flooding upto 3 metres deep. The hedge and handrail on the right hand side of the picture eventually goes to the fence and the post where the barn Owl was sat . The trees in the background in the Short eared Owl  picture are the ones that can be seen in the distance of the flooded picture. It will be months before its accessible and  the damage can be assessed properly 

 

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Edited by Winsford Soul
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A walk in the mist at Grune Point near Silloth today...1869205795_DSC00123B.thumb.jpg.3b84415634dcda0b208078745d8ed6ca.jpg634357246_DSC00122B.thumb.jpg.fbcb53d5cc27e2895cf6bab97d468cee.jpg9884671_DSC00118B.thumb.jpg.c8541de51780edb44ec8c338369cebd1.jpg

The other version of the windswept tree - prefer the ground on this one...
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Stoat. . Absolute pleasure to see and photograph one of the  best UK mammals , they are a member of the Mustelidae family along with there smaller  cousins the weasel  and bigger cousins Otters, Polecats , Badgers and illegally released American Mink which are now happily declining  now that Otters are re-establishing themselves 

 

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Edited by Winsford Soul
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1 hour ago, Winsford Soul said:

Stoat. . Absolute pleasure to see and photograph one of the  best UK mammals , they are a member of the Mustelidae family along with there bigger cousin Otters and there smaller cousin  Weasels and Polecats , Badgers and illegally released American Mink which are now happily declining  now that Otters are re-establishing themselves 

 

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We used to have one living in our garden when we were at Bowness-on-Solway. Dx

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Just now, Davenpete said:

We used to have one living in our garden when we were at Bowness-on-Solway. Dx

Wow.  That would have been fantastic Dave. Where you lived at the lodge was a perfect place for them with all those dry stone walls 

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Actually went up a fell today - Binsey Heights - though it was only a 450 foot tiddler. Wonderful views across Bassenthwaite and Skiddaw and north at least 50 miles into Scotland (to the Teviots well beyond Langholm which is more than 45 miles away). Dx410365057_DSC00173B.thumb.jpg.4fa37a38eae7ab2c7531b495dd822db8.jpgDSC00163.thumb.JPG.4fb5fc69cea8451c15b198dfa4b6a0c1.JPG

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6 minutes ago, Winsford Soul said:

Wow.  That would have been fantastic Dave. Where you lived at the lodge was a perfect place for them with all those dry stone walls 

No this was our place at the beach on the Solway. Dx

PS Interestingly given the salty sea air (the wall on the left in this pic is actually the sea wall) we had lots of newts, frogs and toads. We used to get infested with twitchers as the RSPB car park was at the bottom of the garden - we even had some arctic pipit type thing in our garden at one point resulting in dozens of long lenses being poked over the wall. 465962752_HouseBefore.thumb.jpg.6fdfd7be65c7df0496a9919af7aa87a9.jpg

Edited by Davenpete
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Had to share this. A friend of mine Karl took this at a place where I've been visiting for years to see one of these rare birds that is the size of a house sparrow. Unfortunately they are still elusive to me. 

Lesser spotted woodpecker  ( male ) 

 

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Edited by Winsford Soul
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22 minutes ago, Tattoodave said:

Am I right in thinking that's a pair of Merganser?

Looks like Goosander Dave. Merganser is the American name ? 

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20 minutes ago, Tattoodave said:

Am I right in thinking that's a pair of Merganser?

I can't answer that Dave, I'm no expert on birdlife and on the day in question I only had my mobile for the photo, I never learn, I know I've set off out too many thinking should I take the camera and regretted not doing so. I've learnt something again on this thread though, I'd heard of the Goosander but not the Merganser, I'm going to have to pre pack my British Wildlife book and the camera in future though I'm not sure the outcome would be much different.

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28 minutes ago, Winsford Soul said:

Looks like Goosander Dave. Merganser is the American name ? 

Spent years in the states Steve, seen ducks that would make some twitchers very envious.  And just found out why I shall continue to call them Merganser, their scientific name is Mergus merganser, so I feel somewhat justified.

Edited by Tattoodave
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Just now, Tattoodave said:

Spent years in the states Steve, seen ducks that would make some twitchers very envious

I'm envious Dave and I'm not a twitcher mate. 

Sure they are the same bird 

UK.-Goosander . US- Merganser just got different names either side of the Atlantic 

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14 minutes ago, Winsford Soul said:

I'm envious Dave and I'm not a twitcher mate. 

Sure they are the same bird 

UK.-Goosander . US- Merganser just got different names either side of the Atlantic 

Just been going through my photographs and unfortunately I've only got a picture of the male Goosander and not the red headed female 

 

 

 

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Edited by Winsford Soul
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56 minutes ago, Winsford Soul said:

Looks like Goosander Dave. Merganser is the American name ? 

Surely Goosanders and Mergansers are different species? Either way they're an ecological disaster in our rivers - stripping them of fish at and appalling rate - and not really native, the first recorded breeding of a Merganser in Britain was 1906. Dx

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10 minutes ago, Davenpete said:

Surely Goosanders and Mergansers are different species? Either way they're an ecological disaster in our rivers - stripping them of fish at and appalling rate - and not really native, the first recorded breeding of a Merganser in Britain was 1906. Dx

 

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26 minutes ago, Davenpete said:

Surely Goosanders and Mergansers are different species?

Correct. There are two species of merganser in the UK: the red-breasted merganser (Mergus serrator) and the goosander (Mergus merganser).

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55 minutes ago, Amsterdam Russ said:

Correct. There are two species of merganser in the UK: the red-breasted merganser (Mergus serrator) and the goosander (Mergus merganser).

A red breasted Merganser . Which no one mentioned Is a totally different bird than a Merganser or a Goosander.  Dave ( not Tattoodave  ) was saying Merganser and Goosander are different which they are not. Think there is crossed wires somehow 

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27 minutes ago, Winsford Soul said:

A red breasted Merganser . Which no one mentioned Is a totally different bird than a Merganser or a Goosander.  Dave ( not Tattoodave  ) was saying Merganser and Goosander are different which they are not. Think there is crossed wires somehow 

Yes, they're different birds, and I was confirming exactly that to Dave (Davenpete) who stated "Surely goosanders and mergansers are different species?"

However, while the Mergus merganser is known as a merganser in north America, it's a goosander in Europe. Best to stick to its common European name of goosander and all confusion will be avoided. :thumbup:

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Posted (edited)

Talking of Goosanders, there was one on the mersey this morning taking advantage of the lower levels of the river. It was down by about 12ft from a few days ago where the lower paths were completely under water. The canal was just as quiet 

 

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Edited by Soulandy
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6 minutes ago, Amsterdam Russ said:

Yes, they're different birds, and I was confirming exactly that to Dave (Davenpete) who stated "Surely goosanders and mergansers are different species?"

However, while the Mergus merganser is known as a merganser in north America, it's a goosander in Europe. Best to stick to its common European name of goosander and all confusion will be avoided. :thumbup:

Russell.  We can blame Tattoo dave for all this  then 😂😂😂

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