Saturday, November 2, 2013

Winter is coming and it's sending in storms on an almost constant basis. Pulses of wind and rain have been meeting us on an almost daily basis. As each deep depression whips up the sea hundreds of miles out in the Atlantic and being the first point of contact for these lumps of swell often producing impressive results. This is the North End looking, to me, incredible.

When photographing waves and the sea it is very hard to portray the size unless you have an object in the picture to relate to. These alas don't but take my word for it, they were big. Really big.

The North End of Tresco can be fascinating in a winter storm but for me the best time is when the storm is still out to sea and we have only a slight breeze this 'cleans' the swell up and produces these hollow wonders of nature. I spent quite some time mind surfing theses huge displays of nature's power.
Our Avian highlight this week is this American Robin. Not actually a relation of the more familiar European Robin but a member of the Thrush (or Turdus snigger snigger) race but is so named due to the red breast. There have only been 30 records of this common North American bird on British soil so we were lucky to play host to this little lady.
After the crowds had gone and with a little stealthy and clumsy 'sneaking' I was able to get quite close but the light conditions were terrible and the photos were not as good as I had wished not much use in waiting for another one to come along, could be some time....
Another visitor I bumped into, and one of my favourites was this Black Redstart.
For some strange reason the Spring and Autumn visitors we host seem to prefer the Cricket Pitch and the surrounding area. This female was munching away on a wasp getting her strength back for the continuation of her journey. We often host a small number of these inconspicuous but pretty birds and the flash of red from their tail feathers can be quite eye catching.
Barnacle Geese coming from Northern Russia and Greenland rarely come any further south than Scotland and Ireland for the Winter. This pair must have overshot the mark by quite some way when I found the loitering in one of the fields on Middle Downs. Being six foot four makes it rather challenging to get close to something stood in the middle of the field so when I startled them I was not surprised, but happy they gave me a little flyby before seeking some solitude somewhere else on the Island. Maybe I should disguise myself as a tree next time...
From one of the largest to one of the smallest. With the wind trying to strip any foliage of the shrubs and trees with what seems like an almost indefatigable purpose it is becoming easier to see the little songbirds that usually lurk nearby but hidden.
I love Goldcrests, being hyper energetic and absolutely tiny they are a nightmare to try and photograph but I quite enjoy the challenge. I would not like to admit to the number of blurry shots I had to sift through to find the odd one I am happy with. They are very vocal and often easy to locate, actually seeing one is a different matter. Once you do spot them it is worth spending a minute or two watching them dancing among the shrubbery feeding at an almost frenzied rate. There is something about the expression on their face, the markings on their face makes them look sad. How could you be though with a hairdo like that?
And finally, this is not some exotic visitor from tropical lands but a very lovely looking chicken providing with very lovely eggs from Boro Farm. At the time of writing this there is yet another strong south westerly gale blowing in from the Atlantic we may well get another rare American visitor or two...