A couple of days ago Mary http://www.faithfabricandphotos.blogspot.com/ tagged me for a meme on my five greatest joys in nature. Thanks Mary for thinking of me to carry on this meme. I have found it both very easy and quite difficult to do. Easy to think what gives me joy but difficult to keep my photos down to a reasonable level! I don't think I've succeeded very well in keeping the photos down, but anyway, here we go.....
Birds - I guess I'm first and foremost a birder at heart. Birds and birding have been an enormous part of my life for the last 10 years. I'd always been vaguely interested in nature, but it wasn't until I joined the Bristol Ornithological Club back in 1998 that things really took off for me. Since then I've been to various parts of the world and round most of Britain purely to go birding. Here are some of the birds that I've had the pleasure to watch and photograph.
A Winter Wren at my local nature reserve. This White-billed Diver turned up in Cornwall back in the winter of 2007. A beautiful bird. We had an influx of these Bohemian Waxwings in this country back in the winter of 04/05. A real treat. This Desert Wheatear was blown off course and landed in the east of England. Luckily I was already over in that part of the country birding with friends. This gorgeous male Reed Bunting was completely oblivious to my presence I'm glad to say. I had a great day on the island of Skomer off the coast of Wales a few summers ago. These Puffins are a speciality bird there.I've been lucky enough to take some great trips abroad. One was to Australia with some friends a few years back. This Laughing Kookaburra was very obliging. A stunning bird! Sydney botanical gardens was a great place to photograph birds and this Sulphur-crested Cockatoo posed nicely. Another great trip was to California. We took a boat trip out to Santa Cruz Island, particularly to see this Island Scrub Jay. Butterflies and Bugs - Butterflies and bugs come at a great time in the year as summer isn't the best time for birding! (-: I've particularly enjoyed photographing these creatures since I got my digital SLR camera.
Beasts - Most of the animals that I've been able to watch and photograph have been those abroad. This Sea Otter in California was very close in and seemed happy for us to be clicking away while it snacked on crabs. This Hare was in a field up near my Mums home in the Cotswold Hills. They had disappeared up there for a number of years, but seem to be making a come back just recently. This cute seal pup was too hard to resist on a trip to Norfolk last year. Back abroad again and Australia provided a feast of beasties. This monitor lizard was about 5-6 feet long. Fierce looking claws! This Spiney Echinda was shy at first, but eventually showed itself before scuttling back into the dry brush of SW Tasmania.I was amazed at my first sighting of these large Fruit Bats, specially in flight! Seasons - Spring - These Beechwoods are alive with the song of Wood Warblers, Pied Flycatchers and Redstarts at this time of year. Magical!There's nothing like a Bluebell wood in England in May. One of my favourite spring sights.Summer is probably my least favourite season. There is still plenty to enjoy though.I love Autumn! The colours....I had some magical foggy days this autumn at my local nature reserve in Frome. The muffled sounds and the dew on the millions of spiders webs was unforgettable.It's always a special time of year when natures harvest is fully ripened.I love winters when its a cold crisp blue sky day and the low winter sun brings a special glow to the countryside. In England that doesn't happen that often so you have to enjoy them when you can! (-:
Friendship - The last of my five greatest joys in nature is having the friendship of like minded people to share these experiences with. I was very lucky when I joined the Bristol club in that I made some fantastic friends whose enthusiasm matches my own. Without these friends I would not have had most of the special moments shown above that I've enjoyed over the last 10 years.
This is Jane, Lyn and Maggie who have joined me in trips to Australia and America.This is Jane, Maggie and me on a pelagic trip out from the Scilly Isles. We were out for 6 hours following fishing boats to see Shearwaters, Storm Petrels and other seabirds. The poor boy lying down in the background of this photo was sea sick after just 20 minutes. Probably not one of his best birding moments!This is Ruth, Paul and Marcus on a birding trip to California. We were waiting for the Island Scrub Jay to turn up.On the same California trip, this is Pete (with bins up), Ruth and Paul on a whale watching trip for Grey Whales.This is Bob and Betsy from Iowa. I've made some great friends in America through birding. Here we are up in Minnesota near Silver Bay on Lake Superior. A fantastic area.Since I've been doing this blog, I've made some great blogging friends too. Particularly Evie, Mary and Christine in America and Roy in Britain and Alan and Duncan in Australia. Nature blogging really does bring like minded people from all over the world together and I'm very VERY thankful for that! I hope to make many more friends through this blog. Sorry that this has turned into such a marathon! I'm done now! (-: