Black and White Wednesday

We’re off to the roof tops this week. I noticed over the last few weeks a cat walking along the ridge line on the houses behind where I live. I got this shot when the cat decided to sit in the sun. I had only a small window through the trees to capture it. Just after I grab the shot it moved off.

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Thank you for visiting and feedback is always welcome.

George.

Seals, seabirds and other coastal things.

So I’ve been a little quiet on the blog, I’ve been busy moving to my new place to live. So for the first in a month I had a few hours to spare and it being a beautiful autumn day here I took a drive to the County Down coast. A few gentle walks and just parking up in other spots, it was an easy day. Chatted to a couple of other photographers and those just out for a stroll. So a few photos from today, Think the title might give a clue…

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Grey Heron (  Ardea cinerea )

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A Curlew (  Scolopacidae ) I spooked from its resting place.

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Black headed gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) in winter plumage.

 

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In full song a Robin (  Erithacus rubecula )

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A couple of Cormorants ( Phalacrocoracidae )

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Not a 100 percent but I think this is called a Skiff. So if any person knows what they are could you let me know. Check this link

 

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The Grey Seal (  Halichoerus grypus ) and they are not all grey in colour.

 

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Heading back towards Strangford.

Next a few shots of the Little Egret (  Egretta garzetta )

 

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these birds flying in the photo’s are Lapwings (  Vanellinae )

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Peace at last..

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Unless he know’s different..

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Don’t like the look of him..

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So like my flying friend it’s time to go, hope you enjoyed the day out and you will join me another time. Thank you and take care.

George.

 

Ring Necked Pheasant.

Had the pleasure one evening watching a Ring necked Pheasant as it and a couple of hen Pheasants fed while crossing some scrub ground. While the hens kept under cover in the longer grasses the cock remained in the open, like me was keeping watch.

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Here he stands in the warm evening sun light showing off his well tailored suit and face markings.

They make a range of sounds has they communicate with each other, from crowing to beating there wings. Sometimes both at the same time.

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The above sequence of shots show the wing beating without the crowing. Below a couple of photographs from him crowing Pheasant calling

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These Photographs where taken over a half hour period where I used a fence post has a make shift tripod. Shot with a Nikon D7200 and a Sigma 150 – 600 mm Telephoto lens. Processed and cropped in Lightroom. My last shot of the evening was where I caught him crossing a break in the ground cover and the warm light on his back.

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I put the camera down and spent the last ten minutes just enjoying the scene.

Hope you have enjoyed seeing this beautiful bird with me and thank you for visiting.

George.

Two more photo rally points.

For those that don’t know the Photo rally points are, they are from The Irish Photo Rally 2018. Info about the photo rally and a map with the photo points on it are HERE .

So my route for my first photo today take me across Ireland toward the west coast. It’s number 21 on the map and it’s in county Sligo. It was a foggy start to the morning but traffic was light and after 30 mile the sun had broke through. It was going to be warm, my first stop for a coffee and fuel was in Enniskillen . Jacket air vents opened it was southwest to the village of Belcoo

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Lough MaCnean

then Manorhamiton.  A few miles pass Manorhamilton I turn onto the R826 , pass the shore of Lough Gill and on to the town of Drumahair. I followed small single track roads till i was south of Sligo Town. Back roads around to the Beach Bar and follow the coast through Easky where another coffee had my name on it. Continuing on the R297  till i was south of Enniscrone at the Photo rally point ‘ The Black pig’

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The Black Pig.

With the photo taken another motorcyclist arrived and a few minutes chatting about the rally points and where I was going next. Well my next point was number 23 on the map, County Rosscommon . Put the coordinates into the Sat-nav  and set it of winding roads. Love doing this for it takes all the small roads that winds through the country side. I stopped a service area to get a bite to eat and refuel the bike. Sitting outside in the sun this Blacksmiths workshop was across the road.

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I looked the internet and found he is an artist/blacksmith. a link to some of his WORK.

One of my problems while riding is I enjoy it so much, I forget to stop and take photos. I keep saying I will but ….. so not a lot to show on this next leg of my trip. My next point was the Albert Lock.

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The lock on the left with Lough Nanoge in the background. The lough os part of the river Shannon network.Photo rally 2018-3240.jpg

The Lock keeper’s cottage.

A chat with the lock keeper and the chance to see a boat using it it was time for a long ride home. That ride would see me cover another six counties. Near 12 hours on the road that day, it was a tired body that walked into the house.

Thank you for visiting and joining me on my trips.

George.

The Red Fox.

While out visiting the other evening we were seated in the kitchen having a coffee. “Look there’s a Hare in the field” my host said. Sitting in the evening sun was an Irish Hare, I had my camera in the car so I nipped out and got it hoping the Hare would remain in his present spot. Nope he was moving away from me down the field and I watched has he disappeared into the lower lying ground. Left standing at the side of the garage looking at the country side, feeling the warmth of the sun and the sound of the birds I thought ‘ better finish my coffee ‘ when movement caught my eye. Coming from the lower ground where the Hare went into. It’s returning was my first thought but when I looked through the camera it was a Red Fox walking straight towards me.

I stood still close to the garage and got a few shots off.

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These were taken on a Sigma 150 – 600 mm lens and chopped  in editing.

Most animals detect movement rather that detail, so he was getting closer has he stopped to mark his territory every twenty feet or so. Turning to my left he stopped and looked where I was standing.fox-3335.jpg

At this point we were around 25 metres apart and I think he caught my scent. But seeing no threat he continued on.  Crossing some marsh he was now heading away from me, a sound from higher ground made him stop and gave me a chance to get another shot.

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A few moments later he disappeared into some shrub and was gone.

I waited around for a few minutes and the source of the noise he heard showed it’s self.

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It was a hen and cock Ringed-necked Pheasant, I shot these has they walked across the field and up into some wooded land on my right.fox-3372-2.jpg

Here’s a better look at the hen with her duller marking that help her to blend in to her environment while nesting. They can fly in short fast bursts if in danger and give a loud alarm call. They had left my line of vision for a minute or so and I heard the alarm call. Watching the line of the wood another fox came to view. This time crossing my right to left. I got a few shots but this time at a longer distance.

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This was a different fox, it’s markings and the first had a slight limp from its front leg marks them apart. I know the first was a Dog or male fox by the way he marks his  territory but at no time did I see this one do that. Which makes me think it was a vixen (female fox), I was in the open taking these and when it spotted me it stopped briefly and ran off into the lower ground from which the hare gone.

I shot many more photos that shown but just to see them was great. The Red Fox is Ireland’s only wild dog.  Given they were shot for their fur these animals are very shy of humans.

A quick note on camera and lens: Nikon D7200 camera and the Sigma 150 – 600 mm telephoto zoom lens.

Thank you for visiting, I hope you enjoyed the post and feel free to comment, good or bad.

Take care,

George.

On the road again.

On the road again  and another few Irish photo rally photography’s in the bag.

Rally Map link : Irish photo rally map

Set off around 7.30 am on a bright dry but still cool Sunday morning  from my home on the NE side of Ireland in County down.  My first rally point was in county Longford. My satnav tells me its just under 3 hours away. I head west before turning south through County Cavan and into Co. Longford. Number 7 on the map and its an aqueductjust north of the village of Abbeyshrule.

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On the photo rally site they call this the Whitworth Aqueduct but the sign says..

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Maybe its got two names????

Has happens when doing the rally points the locals stop for a chat, wondering why motorcycles are turning up and photographs taken. most welcome the interest in their home area. Then it was down to the town of Athlone where I was meeting some friends for a coffee and a chat. Been a few months since we got together, a few of us will be going over to Wales in the UK for a few days later in the year. Another post.

The next stop was in the county of Kildare, number 9 on the map. Another canal, this time the Grand canal 3km north  from the town of Monasterevin.

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MacCartney’s Lock and bridge over the Grand Canal in County Kildare. I was here I met a local man, 92 years young. A fresh looking man for his years who spent some time telling me about the lock and the near by mill. A story about a canal barge worker that was killed when a barrel of beer fell while unloading, senting the injured man into the canal where he drowned. I love the people i meet while travelling.

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Lock gates holding the water back.  For anyone not sure what a lock is, its where the water level differ due to a difference in land levels. There are gates at each end so if a Canal boat was going for the higher level to the lower, the gates at the lower end were closed and the upper slowly open which lets the lock fill up. The canal boat comes into the lock and the upper gates close. then the lower gates open and the water level drops and the canal boat is now at the lower level and sails out of the lock.

Turning north and my next stop was to stop in the town of Edenderry in Co.Offaly. Time to catch up over another coffee with a couple of friends before doing my last photo for the day.  It was now raining hard, a wet ride a short distance north to the Hill of Down post office in County Meath.

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The hill of Down post office and shop and pub. Has you can see it’s still raining. I only got one photo here and has I was packing up another bike pulled in. So has I was to discover his name was Terry from the town of Ardee in County Louth. We sat talking bikes, motorcycle racing and traveling and the rain just got heavier. Saying goodbye and around 30 miles later the rain stopped. The next few hours was in dry and a fuel stop and a warm coffee, well it was getting cool and i like coffee. With both fuelled it was a relaxing ride north.

Thank you for visiting.

George.

 

Sea mist and sunshine

So at a loose end I grabbed the camera gear and headed for the coast. a lovely spring morning and sunshine. Here in Ireland a day of sun here in spring time is rare, well one without rain. The winds along the Newcastle to Ardglass coast was strong and still cold. Not much wild life around it was a day just to get some air. When I got around to the Strangford Lough side of the coast the wind was a light breeze. So parked up I went for a walk. Sat on some rocks and watched the world drift by. Then a Spaniel dog appeared chasing a ball down the sand. Grabbed the ball and ran back from where  he came from. With great excitement he reappears chasing down the ball. Thought I would move and get some photos. I saw a lady throwing the ball , I loved the action and excitement here. So the first photograph captures this moment.

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It was time to move a little further along the coast, again not much wildlife around. So enjoyed the sunshine and chilled out. Then a Red shank arrived, prodding its bill into the mud in search of food.

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I like the reflections has it entered small pools left by the tide receding, this next shot is a little play on the reflection.

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I chopped in on the reflection and turned it 180 degrees so it looks like its feeding.

The next is common here in this part of Ireland, the Great Black backed Gull. They are the UK and Ireland’s largest gulls, around the size for a goose.

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They have a wing span around 1.7 metres and masters in flight. With the sun dropping lower in the sky and a chill returning in the wind I started for home. A few mile down the road and I spotted some seals basking on the rocks. Yes it was park up time and with camera and tripod I found a spot close to them but far enough away so I wouldn’t disturb them. We have two types of seals in Ireland . The common seal and the grey seal. Here’s a link for anyone who wishes to find out more about them. Seals in Ireland.

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This is the Common Seal.

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And a couple of Grey Seals. Please note its not the colour that gives them there name.

 

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A Gray enjoying the evening sun.

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Here we have Brent Geese feeding along the shallows.

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A dispute about who own’s this section of the dinner plate. With the sun low and even with a coat, scarf and gloves the cold was seeping into my body I packed up the gear and headed for home. I had been out on the coast for over eight hours, when not photographing I love to sit with a scope and watch the interaction in wildlife. think we humans could learn from them.

Thank you for visiting.

George.

 

Irish Photo Rally post no.2

Another Sunday morning and I’m off for another day on the road. Going to do numbers 4,5,6 and 22 on the rally Map but not in that order. With a bright morning it was of to County Armagh and the Benburb Heritage Centre. Link here Benburb centre.

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Not sure if this centre is still open, it was closed the day I was there. Below is a detail built into a wall of some gear wheels at the start of a cycle trail.

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Next up was number 6 on the rally map,  Coolbuck Church of Ireland in the county “Fermanagh/Tyrone” region. This is the smallest church in Ireland that is still used on a weekly bases.

 

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Across the border (UK/ ROI) to number 5 on the map on the county Cavan border.

It was the old  Bawnboy Workhouse, more info here workhouse 

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Cloud cover was building up and I decided to try of one more before the rain started. So we jump to number 22 on the map. Which saw me heading to county Leitrim and my next rally point  Jimmy’s Hall. Has you will see in the photos there is no hall but a monument to the man. His name was James Gralton the only Irish man that was ever deported from his home country. A flim was made about his life and some history can be found here.             about the flim          James Gralton history

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With the weather catching up with me it was time to turn north and the three hour ride home. Got caught in a few rain showers but overall it was a grand day on the road.

Thank you for visiting, take care.

George.

Irish Photo Rally 2018

Hello my friend’s , it’s been a few weeks since my last post. Has I stated a short while back I was unable to walk due to an injury. I had a bit for a relapse so was back out of action. But I’m back on form and out on the roads around Ireland. This years photo rally points are out and I have started to do a few.

Here is a link to the map and site of the Photo rally: Irish Photo rally 2018

There is no order in which these points have to be done, so for my first day out I decided to do number one on the map. This is in County Donegal and was the stone map at Glencolumbkille folk Village. Any Photographs that include my motorcycle are the rally entries.

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Glencolumbkille folk Village, and the beach beside it.

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My second stop  on my trip took me up and across Donegal and into Northern Ireland. I crossed the Sperrin mountains and dropped over to the Glenshane Pass where my next photo point was. Ireland highest Pub/bar. The Ponderosa Bar.

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Even with the sun shining this is not a warm day with temperatures getting to 8 degrees centigrade/ 46 Fahrenheit. So a coffee was in order before my final point for the day. This was a short ride to the town of Portglenone in County Antrim where the Piper and dancer was waiting.

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This was a hard one to get a good shot, with the tree and cars in the background. With the temperatures dropping and rain moving in it was time for the final leg home. My day covered around 260+ mile over some beautiful landscape and with a hot shower plus a bite to eat I had my first three photos for the photo rally.

Thank you for visiting

take care.

George