Garden birds.

So after my short problem walking I’m back to form. Earlier this week while being a little fitter to move I shot some birds in the garden. With a few feeders near by it was a matter of waiting to see where their waiting perch was. So installing myself in a large bush close by I settled in. Giving the birds some time to get used to me there, soon they ignored me. Shooting with a Nikon D7200 ans Sigma 150-600 mm lens on a mono-pod I could get some close up shots.

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So first up is a Robin which is a ground feeder and gets the seed and nuts that others drop from the feeders. They are happy around humans and come close. While working in the garden they will perch on tools waiting for you to turn up insects or grubs. Flying down around your feet for a free meal.

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Here we have the House Sparrow with some hair from the ponies in the field beside me. The lining for a nest somewhere close by. Known to nest in some of the out buildings. Below are a few more different poses of them.

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The marking  above the eye on this Sparrow shows its still a juvenile.

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Another Robin.

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This one is a Coal Tit, look closely and see a nut being felled between his feet. They hold it there while they peck at it.

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I could not get a shot of the smallest of the Tit family away from the feeder. So had to settle of this one of the Blue Tit.

Time for a coffee, I hope you enjoyed your time watching a few garden birds.

Thank you for visiting,

Take care.

George

A short drive.

I’ve not posted for a couple of weeks due to a slight injury. I’m back driving but still limited in my walking. So with the sun shining and being house bound for a while I grabbed the camera and went along the coast for a short drive. Not many shots but still a beautiful day with bright sunshine and a cold wind. A couple of shots were taken taken from leaning on the open door for support and the rest seated in the car.

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This first is of the common Buzzard with a crow heading his way to chase him off.

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this was shot from the car park at Cloughy rocks. These rocks become small islands when the tide is out and today there was a lot of seals around. These two where on the closest one. We have two type of seals common here in Ireland. These are Grey seals pictured and the other the Common or Harbour seal.

 

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This little Robin sat posing in the sun a few feet from where I was parked, he kept returning so here he is. They have a great voice and if you whistle back you will soon have a duet going.

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This last one is looking across the bay to Killard Point Nature reserve. Killard point

From here the coast turns into the sun so following it around to the village of Clough. I turned north and the road home.

Thank you for visiting.

George

Killough harbour.

This week has been a busy one plus the weather should be turning towards spring. With snow still falling in places and heavy rain and winds hitting others, its still winter. So with an hour to spare and a chance of fresh air I went to Killough on the county Down coast here in the northeast of Ireland. With grey sky’s and dull light on the land, landscape shots were out.

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With the tide on the rise this forgotten boat and the colour on the harbour wall caught my attention.

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With it’s moorings long gone and just the remains left I decided this would be in monochrome.

My next three where taken with a 600mm lens with a fence post used has a tripod.

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Shot from around 100 metres and chopped  with very little post processing. I could spend all day shooting gulls in flight. I you every watch a master working in their craft, then gulls are the masters for flight using the medium of air to paint their path.

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The colour’s nature has painted over time and the textures left by the stone masons tools has they shaped the blocks for the harbour wall. The worn steps reshaped with cement, the rusted and coloured metal handrail. It was all this texture and colour that pulled my eye to this shot.

Thank you for visiting, feel free to comment.

Take care,

George

Wagtail’s and sepia tones

With the sun shining and a light breeze I shouldered the camera bag, grabbed a tripod. Car locked and my first chat was with a man and his dog. Some local information is always welcome. I sit here listening to the wind and heavy rain beat it’s tune on the window. I took the following photos last weekend, what a difference this weekend.

First up are a few photograph’s of the Pied wagtail, these were taken while out for a walk along the coast.

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I always hope to get some shots of seals that bask along the shore, but so far no luck. With the tide in I knew they would be out from shore. This one was around 100 metres from shore.

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I got a few head shots but loved the light catching his whisker’s in this one. We have two  type of seal’s around our coast. The grey seal and the common seal with this being the Common seal.

My last one is off the small lighthouses that mark the entrance to Strangford lough on the east coast of Northern Ireland. I gave it an old time look when editing it in Silver Efex Pro. Let me know what you think.

 

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Thank you for visiting.

Take care,

George.

 

First sunset 2018

Still cold here with a wind that would cut through you. But it was dry and the sun was out. So took a half hour drive over to the coast on the County Down. With the tide and wind sculpting the sand around the rocks I got these before a rain shower blew in.

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After this was shot the rain started and I watched the first day of the year get overtaken by the dark.

Thank you for visiting,

George

 

A mixed bag.

Went to bed Thursday night and the fields were green, woke Friday and the place is white. First snow of the year and it was evening before I could get time to head out of a walk around the local roads. There’s not a lot of great shots around here with it being just grazing and most of the old buildings pulled down and new homes replacing them. The one weekend it would have been great to be free I’m busy, snow just won’t last more that a few days here. Anyway back to a few photo’s.

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Beside these trees there was a lovely old ruin, a home from over around 200 years ago with a little history.

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Scroll down the page in the above link to read the story of this spot.

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Not much traffic here.

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Above details and textures.

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Winter sun.

These next Photos I caught at the last minute and were shot to be silhouettes has I metered off the black bird with spot metering against the bright sky.

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This next shot is not something I do often but I enjoyed creating this. It was taken down by one of the many small lough’s we have around here.

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And we have some visitors here at the moment, Redwing’s migrate here for the winter along with the Fieldfare both members of the Thrush family.

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Above this is the Fieldfare.

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The Redwing is the one in the foreground.

The next set of Redwing photo’s see the bird spit out a Hawthorn seed from the berries they were feeding on.

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Did not know till I process these photo’s I had caught this, all the bird shots where taken with a 600mm and chopped in production. One more to go.

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In this photo we have three Fieldfare’s and one Starling, So spot the odd one out.

Thank you for visiting and take care.

George.

Beech trees and barely straw.

Was visiting in the country side and running along the lane way to the house is a fine stand of trees. With the weather grand and camera in hand off I went. So here are a couple of shots from my stroll along the wood.ray 1.JPG

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So thank you for visiting and feel to comment. Like or dislike let me know.

Have a good day.

Where’s my tent, I’m away

So work was boring and I needed to get away on the  motorcycle. Great for clearing the head. So after work Friday and the bike loaded I head for County Galway. Clifden to be correct. Leaving Belfast at 11.30 am I made it to Clifden camping site around 7.20 pm. Finding a peaceful corner on the site was hard but given that most people don’t want to be to far from the restroom, I headed to the farthest corner and home for the night.

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The ground was a little soft from the rain but peace was found. a shower and into town for a meal. The town was busy and finding a table in the town was proving harder that finding a peaceful corner on the camp site. O’Mally’s restaurant had a table and I count myself lucky. A minute later there was seven people standing looking tables. With a grand meal and a pint of beer at the bar after it was time to face the walk up hill back to the tent. With a slight dampness in the warm night air the Irish midge was out in force. These little flies are so small but I think they are just a set of teeth with wings the way they bite.

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Clifden nested in the valley with the Twelve Ben’s/Pin’s standing guard in the background.

Saturday saw me packed up and leaving for a ride north up the around the County Mayo coast but first I ride out the Sky road loop.

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Has you can see it was a grey overcast start, this photo was taken just after 9am and a warm breeze pushing in the cloud. Back through Clifden and out the Westport road towards Mayo county.With the roads starting to get busy with tourist following the  Wild Atlantic way  .  A few miles out the road and  I follow the Connemara loop at Letterflack back onto the N59. After passing through Leenane its left onto the R335 and I’m into county Mayo .

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With my feet in mayo and my camera pointing at Leenane in Galway it sits in shadow has the rising sun lights the hills behind. Any one that drives the roads around the west of Ireland can tell you about sheep, they sleep, feed and rest on the road sides. A danger to cars but deadly to motorcyclist, but so far I have never had a problem with them till today. A young sheep decided to cross the road just has I was passing, well lets just say it was close and thankfully there was no on coming traffic. While taking a photo, one of it’s kind was a few feet away watching. Meet one of county Mayo’s  many sheep.

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So on up through Newport and around to the town of Mallaranny and out onto the Corraun Peninsula.  Just off the coast of the peninsula are two islands.

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The larger one in the background is Clare Island and the one in the foreground is Achillbeg island.

So at this point I changed my SD card, and here my photographs have to end. I could not access the card due to an error.

A quick note on the rest off the trip. I continued north through Mayo up to Bangor before turning north-west to Belmullet. Turning east on the R314 across the northern coast around to the town of Ballina. Across into county Sligo and stopping at the Beach Hut Bar and campsite for the night. This morning it was across Sligo and up into Northern Ireland and a three hour ride home. Clean and sort my gear, dry and pack the tent and then discover my faulty SD card.

Thank you for joining me on this weekend trip, a total of 653 miles. Lets do it again soon.

George

 

 

Seaside photo’s

A breezy and over cast day but a warm wind kept any chill at bay. This first photo is at the start of Strangford Lough at a place called Kilclief. I am here trying out new filters.

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The small light marker is one of two at the mouth of the lough. Played around with setting here to see what I could product. This shot was converted to B&W and processed with’s Silver Efex Pro.Then it was a few more miles around the coast to St. John’s lighthouse. Here the wind was full on has it came around the headland.

 

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Again a long exposure smoothed the water and clouds, again finished in Silver Efex Pro.

Then on the way home following the coast I spotted wind surfers out on the water, no filters on here. Using a 70 – 300mm lens on the Nikon D7200 I got this next shot hand held.

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Across the bay you can see part of the Mourne mountains with Newcastle town at the base. Sunlight was throwing shafts of light through the clouds onto the water just off shore and the wind surfers zipping across the water in the strong winds. There its time for me to leave the coast and head inland home.

Thank you for visiting.

Irish photo Rally 2017

A beautiful morning greeted me on awaking, sun lighting up the bedroom and birds singing. Shower and dressed I was ready for the road. Open vents in my jacket and sort light weight gloves, fire up the bike and I’m off. Four mile up the road and I’m riding in thick fog, forty miles later and I’m still in it. My first point today is on the north coast of Ireland, its number 2 on the rally map . Portstewart harbour and the Jimmy Kennedy memorial. The Fishing boat.

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Has you can see it was a gray day here, in fact its rain lightly. Jimmy kennedy was a song writer born in Northern Ireland, wrote songs sung by Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and other great singers. Jimmy Kennedy There’s an art gallery and cafe across the road so a cup of coffee and its time to go. Head across the north coast towards the east coast and follow it south. A short ride over to Portrush take me along part of the North West 200 road race. The track is along public roads which they close while the motorcycle races are taking place. Speeds in access of 200 mph / 321kph are hit on parts of the circuit. Heres a link to a You Tube clip of the racing. NW 200 .

Leaving Portrush for the coast road running down the east side of the country the rain is falling but the sky is clear ahead.  The first town I come to is Bushmills. For any whisky drinkers out there this is where the famous Bushmills whisky is distilled. Bushmills . Okay for those that opened the link, I thought you might enjoy the it. Turning left in the centre of town and continue along the coastal route. Today I give the town of Dunseverick a miss and turn off for Ballintoy harbour.  Down pass the small white church and follow the narrow winding road down to the harbour.

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Just before you turn down into harbour you pass ‘Bendhu’, this house was built by a artist from Cornwall in the south of England. Another link Bendhu . Please visit this link to see and learn about this piece of art.

A coffee and a chat with a couple from Hungary touring on a motorcycle and its time to continue south. Has you climb out of Ballintoy village you pass the Carrick-na-reed rope bridge.

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The next town on route it Ballycastle. Every year they have Irelands oldest fair here in August, The Auld Lammas Fair is held over two days. Six miles off the coast is the island of Rathlin. A beautiful island where you can walk on roads and never see any traffic. There are three lighthouses on the island with one being a bird sanctuary where  sea bird come to breed every year.  Getting across is on a small ferry, foot passage only.

Out of town and I go down a small road that splits the golf course in two, and pull over to look across at Rathlin and the Scottish hills. Rarhlin was just showing through the sea mist and Scotland could not be seen.

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This is Ballycastle beach looking back towards the town. Has the photo shows it was still cloudy but warm and dry. The hills in the background is north and the road I traveled down follows them. South and I take the Tor head road that hugs the rugged coast with fantastic views across the Irish sea into Scotland. will there would be if this sea mist clears. Next stop is Murlough, a viewing point with great sea views.

 

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This shot see’s the mist clearing and the sun has dropped in to say hello. That is one of Rathlin Islands lighthouse’s in the mid ground and Scotland in the background. Scotland is only 13 mile across from Ireland at this point. From here its follow the road around around to Cushendun where there is a grand little tea room beside the harbour. No luck this time for it is full so needing fuel I head on to Cushendall. While stopped for fuel my sister and hubby stopped. Never know who you meet…. great to see them. My next point is inland a few miles from Ballygally, another small seaside town. This time its up into the hills and another view point and my rally point. A plaque To Judge Richard Campbell (1870-1935) link It was non stop down the coast road to Larne. If you ride a motorcycle this ranks has one of the great motorcyclist road in the world. Sandwiched between rock face and just a stone wall with the sea lapping on the other side it makes some riders nervous and others love the thrill of riding this fast.  From Larne I follow the coast around through Carrickfergus. There is a Norman castle here worth a visit if you happen to be passing this way. Castle.

From Carrick has we call it here in the north it was onto Belfast and Stop for a coffee. From Belfast it over to Comber on the shore of Strangford lough and follow the lough shore around to Mahee Island. These small isles are connected with man made causeways. And this time it Mahee/Hendrum castle is the rally photo. The temperature has climbed and now when I stop the jacket has to come off.

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With the sky clear and the sun high its not great for photography.  But its the last for this trip, I strap the jacket to the bike and its tee shirt and sunshine for the trip back home.

A few hundred metre’s from here is  Nendrum Monastic site, with some great views and the remains of an old Monastery dating  back to the 5th century. But that will be another trip and post.

Thank you all for visiting.