Thursday, 12 July 2012

Down the lane

Sunshine! I was up early, and went for a wobble down the road on my new bike. I know it's ridiculous for someone of my age but I am very new to cycling... More practice needed before I go and play in traffic, but I found a quiet wide lane with no witnesses and went up and down it a few times. Then back to the cottage to dump bike and pick up camera for a short explore. I didn't go far as my feet were still tired from walking back here from Headcorn yesterday, and also I was wearing Sue's wellies which are too big for me.

I went down past the Green Woodie nest (now empty) and met these lovely horses. Wildlife-wise, there were plenty of Rabbits and much song from Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Yellowhammers.

Bullfinches were few and far between at my old local patches but out here there are lots of them, and they are quite confiding.

From this field I went back and walked past the church, seeing this Stock Dove eyeing me suspiciously from a high branch over the graveyard. It's the first Stock Dove I've seen out here, though the place is crawling with Collared Doves...

... here's one of them. Of course there are Woodpigeons everywhere and I've seen a few Ferals but what I'd really like (of course) is a Turtle Dove. Maybe one day, but not today.

I've been lecturing Sue about not cutting hedges for another month or so, because of nesting birds. I'll have to remember to show her this pic. This agitated female Blackbird chinked at me for a while before flying to her nest, in a hedge.

I'd hoped to see some butterflies but my walk was over too early and the air hadn't warmed up enough. So I'll tell you about the ones I saw yesterday on my walk back from Headcorn. One of the lanes, Brick Kiln Lane, is tiny, just about wide enough for a Mini if it breathes in, and is so little used by traffic that there's a line of grass sprouting out of the tarmac in the centre. The lane is bordered by a flowery bank, and this yesterday was absolutely stuffed with Meadow Browns. I don't think I've ever seen so many in one small space. They were busily feeding and trying to seduce each other. I watched them for ages and got very absorbed, having to leap into the hedge quite quickly when a car (a Mini, natch) suddenly appeared. Also here were a few Large Skippers and my first Small Skipper of the year, plus a Red Admiral. Next time it's sunny I'll go back there with the camera.

Photo editing problems have got a bit better. My netbook (retrieved from dad's at the weekend) runs Ubuntu, and I'm a Linux numpty, but I was very determined. After a little trial, error and minor rage I successfully installed UFRaw as a plugin for Gimp - it converts an NEF file to a Gimp-editable format. The process takes way longer than the way I did it on my work PC but as I get used to it I'll hopefully get quicker. Next task is to find a way to view thumbnails of the NEFs before I choose which ones I want to edit.


Warren Baker said...

Do you know Marianne, I have not manged to photograph a Stock dove - not even a record shot, they are so wary on my patch!

Sounds like you've got a good area to explore, remember to take notes of the species you find :-)

ShySongbird said...

I never did get to grips with riding a bike! I don't think my sense of balance is too good. It really does sound like a lovely place. The horse photo is sweet, and lovely to get a close photo of a Bullfinch. I had one in the garden the other day, no photos though.

Your photo editing details were all double dutch to me ;-)

Ken. said...

Looks like you are settling in at your new area. Like Warren I do not see Stock Doves very often in my area. erhaps I will get a shot of one at some time. Nice photo's to brighten up yor post.

creadur said...

Lovely as always. That argus butterfly looks awfully like the wing markings on a small blue.