I'm about to engage in the popular British pastime of moaning, although before anyone says anything I do realise that worse things are happening to people in the world.
Firstly we are all sick of the weather in Britain. This bloody jet stream has a lot to answer for, I honestly can't remember when we last had a decent summer. It's constant traffic from the Atlantic - one low pressure system after another. I have already stated previously that the wet weather is having a devastating effect on our insect populations. I used to enjoy photographing butterflies and dragonflies in summer. I came across a blog from a gentleman in America who gave out some tips on photographing insects, however, I didn't see amongst his tips that it is unwise to live in Britain. It is shaping up to be one of the wettest April - July periods ever. Though 1782 was the wettest on record apparently, so nothings new then. It does seem likely, however, that 2012 will take over at the top of the wet list.
My second moan is about pesky Little Owls: can I get one to come to the perch I'm sat in front of? NO! I have been putting in a load of hours sitting in my hide, or in my camouflaged car, but all to no avail. Last Saturday I was in my hide for 12 hours, yes that's 12 hours for one brief fly past. On Sunday I put in the time and I actually saw one of the owls land on the floor close by, but it didn't hang about. All week I have been going out in the early morning and again in the evenings, but the lazy little so and so's are hiding somewhere. Last night I nearly lost the plot. I blanked out all my car windows including the windscreen without getting out of my car, but as I was sorting my viewing window a car pulled up on the private road in front of me. The owner mouthed something that I couldn't here so I tried to ignore him, but he got out his car and walked over and started a conversation. He asked me where he was and added "am I near Cossington"? I laughed and told him he was the wrong side of Leicester. I tried to explain what I was doing, but he had to go and fetch his map. I'm not an unreasonable chap, but he was trying my patience. In the end I had to get out of my car and give him directions. Amazingly I did not get to photograph a Little Owl on a post that night. I was back there at 05:00 this morning, but the owls must have been dozing somewhere else. I did see one of the juveniles, but distantly. My staying power is being seriously tested on this project, so much so that it might be time to back off and re-think.
It has become so bad that I'm thinking of going back to the gulls, as weather doesn't put them off and they are easily attracted to where you want them with a loaf of bread.
Anyway back to the weather. I have been given a pass out to go off to Scotland for a week to continue my project in the Cairngorms. Well I plan to sleep out in the mountains in my new tent, but there is no sign of a day let alone a week when the tops are not going to be enveloped in cloud according to the mountain weather forecasts. I'll miss this opportunity if the weather doesn't alter for the better in the next few weeks - It's a hard life.
Of course it isn't all doom and gloom, as I was lucky enough to be watching three young Peregrine Falcons today close to home and there was a bit of sunshine also for a while.
I've put a few images from sunnier times below:
|Has He Bitten Off More Than He Can Chew?|