Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Whitacre & Venus Pools

Playing catch up again. With only a couple of hours of sunshine on the Saturday, I made a beeline for Whitacre Heath to get some "guaranteed" photos of birds, to cheer me up a little. Problem is, it's still a little early in terms of available light for that place yet, so what light there was, was rather harsh. Some of the shots look like I used a flash!

That was Saturday though, and Sunday I fancied a change. Venus Pools is a place I often hear about, and see some terrific photos from. Arriving early, I spotted a buzzard on a telegraph pole, so a quick 180 and I was parking up, just to see it fly off, like usual.

The pools were partially iced over and the fields around, shrouded with a thin veil of mist. Not ideal. Opting for a walk around the fields and lakes, I observed flocks of goldfinch and yellowhammers, plus chaffinches, fieldfares, redwings and the usual stuff. All generally too far off to photo, alas. But a pleasant place to wander around. A buzzard kept me interested as I tried to circle the lakes, only to reach a field full of bulls and thus had to walk back the way I'd come. It does annoy me when places aren't circular for walks, especially when not sign posted so.

Anyway, back at the feeders, there were masses of chaffinches - I think all the ones that used to be in my garden have moved over here. Greenfinches, various tits, tree sparrows, great spotted woodpeckers but alas no redpolls or brambling, though it has potential.

I was quite pleased to see a few rooks mooching about, as they're not a bird I usually photo or get that close to. Remind me of Ozzy for some reason. The light showed off their colours rather well too - not just black you know.

Unfortunately, even with the sunlight, it was, how can I put it, "bloody freezing" being sat there, so I had to abandon ship eventually and head to the warmth of my car's heated seat. Must be getting old!

The road back seemed to have a buzzard in every tree, though typically there was either nowhere to pull over, or if I did, it'd take flight. One day I'll get one... one day. I think Venus Pools might be a spot to try later on in winter, perhaps as an alternative to Whitacre Heath.

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