Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 270 - Alpine Chough

The pictures of birds from my time in Europe come to an end this week with the The Alpine Chough (also called the Yellow Billed Though) - Pyrrhocorax graculus.

I saw these birds in Switzerland - where I spent a week walking and being blown away by the landscape.  On most days I was not in the mood to carry a long lens into the mountains, so I did not get many bird pictures.

I had really wanted to see this species, and I was not let down by them.  The birds on the 'road' sign were at Jungfraujoch, and the combination of very bright sunshine, lots of snow and even more tourists mad bird photography a wee bit of a challenge!

Anyway, here is the The Alpine Chough.  One fact I can't let slip past, is that this species may breed at a higher altitude than other bird.  It has been seen on Mount Everest at an altitude of 8,200 m (26,900 ft)!  Impressive I have to say.

As ever you can join in with WBW by clicking on the blue button below. SM 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Stott Park Bobbin Mill

When we were in the Lake District we visited Stott Park Bobbin Mill, which is a 19th Century Bobbin mill that was bought in working condition in 1974 by a government agency, and is now a museum.

The mill made bobbins - in other word the wooden spools that had cotton would on to them - for the Lancashire cotton mills.  The bobbins were made from local coppice timber, and in its original form the mill relied on a water mill to spin the lathes.  Local timber and abundant water are still present in the Lakes, and its a very nice example on a landscape that many only think of as being very attractive (and they are not wrong) also having an industrial history.

Much of the Lakes has been formed by human activity, rather than just found in this way by recent visitors.

Apart from the addition of modern covers on the belt drives for the lathes, the Mill is in more or less original condition.   As you can see the turning lathes produce a lot of waste material, and when the Mill installed a steam boiler and engine to replace the water wheel, the waste was used as fuel.  So, the use of local produce and waste minimisation are not really modern ideas!

Outside of the buildings there were some cut lengths of Silver Birch timber, which had been set aside to dry.  I rather liked them - and here are two images.

You can find more pictures from around the world here at Our World Tuesday.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 269 - Great Crested Grebe

I'm almost at the end of the birds I photographed when I was in Europe, and it seems appropriate to feature a bird that I can see both on my travels to the UK and back home in Australia.

The Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) found across much of Europe and Asia. There are African and Australasian subspecies as well, and of course its the Australasian I see the most.  'Podiceps cristatus' means crested bum-foot (!) which refers to the crest on the birds head, but also how far back along the body the feet are found.  Its little scraps like this that keep me going you know!

I found the the birds in the pictures here at Ham Walls RSPB Reserve in Somerset.  Seeing Great Crested Grebes on an RSPB reserve is very appropriate, as it was the decline of this bird due to the hat trade that brought about the formation of the RSPB in 1889.

There seemed to be a great deal of both synchronised and unsynchronised preening going on with these birds - which are an adult and two well grown chicks.  The light was poor and the birds a little more distant that I would like - but a little bit of cropping works wonders!

As ever you can join in with WBW by clicking on the blue button below the thumbnails.   SM

Monday, 18 September 2017

River Brathay

I seem to be swimming against the current at present!  Just too many things happening - fortunately I only have a few more days to go before I can take a short break and get back on an even keel!

So, in interim here are some shots go the River Brathay in The Lake District in the UK.

I was asked yesterday if I missed anything from the UK - it's not an unusual question I find - and I said without hesitation "the landscape".  I suppose these picture may explain why.

You can find more pictures from around the world here at Our World Tuesday.