A Photographers & Visitors Guide & Timeless Stories

Animals

Falconry at Leeds Castle

17 pics.  A Harris Hawk waits pensively for the launch signal.  That beak means business.  You can click twice for a better view.
Harris Hawk 2 at Leeds Castle

“Ain’t I awesome”.
Harris Hawk Swooping at Leeds Castle

The trainer sends a morsel into the air using an elastic catapult.   A little to the right of the hawk is a distant seagull and just below is the morsel.  The hawk now has folded wings for the dive.Falconry 2 at Leeeds Castle

And the flyby with trophy.
Eating Harris Hawk at Leeds Castle

“Nothing to see here, move along now.  Ahh, with fava beans and a nice bottle of Chianti”.
Harris Hawk Flying at Leeds Castle

A victory lap.
Flying Harris Hawk at Leeds Castle

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Perched Harris Hawk at Leeds Castle

“I’m firm but fair and you will applaud”.  And they did.

The owl, the trainer said, had a short attention span and was easily distracted.  He also said they were “thick”.
Tufted Owl at Leeds Castle

“He said what”.
Tufted Owl Close Up at Leeds Castle

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Flying Owl at Leeds Castle

“Right, I’ll have your scraggles off”.
Falconry at Leed Castle

“I am, in fact, wise and dignified and I’ll murgle anyone who says otherwise”.
Owl at Leeds Castle

.Seaugull at Leeds Castle

Meanwhile, several gulls were scriking and showing off by making feint dives at the hawks.  But, they carefully kept their distance.  The hawks disdained any interest.   After all, one does not converse with one’s food.

This little miss is a North American Kestrel weighing in at a mere 4 ounces.    She was so fast on the wing, that the only photographs I have, are where she used to be.   Even the gulls were bemused and kept their distance.

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Falcons, we are informed, will only fly free and return if they are happy with their conditions.  They also live twice as long as in the wild. So, everybody’s happy.  Yay . 🙂

There are more falcons including an amazing peregrine here.

Tweet and thanks for the visit.


Les Poulet sont Chic at Hatfield House

    Click here for the amazing Hatfield House and Elizabeth I.
Chickens 2 at Hatfield House

Are you looking at me Jimmy.
Chickens 3 at Hatfield House

Na mate, I’m looking for Chanticleer.
Cock Crow at Hatfield House

Call for Chanticleer.
Chickens 1 at Hatfield House

Hey Jock have yous seen Chanticleer.
Big Chicken at Hatfield House

Gulp, gulp, chew, not I honest, it must have been the fox.

There is a cyber bear for anyone who gets the connection with the Amy involved in large explosion hypothesis.


Stop the Bee Killing

UK GOVERNMENT IS PERMITTING THE THE USE OF  NEONICOTINOIDS,  despite them being banned in Europe.   These chemicals kill bees and other pollinators.  A link to the PETITION/info is below.  Please pass it on.  Avaaz successfully stopped there use in Europe.  Please help them stop there use in the UK.

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/save_the_bees_keep_the_ban_national/?tNIApeb

Bushy Park Sky


When I’m 64

A little whimsy to brighten the day.

            Vera, Chuck and Dave

                                                                                                       Vera, Chuck and Dave.

When I get older losing my hair, many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three, would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four? .


Extremely Rare

April 1-2

Thanks to a friendly park keeper at St James Park, I was able to photograph twin Graylag Geese.   Born from one egg, that would otherwise have been a double yolk, they rarely survive and these two have another special feature.  Ethologist Konrad Lorenz did his first major studies into the behavioural phenomenon of imprinting using Graylag Geese and, according to the park keeper, these two have imprinted on one another and are inseparable.

They are so rare that you are unlikely to see anything like this until next April 1st.   Yes, I am disgraceful and ingenious abuse is welcome and probably deserved.   Here’s wishing you all a fun day. 🙂


The Great Nut Heist

At the Eastern End of St James’s Park

This time I took some food.  I put down the carrier bag to take out my camera and ~

“Right, I’ll do the old squirrel up the leg routine”.

Squirrel up Leg

 

“You do the blag”

Squirrel in Bag

 

Cute Squirrel

“I’ll do the snatch.  I’m so cute the rozzers will never suspect”

Rich Squirrel

“Oh my, Oh my, Oh my. I’m rich I tell you, rich”

Squirrel on Knee

“Well now that’s all sorted out, a nice little sit down on this handy leggy thing”

St James's Park Squirrel

“Cor blimey governor, it ain’t ‘alf  a good bit of cashew this.”

Squirrel on Post

“A nice piece of walnut for me.  I say, any chance of liqueur”.

Tightrope Squirrel

“Look it’s the great Squirreldini”

Crow

“Blasted squirrels.  Any of us could do that if we wanted too”

Coot

“What, with these feet”

Squirrel by Flash

We don’t have much and life can be hard, but:-

Sittin’ in the morning sun
I’ll be sittin’ when the evening comes
Watching the ships roll in
Then I watch them roll away again, yeah

I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh
I’m just sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

  Otis Redding Listen on Youtube

There are more squirrels at Squirrels in the Park and  Squirrels Up My Leg


Squirrels with Altitude

I’ve always considered myself to be quite animal friendly, and animals quite friendly to me.  Nevertheless, at the south east corner of St James’s Park Lake, I was quite surprised by this.

Squirrel up Leg

I discovered why squirrels are so good at climbing trees.  Those little claws are sharp.

When he or she looked up and realised that this tree had a face, there was a quick scamper off behind a real tree.

Then, would you ~
The Adam and Eve Pub

 it.

There was another one.

Squirrel Further Up Leg

At first I thought this must be the same squirrel, but a close examination of the whiskers shows a variation and there is slightly darker patch at the left shoulder.  I think they must have been siblings and the little scamps were playing “Anything you can do, I can do better”.

Even the geese were surprised.

Surprised Goose

Wha’  the ~.

Still, they were only having fun in their own squirrely way.   Good on them, they make me laugh and I feel quite privileged to have had squirrels up my leg.

There are more squirrels at the Great Nut Heist.


Squirrels in the Park

Just outside Kensington Palace and a little to the north, there is an intersection in the path where the squirrels like to play.   These cheeky chaps seem particularly interested in people with shopping.  They also like to play hide and seek with photographers. The other games are;  now I’m in focus and now I’m not and I’ll move just at the moment you press the shutter button.  They’re very good at it.   I took about 20 snaps, these are the only 4 worth showing.   Can’t complain though, they were only having fun and very endearing.

Squiirels in Kensington Gardens

“I say, have you got any linguine and do you know the way to San José.”

Just outside Kensington Palace where you can see this house.

House near Kensington Gardens

 

DSC_6453

Now you see me, and now  ~

DSC_6436

“Flash ah  ah , the savior of the universe”.

DSC_6459

“Alright you got me.  Now about my fee”.

I hope you enjoyed that. They always make me laugh.

You might also like Squirrels up my Leg ⇐.


Deer at Bushy Park

I went to Bushy Park in search of green parrots, but found deer instead .  There are a number of  flocks of green parrot around London, thought to have escaped and managed to adapt to our UK winter.   I hadn’t thought about it,  photographing green parrots amongst a summer of verdant green leaf wasn’t going to be possible.  I heard them and occasionally saw a quick flash of green wing but that was all.

I was delighted to find deer instead. I knew they were in Richmond Park and Hampton Court Deer park but pleasantly surprised to find them here.  Photographed in early August they still had velvet on their antlers.

Fallow Deer

The Black Prince, and I think he knows it.   Black deer are quite rare but do live amongst the herd.

The above were happily grazing amongst the fallow deer, although they are probably reds.   It’s mid-summer, live and let live.

Red Deer

Red deer are the largest of  deer-kind with the exception of moose and elk. Found at southern end of Bushy Park, they were not so much a herd as a squad.

They have the unnerving and unerring ability to raise their heads at exactly the same time.  Much like a bristling of antennas.  One can almost hear “Have you got permission to be here and have got any ID.

” I say it is tea time you know”

Time to leave

Deer are generally not dangerous but one must be careful in spring when there are young about and in autumn when they are rutting.  They will also attack and sometimes kill dogs.  Some deer herds (those around London) carry Lyme Disease which is spread by ticks.   It is quite difficult to pick up but such places are not suitable for lounging in the grass or for bare legs in tall grass.

 


Characters at the Greenwich Tall Ships Festival

Characters  (18 pics)

I’m a star. – Those on the other end of the lead were watching the river and had no idea what their dog was doing.  She was drawing a little crowd of her own.  The words “what a character” were often heard.  She wins my first prize for “Character of the Festival”.

A close second comes :-

Please click on an image to expand and view a slideshow:-

The Crews

Greenwich Festival Characters DSC_5316

 Please click on an image to expand and view slide show:-

And, then click on

The Tall Ships  ►►

And, thank you for your visit.