Sunday, 12 July 2015

You cannot be in two places at once ...

.... in my case I can only be in the wrong place all of the time! Whilst other photographers I know chose the South Coast to get pics like this (these are two of mine from previous years)

I had chosen that day to go to #RSPB Ham Wall where I was having to make do with pictures of Frogs!

I do not have anything against Frogs per se, but Barn Owls do a lot more for me. I cannot explain why Ham Wall seemed so quiet on that day. On previous visits recently there was a lot more Marsh Harrier, Great Egret and Bittern activity. When I visited this time I found it to have descended more deeply into the Summer doldrums - what a fine word that is!

Not that a visit to Ham Wall or the other Somerset reserves is ever wasted. Nearly every photographer I know has one of these pics of a Cormorant. Well, now I've got a few too.

And very handsome this particular bird was as it dried off in the bright sunshine. It struck all sorts of poses.

But still I cannot disguise the fact that I would rather have been taking pictures of Barn Owls. So, the very next morning I went back to the South Coast and, guess what. After spending about three and a half hours there, no Barn Owl appeared! Everybody said how yesterday it had been zooming all over the sky, skimming their heads, passing left and right etc. Even worse, it is odds on that there was intense aerial activity at Ham Wall whilst I endured my fruitless wait for the Barn Owl on the South Coast, but I do not really want to know about that! Wrong-place syndrome again.

Seriously, it is one of the most difficult things to decide - where to go. You cannot win. To beat the curse of wrong-place syndrome I have thought of pretending to make definite preparations to go to one place whilst surreptitiously planning to switch destinations at the last minute. I do not know if this trying to trick fate into suppressing all bird activity at the wrong location would work.

The same problem presents itself even when you just have to decide which hide to go to within just one reserve. So many times I have decided to move only to turn round and watch a spectacular fly past of some choice bird over the location I have just vacated.

I really do feel picked out for specially bad luck over all of this. People are starting to avoid being in the same place as me.

Anyway, accepting that there were no Barn Owls, I did the best I could. This Kestrel presented the opportunity of an against-the-light shot. It makes a dramatic change from the usual view. The light shines right through its tail feathers.

Perhaps the biggest stroke of luck though was spotting these young Swallows perched on a branch and waiting to be fed.

They did not have to wait long as their parents made frequent visits.

 This one gives a whole new meaning to the name Swallow!

 So, even if things do not go exactly as you had hoped there is always something to watch out for. That is the joy of it all and, one day, you never know, I may get lucky!

I'll leave you with this dramatic photo of an imperious Buzzard. Please visit my website at and "like" my Facebook page at

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