Saturday 22 February 2014

Of Birds And Builders

Our crazy weather has had me thinking about Ziggy lately. Not Ziggy Stardust but Ziggy, the Polish carpenter, who used to do building jobs when I worked on the farm - Ziggy Sawdust some of us wittily named him. Now Ziggy only ever had a few words of English but he could give them more meaning and feeling than many an actor. And one of his words was "weather" or as he pronounced it "vezza". Sometimes in summer he would lilt it poetically in appreciation. More often though the weather was that was sent only exasperated our Polish friend; then he would spit the word through clenched teeth "Ach..vezzargh!"

And recently we had a "vezzargh" sort of day as endless drizzle kept me inside all morning, but in the afternoon it relented and I took the bicycle to the RSPB reserve at Fowlmere. On the way I stopped to photograph the lovely snow drops in the wood at Shepreth.

At Fowlmere the sunlight was skipping playfully through the trees and reflecting from the winter grasses.

The recent rains have left their mark on the picnic area making it an interesting subject for pics  - but not much good for picnics!

Fowlmere has some extensive reedbeds where you might find a Bittern lurking in winter, but you'll certainly find Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers in summer. And all year long there are Water Rails, though you're more likely to hear these skulking birds than see them.

There are pools for pond-dipping too!

I rather like reeds and can quite happily spend time photographing them....but I should really be looking for birds I suppose.

I have neither the reserves of patience or money required to seriously take up photographing birds but I'll gladly pop off a frame or two when I see something as large and immoveable as this Canada Goose!

The view from the Reedbed Hide, with a lot more water than there usually is. Those are Greylag Geese sunning themselves on the grass. It was that sort of day - lots of geese and not much else.

Nothing for it but to take more pictures of the reeds.....

....and geese!

It started to cloud over but I strolled on taking photos and seeing a few birds here and there. then I realised that the weather was really closing in...

By the time I got back to the bike it was raining steadily and I cycled home through a cold, stinging downpour. Just as I got to my back gate the rain stopped and the sun came out!


Take care.


  1. A lovely post John and your Polish friend started a trend as I will now remember the word "VEZZAAAAAARGH ! ! !" Great photos here, love the reflections of the trees, the goose with the pretty blue water and circular ripples, the snowdrops is it? Every photo is delightful. Thanks for stopping by my blog and I wish you a great weekend.

  2. You have a nice place close by to go walking about.

  3. oh ..glad the drizzle eased up and you hadn't lost focus on getting on out to the reserve. To see all those snowdrops on the damp ground, made such a pretty picture. I can imagine how delightful it would've been to come upon them; you knew they would be there? Yes the picnic area has become a wetland area, with neat reflections for your photographic opportunity. I liked the 'pools for pond-dipping' shot a lot. Oh ..and now the Canada Goose; wow, it sure was worth getting out John. Great post, I liked the intro, and the grand-finale too.

  4. Lovely photos! The reflections in several of them are breathtaking!

  5. I love the colours of the reeds. Great pictures.

  6. Your photos always surprise me. I don't know why I didn't expect any part of England to look like this, so lush and beautiful. Love seeing your wildlife, reflections, fields and flowers. All so lovely. Nice you had a break in the veezzaaargh to get out and enjoy it!


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'll try to answer any questions via a comment or e-mail within the next day or two (no hard questions, please!).