Odds & Sods 2024

Kicking off this year's odds and sods with Starlings in a rainbow on that extreme rarity: sunshine.

It was early morning, with the sun barely cresting the tree line. We were able to get out for our morning walk as it wasn't raining. This photo is my trusty Canon 80D and Sigma 18-300mm lens zoomed in at 300mm.

Pulling back a bit.

And finally all the way back.

Oh, 2024 got off to a good start with this.

So far my cat, perhaps two neighbouring cats visiting our garden, a local fox and Tawny owl, and this trap have accounted for at least five of the beasties. Sightings of rats in our garden are getting rarer, so I think I'm winning. Two rather timid and wary rats, that I know of, are proving more elusive to catch. I've resorted to buying a lethal trap. The trap was triggered, yesterday, but no rat, sadly. Though a mouse might have triggered it, and was small enough to be within the kill bar.

90% luck, 5% field craft, 5% camera skills.

  • Definitely not the best reason to be have a birding day in Buxton BD, must have alleviated some of the anxiety for you though ... great pics and I agree Mistle, til someone else disagrees! Thinking


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • I'm sorry to read about your sister's husband, fingers crossed for his recovery and imminent discharge from hospital.

    Nice photos, and quite nice around Buxton for gentle walks.

  • Thank you Wendy & Mike for your concern. Hopefully Philip is on the mend - not out of the woods yet, but moved down from ICU to Critical Care to Coronary Care Unit.  He had developed pneumonia and as he is diabetic, the specialists give his chances as 40%. One morning, early, they rang us to go straight down as they thought he was dying. On arrival he was sat in a chair eating some porridge! Apparently they could not shift some mucus, and his levels were falling, then it went! My function while there is general dogsbody. Supporting my sister, driving her around, cooking and washing up, doing repairs and walking the dogs (mine and hers). I am trying to help where I can. I am going back today for a few days as needed.

  • I'm sure your input is very much appreciated BD, pleased to hear good news, take great care!


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • I'll echo Wendy's reply.

    Every little bit helps when it comes to supporting family.

  • Wotcher, BD. Here's wishing you and all family that Philip makes a speedy recovery. Your support (probably unsung and unnoticed) is incredibly imported. Been there, several times.

    Coincidentally, the Memsahib and I are in Tideswell for a few days, with a fairly packed schedule of long, relatively walks - not on our usual scale of Snowden or Helvellyn, but still vigorous. If you see a slightly harassed looking individual wearing a large rucksack, with an R7 and Sigma 150-600mm lens hung round his neck - that would be me.

    After a 5 hour journey (so much for google maps suggesting 3 1/2 hours!) we pulled into Tideswell. We took off on a walk around Tideswell (to shake of stiffness from all that sitting), shooting off down a footpath and wandering down interesting looking lanes. Sadly, I only took my medium lens with me, as my long lens was buried deep in a suitcase. Managed a few half decent shots in the waning sunlight.

    The place was heaving with Jackdaws.

    We took to a steep, stepped footpath out of town, which gave glorious rooftop views. These two were having a squabble, halfway over the other side of town. Just missed it by the time I got my camera up.

    They didn't have another set too, but flew off instead.


    The Jackdaws tolerated us getting far closer than down south.

    A good scratch.

    Here be dragons!

    And foxes

    And grumpy lions

    Further out of town

    Keeping a close eye on a cat, which had just wandered into the garden.

    I had a crack at photographing numerous swallows flying around farm buildings. However, my Sigma 18-300mm lens doesn't have a large field of view. Photographing anything small and fast is pure luck.

    I did notice this swallow had landed on the ground, next to a barn. Therefore I was at least ready with my camera. Still, it was pure luck to photograph it as it took off and flew towards me. A heavily cropped photo to extract a tiny bird, which is still quite small.  Glad I had the extra 25% more pixels my R7 gave me over my 80D.

    This one was landing on the rung of the telegraph pole. Blighter then took off as I crept closer in an attempt to take a more detailed photo.

    A short 8 mile walk today, with bloody great rucksack stuffed with foul weather gear and provisions. I'll tote my big lens with me as I don't intend getting caught out with subjects too far away. SWMBO likes me taking photos on walks. It gives her a chance to rest. She'll sometimes point out interesting subjects to photograph. Take your time, she'll say, as she parks herself on a convenient rock or fallen tree truck.

    90% luck, 5% field craft, 5% camera skills.

  • Thanks for the support Angus. Glad you are enjoying Tideswell. Love the dragons ... Thumbsup

  • Nice selection Angus, I like the Jackdaw having a scratch.

  • Some odds and ends...

    Yellow Dung Fly, standing on a beetle:

    Green Dock Beetle:


    Snail (Pink Brown-lipped perhaps...):

    Dock Bug ?



  • Lots of fabulous walking around Tideswell.

    The nearby River Wye which flows throw Cressbrook Dale on to Monsal Dale is home to many dippers, particularly as it flows through the quieter dales. Also the River Bradford, as  it flows through Bradford Dale passing through Youlgreave where the River Lathkill meets it.