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Friday, 12 September 2014

Lancaster Bomber -Durham Tees Airport

Last Month I took advantage of a visit to Durham Tees Airport to see the Canadian Lancaster Bomber which is on tour of the UK ,it was an Opportunity to get up close and personal with this iconic  aircraft , I left home very early the plan was to call at Bishop Middleham  on the way down but the weather was rather poor so I headed straight down to the airport . Durham Tees is a very small Airport just like Newcastle was when I took my first holiday flight , but the importance for today is this was the wartime home of the Lancaster Bomber group . There where numerous Military vehicles also on display and merchandise of the Lancaster tour also available but as is usual they had converted dollars straight to pounds  making a baseball cap £15 , so I resisted temptation. Eventually a very large queue formed once the Lancaster was brought on the tarmac  I thought this is going to be a nightmare to get in if you have to show your booking form etc , but no the gates finally opened and it was one mad rush in. The plane was very impressive close up and certainly no plane buff but was not going to miss this chance of being up close to such a fantastic aircraft , well I snapped away from this angle and that angle  eventually I noticed a queue forming and the rumour went around that we would be allowed inside the aircraft  so in true British fashion I joined the by now long line of expectant visitors , well little did I expect I would be standing there 2 hours as some struggled to get up the short ladder at the rear and took even longer to get out again . I got to one point and thought time to move on and forget about it luckily I spent the time having a conversation with the people in front and slowly we edged forward , several veterans had turned up on this special day and it was moving to see them get from a wheelchair and struggle up the ladder for a look inside this really impressed the Canadian crew as we eventually neared the doorway it was revealed by the crew that there had not been a planned event of allowing access but it was a mistake by the organizers letting the crowds think there was access  anyway I ended up about three from the front and the crew said not many more would get aboard as it was nearing time to get ready for take-off . One guy approached and put the question of this as by now the queue was just as long if not longer , I eventually got on-board and took some hasty snaps one of the veterans was sitting up at the controls  ,inside it's not like a clear passage along the planes length there are  all sorts of obstacles in the way it was brilliant to see the look on his face as he left , when I got back outside the police had dispersed most of the crowd and where on the end of the line . It was time for the aircraft to ready for flight and very impressive it was too as it flew back and fourth till eventually re landing signalling the end of the day !!!
 I have never classed myself as a photographer and this shows ,how difficult would it be to get some shots of this huge plane , well very difficult as it happens huge crowds around the ever changing light etc: but I certainly enjoyed the day and have at least captured some lasting memories









 Once inside it was some quick snaps lots of which where rubbish taken with haste this looking forward
 and this looking back
 looking back
 Views from an open canopy atop the plane


 This veteran was thrilled to have the chance to look around
 Flight controls








 A vitage bus arrives with some passengers to take a short flight


AFTER A SHORT BUT IMPRESSIVE FLYPAST THE AIRCRAFT RETURNS

Monday, 8 September 2014

Little Stint

Took the opportunity to get some shots of the Little Stints that frequented both the North pool and Sand bank at Cresswell Pond 
You would think over the years that using Blogger would get easier such as video uploads etc but I have tried several times to upload videos with no success so I have sent an upload to Youtube even this seemed to take forever so I cancelled it but it appears to have uploaded anyway the usual wind interference which  I normally take out ,there must be an easier way of adding video to a Blog !!!! ?  
Little Stint with Dunlin
This is afternoon light given the birds a ginger look
Little Stints move so fast even when this close they are not in the frame but a split second 


Not a view I have had before Little Stint takes a break from it's frantic search for food and lies tucked up !!

Just missed the tip of the tail which I caught in the next shot but it was slightly blurred

LITTLE STINT Video Link


Thursday, 4 September 2014

Time for a Blog Update -Insects




These are just a few photos taken from various locations in deepest Northumberland ,one of these days I will set up an insect studio at home they do offer a great challenge to try and get some decent shots ,in the field its' get what you can sometimes they will sit still and you can get as close as you like ,other times the slightest movement and their  gone 

 Not seen many Painted Lady  this year this only the 3rd
 Those compound eyes are fantastic and the Desperate Dan look (Google him)


 This Vole deep in the cover hence used the flash
I had noticed these sort of dark stains on the leaves of Rush which looked like  something had been feeding on |Blackberries !! this day I saw this Spider then another came along not sure if they where fighting or mating ?
 The black stains look like possible Spider egg casings? but not sure if it was just a coincidence the interaction took place there or it's something else . Nature is fascinating to watch always posing more questions ,these where about 6-8 feet away over water  so the camera did well to capture anything
 The Fantastic Comma just happened to land at my feet
Shield Bug I have looked at these before and am sure I have photographed this before but at the moment can't find my book , I don't think it's always necessary to  name everything  lots of insects are in Latin only which I always forget.
Another Shield Bug again taken with my SX50 the background is that plastic wood but it does provide the ideal backdrop ,this ones green as opposed to the other which is sort of a golden brown , you see I am learning all the time ..

Monday, 25 August 2014

Emperor Dragonflies

Emperor Dragonflies seem to becoming more and more common , this year I have found at least one at about every pond visited and up to three at one site , getting photos is another matter altogether , with July being very warm and long spells of sunshine Emperors can stay on the wing for long periods of time ion the search for females and to keep away rival males or anything else it sees as a rival, so although this year I have seen more Emperors than any other year to date they have been so active . I did find several that had indeed landed  but usually well away from the me 



 They nearly always land with their backs to the sun  or to the suns last  position if it clouds over for some time

 Female egg laying


close up of the ovipositor



Size in relationship to a Damselfly 









Two Emperors clash together , right beside me unfortuanatley a rush stem was in the way it's all over in a split second

 Emperor Male with Four Spot Chaser  to the right



And one a little closer