Feed the birds

We had a couple of arguments earlier on today so we decide to go for a walk and feed the birds. It takes your mind off things when you are mobbed by geese and have your toes pecked by pigeons. I fed pigeons from my hand too but couldn’t take photos of them at the same time.

Came home feeling relaxed. Now having to put up with loud music from the local pub! Argh!

Yesterday at Westport lake

It’s hot, I’m tired, I can’t sleep. I got a bit burned in the sun yesterday while I was drawing at Westport lake. These are just quick biro sketches on a Crawford and Black A4 130gsm cartridge paper sketch pad. Excuse the setting I don’t have many bright areas in the house that are shadow free so I ended up propping them up on the gas oven. Ah the joys of photography at 3am! Night all!

Wild fowl

We just went for a walk round the small lake at Westport and decided to feed the birds. Mostly pigeon and Canada geese with a mix of a few others and some swans and ducks. I fed the pigeons by putting the food on the top of a fence. Once they were confident I tried holding the food out in my hand and they pecked the food while standing on the fence, finally they all took turns standing on my hand and pecking the food out of it. I only did it because I knew I could wash my hands afterwards.

The management of the lakes are now with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and the whole place looks more managed but wild if you see what I mean. Colourful poppies and other wildflowers surround the visitors centre. Drifts of nettles feed butterflies. I saw an electric blue damsel fly skittering about them. I also saw a peacock butterfly and a cabbage white.

We were sitting up on the balcony at the visitor centre when we saw a large carp in the lake. It’s pale colour meant it was visible from above. Looking at its size compared with some terns sitting on a piece of wood in the lake it must have been about 18 inches long.

An enjoyable afternoon.

Katkins in the sun

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A warm evening in March, out at Westport lake. One of my favourite places for a walk. Over the last few years the trees have grown and the management of the lake has been taken over by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. The sun reflects off the water and ripples from the swimming birds make it sparkle. The lake was artificially created from the remains of a marl pit (where they dug out the clay for potteries) and old mine workings. It was created for wildlife in the 1980s I think when Shelton Bar Steel works closed ?

Life spreads and grows. Greenery overtakes the tallest buildings, ivy scrambles, buddlea infiltrates. And beauty comes from waste and destruction.

Finding panorama mode.

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It took me a few months to realise that there is a panorama mode on this phone. This was westport lake last month. I like that my partner is at the far right and the path continues at the far left. The geese are at different heights which seems to work with the step where the landing stage cuts into the waters surface. Mine and my friends shadow are a bit annoying but the sun was setting behind us and all the shadows fan in towards the lake. I like how the path on the left is straight and not curved like the rest of the photo.

I’m picking random photos to look at because often they just get a glance and then I move on……

Canada geese

img_20190106_004721 I’ve seen a lot of Canada Geese on the lake this weekend. They fly to Britain to overwinter where they can rest and survive over the winter .

I think they are smart looking birds with their black, white and brown markings.

They are certainly pushy when it comes to feeding them. When I was feeding the ducks yesterday the Canada Geese grabbed a fair share of the food. They are certainly bold!

I love the way you can go for a walk and see lots of birds at the lake. We saw small birds as well, Robins, a blackbird and a couple of wrens. Not close enough to get photos, but still close enough to see them.