In my last holiday, I went to Cornwall in the UK. My expectations were really high because I saw many images on the Net with marvellous places. But how sometimes happens, the weather wasn't so good. Actually I had many sunny days, but they were too sunny, so no days with some clouds for stunning sunsets, no wind for powerful seas or coastlines.
My trip started from Luton towards Bath, where I spent a few days going around for that area. The town is really nice with its cathedral, the Roman baths, and a pleasant city centre where to walk quietly. In Bath I've taken some pictures of the Roman baths, but it isn't my genre as you know.
Not so far Bath, a day, I went to see Stonehenge. That place is an icon of the UK and I couldn't not see it. If it had been alone in an unknown countryside, I'd have liked more, because with the visitor reception centre, the bar and the shop, it loses a bit its magic aura. Fortunately people can't go inside the stone circle, so you can admire its beauty with no distracting people inside it.
These are my pictures:
In both, I had to clone some people from the background but thankfully they were only a few.
Going further south I found isle of Portland, a small isle linked to a road, so it's easy going there by car. This isle is pretty nice, but I spent there only some hours, anyway enough for some pictures:
I spent the last part of the holiday in the southern part of the UK, sleeping in Truro, a really, really nice town, very characteristic, it deserves to be visited. From there I went to see another icon of UK, St.Michael isle. That place is strange and magic. During the high tide you can go in the isle only walking in the water, using a stone path, or using a boat. But with low tide, everything changes, and it becomes easy going to visit it crossing the sea. The stone path became visible, dry, and you can go there safely. I was hoping to have a good sunset, but I wasn't lucky: the sky was really clear!! I tried some shot, but I'm not so sure of the result:
Continuing my trip I went to Titangel, a famous small village for its castle, the King Arthur castle, maybe. Due to the coronavirus, the castle was visitable only pre-booking the tickets, and of course I didn't!! I took only some picture of the beach under the castle, where there's Merlin's cave, but equally interesting.
But really close to Titangel, there's a beautiful waterfall inside a woodland, the St. Nectans waterfall. To get there is quite easy. You have to walk for about 30 minutes following a road at the beginning and then following a stream until you reach the place. The area was wonderful, but finding a bar and a visitor centre was weird for me, that I'm getting used to having a wilder place in Sardinia. Anyway, I took only one picture, because it was impossible doing anything else: there were really too much people!!! Someone was in front of my camera, someone was under the waterfall, someone was waiting for me. So this is the only picture of "my" St. Nectans waterfall:
The last day of the trip was the Land's end, but I was very unfortunate. The weather was really bad. I found a foggy, windy and cold day. I couldn't see anything. The worst day of the trip!! I took only two pictures, just as I remember...
With two these pictures ends my trip in Cornwall, but I hope to go there again, maybe with better weather.
This time I haven't got any pictures to show you, maybe next time and maybe I'll show you a short video. But there's news. From the buzzards' couple that I'm following from many years are born two new chicks. Unfortunately, I haven't seen the initial part of the moment, when eggs break and the chicks come out, due to coronavirus lockdown. Only two days ago I've seen the chicks in the nest using a spotting scope. It's been amazing seeing them. One of them is still white, I mean it has still the white feathers, while the other has many brown feathers, sign that it's bigger and, perhaps, older. It's quite normal that one egg hatches before the other, so that the correspondent chick grows up before. The older chick was moving on the nest, flapping sometimes his wings, while the other was pretty quiet. The adults were flying around the nesting area, maybe for hunting some prey, but they tend to stay quite close to the nest, in order to check the chicks. During the observation, I stay inside my car, so they aren't afraid. Generally, birds fly away when someone, by foot or by car, arrives, but they know my car and they know that I'm not a danger, so they aren't worried about my presence in the area, allowing me to study easily them. Next time I'm going to save a short video, always using the spotting scope, so the video quality won't be very good, but only for documentation purpose, so stay tuned.
And after the coronavirus, finally, arrive the little owls.
It's been a long time since the last time I've seen and photographed them, so I'm very happy now, first of all, because they're still there, in their nest, but I didn't see them. Maybe they stayed hide or they were somewhere, I can't be sure, but knowing that they are fine I'm more quiet.
The session has started, as always, at night and the first pictures are quite dark:
but waiting patiently, the Sun arrives and it lights the little owl:
From this point the situation changes a bit, because they get more active, flying often from a perch to another, making me quite busy trying to take some pictures during their flight. In these two photos the little owl start flying from the same perch, but in one occasion had a prey:
Where finally it eats their prey:
In two occasions they scared for some grey-crows flying too close their nest, so they were really worried, and sometimes they flew away, but coming back almost soon.
So, after some hours with their company, I can perhaps say that the coronavirus is going away.
Seeing a bird flying is simply amazing. This is one thing that man can't do it, without a plane.
Seeing a bird of prey flying hasn't price. It's so elegant, powerful and majestic that I could stay many hours admiring them. Italy is a good place for raptors, because there are many different habitats where to live and grow their chicks, or simply for living, although we have many hunters that kill them, only for fun. Every time they say "it's a sport". And every time I ask myself if I can start a new sport: the manhunting!!
Anyway, it's better watching some photo of one of my favourite bird of prey: the common buzzard.
Pictures have taken in the same place where this couple live and breed their chicks, year by year.
During the waiting, I was following its movement when it started to fly in my direction. Fortunately, it came quite slow and low so I could take every single moment, but I put only the last part of the sequence.
The Sun had risen, in fact the field in the distance was illuminated, but not the perch where the buzzard was arriving, so in the whole image sequence, it was in the shadow.
Instead in the last image the Sun was coming, so illuminating its head.
Finally, after almost three months due to the coronavirus, I've checked my photographic blind. Fortunately everything was fine, so I hadn't to fix anything, like the camouflage net, or some perch. But the best thing has been seeing the buzzards flying and then going in the nest. Yes, they were in the nest too, even though I don't know if there were some chicks, maybe only the eggs.
Then I finded out the red woodpecker nest!! After hearing one of them tap in a tree, I've seen it enter into a hole, signs that they are also nesting.
And for last but not least, I've seen the old little owls again, after several absence months. In the n,est there were two adults and....a Sardinian partridge!! What strange meeting. Surely the little owls were controlling the partridge to avoid something bad to their chicks.
Now I'll have to organize myself in order to follow everything: red woodpecker, buzzards and the little owls.
Yesterday I didn't have so much time, so I stayed there only for a while and I didn't see or hear the peregrine falcon, so I can't say anything about them, but I hope to figure out soon something.