Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 02/04/2012

Blue Monday*

Flowers, originally uploaded by

What on earth am I doing wrong? Today saw the results of the second heat, Winter 2012, of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust photographic competition and once again, none of the images I’d entered came anywhere. I had high hopes for this round of the competition (though I did for the Autumn 2011 round as well) having entered what I thought was a obvious winning show, a picture of a male mallard duck coming into land which I took at Slimbridge in 2011. Looking through the winning entries, there are two photos out of the whole batch that are anywhere near decent, so what on earth do I have to submit to win anything? Hmm, “Frustrated of Berkshire!”

Despite my good intentions, I didn’t go out Snake Hunting this morning though conditions were ideal. Despite the clear blue skies first thing this morning, the air was was fresh and cold – I can testify to this, as I was driving around with the roof down on my car and had forgotten to wear a jacket – with the heat from the heater warming the car’s cabin, I was relatively toastie, but the car was politely beeping at me to inform me that the ambient temperature had dropped below 3 degrees Celsius, in fact it was actually 1.5 degrees. Still, with the hot air blasting me, and the sun shining away, I wasn’t in the least bit bothered. As I said – cold enough to locate dormant snakes but I should have been out an hour earlier to allow me to get all my gear ready – after a busy weekend, I wanted that extra hour lie in (so I can’t really grumble can I!).

Whilst driving around I have seen a number of raptors displaying (not the aircraft, the birds); these have mostly been Buzzards, and it’s quite a spectacle to watch. The male bird, for it is he who shows off, will fly up relatively high, and then partially fold his wings into his body as he goes into a dive, similar to the Stoop of a Peregrine (but not as fast), showing off his speed and agility. I suppose it’s the same in human terms as a young male driver trying to impress a girl by screeching away as fast as he can at some traffic lights in his souped up Vauxhall Nova with big fat tyres and exhaust. Apart from the girl will think him a bit of an idiot rather than being impressed.

* Probably New Order’s most successful song.



  1. I think your malard should have won, it’s an amazing photo! this one is great as well!

  2. Beautiful! I really love your latest flower shots 🙂

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