Watch the Birdie !

Over the past few years i’ve been trying to get back seriously into my photography (time permitting ) , I’ve been into it even longer than the whisky ! I used to be into it at School , i was a member of a local camera club , the first thing i done when i started work in 1978 was to purchase a decent 2nd hand SLR , The Yashica FR , a superb camera that served me many a year , but as with all things interest lapsed when other things got in the way……

It was the mid to late 90’s when i next picked up an SLR , this time i went for a Canon , an EOS 500n (incidentally this year is the 30th anniversary of the EOS System) , that served me well for a good few years but then ‘Digital’ beckoned and staying with Canon i moved on to the EOS 400D . This one served me well but at some point i realised it’s limitations and decided to sell a few bottles of whisky and move onto a serious system , so a 7D and some serious glass was purchased . Since then i’ve moved up to full frame ( 6D then 5D Mark IV ) and added more glass . The one thing i do love is photographing nature (as well as the Steam Trains…..) , being members of the National Trust gives us the ideal situations to do so as their grounds are good places to spot Birds , Squirrels etc , one of our favourite places is Wallington especially at their hide , these photos are from our most recent visit……

(Click on the photos to see full size)

Greater Spotted Woodpecker , we could actually hear this bird rat-tat-tatting long after we’d seen it , a lovely quirky little bird .

The Blue Tits are quite common at Wallington , as are the Chaffinches , this one being the female .

This was the first time we’d seen Bramblings , another member of the finch family .

There seemed to be a lot of Wrens floating about on this day , a beautiful little song bird .

Two of the more popular birds at the hide , the Nuthatch and the male Chaffinch .

Away from the hide on the Riverside walk another new spot for us , Grey Wagtails .

Another Wren !

The Current set up used at the hide.

Now i now i’m not the greatest photographer in the world , you are always learning , but it gives me great pleasure , gets me a bit of exercise and an odd Scone or two along the way !

There are a lot more photographs on my Flickr page HERE

Melanies Birthday Treat

As you get older not only does one birthday seem to roll in to another but it gets harder to buy your loved one a Birthday Present , so we tend to take each other away for a weekend and give each other a little treat . This year i decided to take Melanie away to Grosmont in the North Yorkshire Moors for her Birthday , a couple of nights in the Station Tavern , i also booked a trip on the Heritage NYMR on one of their Pullman trains .

We arrived in Grosmont Late afternoon in glorious sunshine , The Tavern is right next to the railway station and has 3 rooms for accommodation , we’d took the Queen suite as it was the only one that looked over the station , it is quite a large room , well decorated with a few quirky features . Upon arrival we had a drink before settling into our room , after freshening up we returned to the bar to have a bite to eat and a few more drinks , the food we have to say is very tasty and of quite large portions , the menu has a good selection of standard pub fayre . I have to say this room has one of the best alarm clocks around , at 7.55am we were woken up to the sound of a steam train and it’s lovely whistle , this one being the visiting ‘Royal Scot’ .

( To View full size Please click on the photos )

the view from our bedroom window and the ‘Alarm Clock’

5 or 10 mins later we had a Black Five giving us a reminder ! At 9am we went downstairs for a lovely breakfast , before heading out for a morning wander and a visit to the engine sheds . The town was heaving with visitors to see the ‘Royal Scot’.

We returned briefly to the hotel for a coffee and to change before heading back to the station to catch our train !

This Pullman had a special Scottish menu for the visit of the Royal Scot , For Starters Melanie had the Oak Smoked Scottish Salmon , i had the Scotch Broth , For the mains Melanie went for the Chicken Supreme and i had the Prime Roast Aberdeen Angus Sirloin . For the Puds Melanie had the Drambuie Trifle and i went for Cheese Board which came with a rather large dram of Whisky !

Hmmm……. Which wine……

Birthday Girl !

Pint of your Finest !

The meal was very good and the service was outstanding , It certainly was an experience traveling through one of the most beautiful areas in the UK in the lovely Pullman Coach being pulled by a Steam Engine ! We will be repeating it !!!!

We spent the evening in the bar of the Station Tavern before retiring to bed……

On the Sunday after another Alarm call from a Black Five and a superb Breakfast we bid farewell to Grosmont and went for a drive through the North Yorkshire Moors before heading home only stopping off at Nunnington Hall for a National Trust Scone……

One of the local residents showing off…….