Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Climb To Clee

The prospect of the afternoon off of work and the weekend spent with my girlfriend in Shropshire, cheered me up as I left Andover at half 12 and made the near on 3 hour journey north west towards Ludlow. The plan to drive through and spend a couple of hours on the Long Mynd, soon changed when I realised I was busting for the loo, not usually a game changer, but as I drove over the open expanse of Clee Hill 5 or 6 miles before Ludlow.

I decided with the clock just passing 3pm and the early November sun already dropping down low towards the distant mountains once I had got up on to the Long Mynd time would be pretty limited. So an impulsive turnoff to Titterstone Clee summit settled all doubts, firstly to relieve the bladder, and secondly in the hope in picking up some upland specialists. Ring Ouzel being number one on the wish list.

As soon as I parked up above the old quarry and stepped out of the car, The change in temperature hit me, to say the wind is pretty keen would be a bit of a understatement. It was freezing! I'm not sure if its the change in temperature and altitude or the fact that I'm overweight and physically unfit, but the fairly steep ascent up towards the radar station nearly killed me. 

After reaching the summit, I found a nice sheltered spot on the eastern face hiding from the wind and regaining my breath, the view from here is pretty spectacular and I chastised myself for not carrying my smaller lens as the afternoon sun covered the surrounding miles in gorgeous soft orange light.

On the bird front I must admit I was pretty disappointed, no Ouzels or Raptors in sight, the only activity, the 50 or so Ravens that flew, cronked and exercised rather aerobatically quite low over my head, even with a few impressive barrel rolls that sprung out of knowhere.

As I descended down the slightly more rocky south face I still held hope for a Blackbird type thrush, but nothing, just the sight of two distant Merlin being chased by 5 or 6 Ravens. Once back at the car I did swap lenses over, but having missed the best of the light I left a little annoyed having watched the Sunset from a high vantage point and not being able to photograph it. As usual a massive fail on my part!

Sunset In Wales
With pretty horrid weather all day on Saturday I didn't have the opportunity to get out with the camera anywhere, and resulted to photographing the odd garden bird from the bedroom window on Sunday morning as the Sky's cleared. Dunnock & House Sparrows quite vocal in the hedge at the back of the garden.

Cock Sparrow Up to date pictures and sightings, prior to me getting around to writing these blog posts, As mentioned previously I am currently running a competition over on my Facebook page so please feel free to have a look and enter. 

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