So Countryfile came and went, and there’s not much more to be said really. Half a days filming for a minute and not putting the context behind the work we are planning to do. But there we go, nothing ventured etc. etc.
Filming with Shauna Lowry for Countryfile.
Tomorrow 7.00pm. (more later)
Just back from the North West after doing a small piece for BBC Countryfile (more on that later) and managed a few day out with the camera and collecting more material for the WALK project in the summer. This first post concentrates on a few hours I spent with the tree sparrows at Martin Mere and the decline of the sparrows of this country.
Another recent wader encountered whilst out with the geese was the ruff. Five birds spent a good half hour picking up the swan feed towards dusk and it was interesting to note the very different stages of plumage from wintering adults to juvenile birds. It’s the leg colour that varies more than anything and is pretty well emphasised in these images.
Back to Islay and the geese. The aim was to place them in a wider context and I was fortunate that the weather was with me (seems like it’s not been very good since then). The mornings were superb and straight out of the van I was able to work with a perfect backdrop and the geese coming over the waters of Loch Indal. Trying to work them together is not such an easy task, focusing is all against you and the focusing spot had to be continually adjusted.
The last post from the Mersey looked mainly at the physical power of the water as the high tide reached its peak, but I was very much aware of a developing narrative that involved not just the waves and surges but people and the wider context in which I was experiencing the event.
Over last weekend I was up at Martin Mere again and continuing my work on the swan and geese project. The whoopers can be quite aggressive to each other and to anything that gets in their way as the images with the mallard show here. It lunged towards the unsuspecting duck, twirled it round for a few ‘spins’ before the mallard escaped its attentions.
It seems as if the worst of the last storm was felt very close to home on the south Wales coast of Porthcawl and the west coast of Aberystwyth, both featuring on the national news. I was away at the time but was aware of the conditions that had been forecast close to my family home a couple of miles from the Mersey estuary in Liverpool.
Islay’s about the perfect destination in winter if you love both geese and a good malt. For such a small island it has a wealth of fine distilleries and they are wonderfully located. Eight distilleries in such a compact area all responding to the natural characteristics of the island.