In the Valley

I spent an hour or so this afternoon in Sheepcote Valley and there are actually some sheep there at the moment. The local council use them to manage the vegetation. They're dotted in the distance in this shot, but won't be around for more than a few weeks before being moved to (low-grade) pastures new.

We were blessed with some blue skies, and precious little wind. The trails of the aircraft overhead were standing out brightly against the sky.

The weather to the south didn't look quite so promising. Plenty of cloud and what looks suspiciously like a mini tornado :yikes: It's taken from a distance and was probably high over the sea.

In the east, the moon was rising.

And to the west, as the sun was setting, the starlings were flocking.

Of the little wildlife I did see, this blue tit provided the best photo.

There was one other sighting of note. As I was leaving, and as the light had all but vanished, perched on a low branch over looking the scrub I spotted a male kestrel. Always nice to have kestrels back on the blog 😉

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Camera note: the first two shots were taken with the Canon 7D and EF 24-105 F4L IS USM lens. The rest were all taken with the EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.

This entry was posted in Bird of Prey, Birds, Landscape, South Downs National Park and tagged , , , , , .


  1. derWandersmann January 8, 2012 at 1:01 am #

    Good job.
    How ever did you get the flocking starlings? Manual focus?

  2. claudeb January 8, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    Of course, if you can spot the kestrel, he can spot you too… Fun!

  3. serola January 8, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    Nice and interesting set of shots :up:

  4. cakkleberrylane January 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    Very nice variety of shots. The rising moon with the sheep is really beautiful.

  5. Words January 8, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    Sami, thanks.

  6. Words January 8, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    dW, the starlings aren't quite in focus bu they are far enough away not to matter too much. I was tracking them with the AF but I do sometimes manually adjust.

  7. Words January 8, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    Lois, I love the moon when it's low in the sky like that. I took some shots with the sheep in focus, but preferred this one in the end.

  8. Words January 8, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    Felix, the local kestrels are usually very cooperative with the camera, especially the males for some reason.

  9. claudeb January 9, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    Well, kestrels are predators, aren't they? Predators are smart by definition, and smart equals curious.

  10. Words January 9, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    Felix, they are among my favourites, especially when I'm lucky enough to see this.

  11. SittingFox January 11, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    That cloud doesn't look at all friendly :eyes:

  12. Words January 11, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    Adele, we get quite a few come in over the sea, but it's the first time I've seen one. It was quite a way off so no harm done.