the best fisher ever.

sometimes it happens in a pub, sometimes it happens streamside. i guess it could happen anywhere where two or more anglers might chat but regardless, at some point in our fishing lives we’ve all heard the “who’s the best fisher in your opinion?” question.
my answer is invariably, this guy. he’s not a competition angler, isn’t Orvis nor Anyone endorsed, in fact he’s not in the least bit interested in praises nor endorsements. i like that.

i know, i’m not much of the conversationalist when it comes to subjects like this…

gasping for air, literally.

corvids in their typical ‘overheated’ display.

when temperatures soar i’ll often find them just sitting there, beaks open wide, taking in what they can to cool down.
one might think they’d be better off doing this in a forest’s shade, and perhaps they do but i so far i’ve always seen them do this out in the sun. go figure.

A month from a skylark, a half from a finch, a little from a wagtail and not a day from a swallow.

(Finnish proverb)

White wagtail – Canal du Midi, France


two smiles

one of the Scratchies spent the better part of the morning coming and going, calling me incessantly at the window:

“Hey YOU !!! I’ve some exciting NEWS !!!! LISTEN-LISTEN !!!!!!!

since they’ve been nesting for the last month or so (and i can’t think what other reason all the excitement might be about) i went downstairs to see if i could sneak a peek but i can’t actually get to that level without moving old junk about and using a ladder, and, and, and, and i don’t want to take the risk of upsetting their sacred place so i just stayed there for a while listening. nothing. the little noises from a week ago have gone silent, telling me what the back of my mind had already told me; the fledglings had flown away and proud Scratchie was ecstatically announcing the news.
congratulations and thank you my little friend.


as its impossible for me to distinguish which of the nesting Black redstarts (Rougequeue noir in french) at the house is the female or male i just went ahead and gave them both the same name so’s i can’t screw up and get all embarrassed when we say good morning.

sometimes i’l see them carrying a whole bunch of chironomids or sedges in their mouth, this all goes to the little ones. not wanting to disturb anything i haven’t seen them yet but i can hear them make tiny noises. the parents aren’t people shy in the least bit and often come check me out as i go about the terrace but they really-really don’t like having a camera pointed at them. this is the first time i’ve been able to get a decent shot of one of the Scratchies, hopefully some of that shyness will wear off.

apart from a more typical singing songbird chant what alerts me right away to their presence is the very distinguishable tsst-tsst-tsst sound the parents make when they’re in proximity of each other.

these creatures are beautiful, sweet and precious. i hope they hang out here for a while.

Do seagulls mate for life ?

i hope not ’cause that’s about the most boring thing a creature can do…
anyhow, here’s one of my neighbors, it’s seemingly single, free and mind-numbing beautiful.


i never thought the transition from making images of caught fish where they’re actually held and/or mostly immobile to free-moving birds in flight would be easy but easy was never the goal.
it’s a fascinating challenge where there’s a lot more flips and flops than images that come out as hoped. in other words, it’s a bit like continuously getting your butt kicked whilst carrying around fancy glass and electronics and staring off, squinting into the blue all the while asking for a harder kick.

i love this, the journey, the creatures and of course the never-ending attraction to waterways where all this happens. more than a place to enjoy seeing some nice butts while getting my very own kicked, it’s home.


White stork parents alternate egg incubating duties so it’s hard to tell if this is a she or he but it was a funny or maybe more aptly, a quirky one. of the thirty or so images i took this is the only one where we can clearly see its eye as it was constantly trying to hide behind one of the tree’s branches.

it didn’t do this when i was looking at it normally but only when behind the camera. as i moved my lens a little to the left, a little to the right, up or down, it would automatically adjust to find some safe place behind another branch or leaf to hide its eye.

funny that such a large bird wouldn’t take into account the rest of its body during the hiding process. in a way i suppose it’s an inverted/twisted ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach but then that’s just me attempting to apply human reasoning to something that isn’t human and that’s dumb.

whatever its reasons, it was a nice encounter and whilst i sometimes regret carrying the big lens when out fishing, that wasn’t the case today.


some say “If you got it, flaunt it”.

animals don’t say or understand those terms nor do they need to fulfill a sense of reassurance, vanity or self-valorisation:
they have the upper hand.

“When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck

and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.”
~ James Whitcomb Riley