Making the Cut

2022 has been and gone.  As with all years it had it’s highs and lows.  There were many plans hatched that never came to fruition mainly because we spent a fair bit of time having major work done to the house and decorating.  Only one room left to do now so hopefully we will spend more time enjoying ourselves in ’23.  Already we have booked a return to Scotland in June and to celebrate a special anniversary in May we are visiting the Greek island of Corfu which holds some lovely memories from our last trip in 2019.

I’ve been looking through my images from this past year and several, though fairly reasonable, never made it to this blog.  I usually limit myself to a handful of shots per post so only the best will do.  Other times there may be photos taken and I never wrote a post where they could be included.  Let’s have a look at what I found.

In May I went to the west of the County and visited the Cut-off Channel at Stoke Ferry. This Brown Argus (Aricia agestis) posed beautifully
Close up of a newly emerged Emperor dragonfly (Anax imperator) with excuvia in the background by my pond
June and the Silver-studded Blues (Plebejus argus) were emerging on the local heath. This is a lovely fresh male but I felt the background a little messy, that’s nature though these are not studio shots
Major bird news of the summer was three pairs of European bee-eaters (Merops apiaster) nesting in a sand quarry just 5 miles from home! This is only the third time this has happened in the UK in recent times. We took a look but photographing these gorgeous, multi coloured birds was difficult due to the distance. I added a 1.4x converter to the 600mm zoom and even with excessive cropping this is the best I could manage!
An unusual butterfly shot from July. This is a Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) on the conservatory door
A colourful August image, male Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) by the garden pond
Taken just before the new year. Curlew (Numenius arquata)

One thing I have noticed is that I have been getting a few new followers to this blog, welcome everyone I hope you find things of interest on this site.  Also there has been a few regular bloggers that have suddenly stopped and in some cases their blogs deleted from wp.  Not sure of the reasons but I hope they are still ok.

Let’s hope for a great New Year with lots of lovely subjects to photograph.  Take care all, B.

48 thoughts on “Making the Cut

  1. Great shots – I’m a complete sucker for butterfly/insect /bird pics so keep’ ’em rolling! You even got to see one of those visiting bee-eaters. Retuning to WP after a break I’m happily reconnecting with those blogs I followed before & am enjoying oiling the writing wheels once again. Look forward to seeing more of your posts in ’23.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Mick!
      Yes some people stop blogging before they even get going. What worries me are those that just drop of the radar when they post regularly and no mention they are giving it a rest. I know one who sadly succumbed to covid and others who’s health was not great, I fear the worst.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I had a couple of regular blogging friends who just disappeared – well before Covid – but their other social media accounts just went untouched too. I even tried messaging them, but no reply. As you say, I feared the worst.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a happy result of reviewing your old files! We all get the benefit of enjoying even more superb photographs!

    I don’t usually pick a favorite image, but I’m really taken with the Emperor emerging. Superb!

    We are doing well as we head into a New Year and hope you and yours will have a spectacular 2023! The anniversary trip sounds wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pretty critical when reviewing my old files, many thousands have been sent to the great recycling bin in the ether, these escaped the chop!
      The Emperor was a good sighting, they usually emerge at night but this year I saw four by the pond in the morning.
      Have a great New Year Wally and Gini with your swamp wanderings.


  3. Did I ever enjoy these photos, Brian. Thanks for sharing these incredible close-ups. Very exciting to have the bee-eaters nesting nearby, and wonderful moments in wildlife. I especially found the newly emerged dragonfly and its exoskeleton quite a miracle shot. Fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jet.
      As I mentioned to Wally the Emperor usually emerges at night, this last year I was fortunate to see four still around in the morning.
      The Bee-eaters were spectacular and to have them so close to home was a bonus. Maybe with global warming they may become a regular sighting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful shots! Not sure why these didn’t make your blog earlier as they are beautiful.😊 Hopefully you aren’t worried about our lack of blogging…I had to lock down my site for a bit as I was hacked after posting about my relief efforts. 🙄 Still trying to figure a way forward without endangering my followers. It really sucks from my standpoint. So no worries, we will be back up and running soon.😎😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh MY MY, I am so very envious of you guys going to Corfu, Greece! 😮 What an absolutely stunning place! Want to adopt an extra brother, Brian, to take along? 😉 hehe

    Beautiful photos! I especially like the Emperor dragonfly with its excuvia in the background. Reminds me a bit of one of my favorite Sci-Fy movies “Aliens,” where the dragonfly-looking Queen loses her ovipositor. 😉 And the image of the Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) tricked me at first! I thought you had remarkably caught it in mid-flight, and I was amazed! But alas… film-trickery got my goat. You sneaky man you! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you weigh under 15 kilos Prof get yourself over here and we will put you in the suitcase!
      Glad you like the Skipper shot Mr D, never photographed an underside of a butterfly before. Dragons can look a bit alien like especially during the actual emergence as I photographed a couple of summers back if you remember that post.
      Thanks for dropping by, hope ’23 works out fine for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I always enjoy seeing your butterflies and dragons, Brian, but I’m thrilled today about seeing the bee-eater. Good for you. This is a bird that has eluded me during trips to Germany and it’s very high on my wish list. What a gorgeous bird.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m afraid the photo just doesn’t do justice to the Bee-eater. We watched them for several hours through binoculars and they were delightful but they steadfastly refused to land any closer! I remember a holiday on Menorca where we found a big colony by a back road and they were just yards away! Oh for a camera then.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Donna. Sometimes you just get lucky and your subject sits in a nice place with lovely light, doesn’t happen often so I’ll take it when it does. If I recall the Argus was very skittish but thankfully settled on that tiny bloom for nectar for enough seconds for me to get in position, only got 2 shots.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey B., a hearty hello from the road. finally getting some time to relax from the nonstop birding since the first (well, technically since the week before the first, but that is a whole story in itself). Loved the shots here and regardless of the distance, that bee-eater is a gem. Getting a lot of good stuff down here on our border – should be a good ’23.

    Liked by 1 person

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