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At the risk of upsetting those of you in GB, it was a nice Spring day in this part of France yesterday and today…….sorry. However I am not going to gloat because I will be back in Norfolk at the beginning of next week and I hope it will be Spring there too??

Anyway it was definitely mild here and some sun as well, so I took my camera and went for a short walk close to our house. I had a x400 telephoto and took all the photos hand-held -mostly photos of the few wild flowers that have now started to bloom along with some of the neighbour’s shrubs. The hedges round here have been butchered during the winter but I expect they will recover. I took a couple of photos that harp back to last Autumn- a rose hip that had survived the winter and an old corn cob now rotting back into the ground.

When I got home I fixed the camera to a tripod and sat in the garden and took some photos of the birds. The light was constantly changing so I had to adjust all the time and some photos which were taken with a lot of background sky I had to overexpose in order to avoid getting very dark birds. Evern so I had to reject some chaffinch photos as they were well below standard and the constantly adjusting auto focus ensured that no shots were taken of a very skittish long tailed tit.

Having said that I did get a reasonable selection even though there was nothing majorly exciting. There was a chiffchaff and he did start to sing for a brief while in the afternoon when the sun did get out properly. The great spotted woodpecker was most elusive and the sound of the shutter was enough to frighten him off but eventually I did get some good shots of a female- note no red on the head as in the male. A blackcap showed up briefly and I got some distant shots of her and most of the time there were a few starlings high up in the oak trees. These were making all sorts of mimic sounds including copies of the buzzard mewing and a reasonable impersonation of a golden oriole, which is not bad because they would not have heard one since last Autumn.

So here is a slide show of my Spring photos.

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