Thursday, February 07, 2013

Woodland Star-Trail

I confess to having a bit of a Waxwing fetish: who can resist these beautiful birds? There was an influx of these into the Cardiff area back in December, and another flock of 20 or so a few weeks ago. All my visits to photograph them coincided with deadly dull weather, so I haven't bothered to upload any pictures. Yesterday, I thought everything had finally come together: another small group of Waxwings had been sighted in Cardiff, I had the afternoon free, and the weather was gorgeously sunny and bright. Even better, on arriving in Cardiff just before noon, I checked the internet to see that the birds had been seen on Canada Road at 10.30 that morning. Everything was going according to plan for my upcoming award-winning snaps! Until, that is, I arrived at the location at 12.30 p.m. - and the Waxwings were not there! I wandered around the area in vain for an hour, but the birds had obviously seen me coming and scarpered. Damned rude of them, after I had gone all that way to see them.
I headed back to Swansea with my tail between my legs, and arrived back under a clear and starry sky. The perfect night for a star-trail shot, I thought. I remembered an isolated tree which stood atop a hill above my house, and thought it would make an excellent foreground for a star-trail picture. I headed out after dark with my camera gear, convinced I was about to get the best star-trail shot ever taken. I was not! A local farmer had blocked off the previously-public footpath leading to the hilltop - bastard, I thought! I was determined to get at least one photo out of this so-far-disastrous day, and so I set up my camera in a small wood and pointed it at the stars, before heading home to watch the football. On going out to collect the camera afterwards, I was relieved that the lens, for once, didn't seem to have fogged over. Of course, something was bound to have gone wrong, and it had: the battery had run out! However, it had completed about a 75-minute exposure, so here it is (the yellowish light on the trees is caused by the nearby street-lights):

Hardly worth all that bother (and all that unnecessary waffle I've just written) for one crummy picture!


  1. Very good photo Jeremy.....nice done.

    Greetings, Joop

  2. I'm sorry you couldn't make any Waxwings pictures. But this picture from the "wandering stars" has been great. I wonder there is no wind in the trees.

    Do you know the song "Wondering star, from Lee Marvin" ? I think it was my first song I have recorded.
    I wish you more luck for next Waxwing pictures :-)
    Have a good time

  3. Nice pic. Better luck on the taff trail next time Jer. Still, the glamorganshire canal is always a tranquil spot to be. Kieran :-)

  4. Some great recent images must look into star trails myself.

  5. Very nice photo Jeremy! Sorry you had such a frustrating day. It reminded me of my own recent quest to find Waxwings, luckily I only had to go 4 or 5 minutes up the road each time though.

  6. hahaha, not to be too upset Jeremy, for I missed the Waxwings, pretty much our season as well. I got a few, but nothing grand. The image that you shared is a worthy effort though, very nice. happy week~