Last Saturday, H.R.H. The Queen was due to come to this city, Swansea; and, as a loyal subject(!), I was dutifully up early, preparing to head over to the Brangwyn Hall with my 'big gun' (that's a lens; I was not attempting an assassination!) to do my paparazzo impression. Double-checking on-line before leaving on the exact time of her visit, and the route she would take, I noted to my horror that the old moo (that's my knighthood up the spout!) had come down with a (probably fake!) case of gastroenteritis, and would not be coming after all. Very inconsiderate of her, I thought, after I had dragged myself from my bed at an ungodly hour, and a morning person I am not. I was particularly gutted as the only previous time I had seen her (that I can remember) was when I was a teenager living in Canada, and she was on a state visit to Ottawa. My dad, who was at work, had given me his camera (which I think was a rangefinder type, with manual-everything controls), and the Queen came over to speak to us after my mum held up a rather-embarrassing banner: "Greetings from Romsey". I knew nothing about photography then (many would say I still don't!), and I managed to 'balls-up' all the pictures - they were all so out-of-focus that the Queen was nothing more than a shapeless blob (rather like my own physique at the moment)!
What has this self-indulgent waffle got to do with nature photography, you might ask? Well, nothing, really, except that I was so deflated after this let-down that I put away my big lens, and, devoid of energy, I only had the drive for a gentle stroll around Brynmill and Singleton Parks with my 70-200mm lens.
Other than seeing a female Goosander on Brynmill Park lake (first I've seen there), and a leucistic Blackbird and the resident Ring-necked Parakeet in Singleton Park, there wasn't much wildlife of note to be seen. I was, however, pleased to see a healthy population of Song Thrushes in Singleton Park, which were so tame that I was able to photograph them with the aforementioned smallish lens, sometimes with coupled with a 1.7x converter. A few pics.:
These pictures were all taken with me lying on the ground and resting the camera on a sturdy beanbag. At one point, I heard a young girl's voice behind me say, "Come and look at this". Interested to see what the fuss was about, I turned around, only to see a whole family of goons gawking at me. I was the 'this' they were looking at. I was tempted to give them a rude gesture, but nobly resisted!