Canal Trip to Tixall Wide (Part 2)

Now back on dry land (although the arrival of Storm Alex makes this feel somewhat of a misnomer) and with a decent internet connection, this is the second half of our recent canal trip. The second week has definitely been the highlight for wildlife photography. Walking back to the boat from a visit to Shugborough Hall for a socially distanced meet-up with friends, I spotted this buzzard sat on a fence post in the field next to the towpath. It very considerately stayed there long enough for me to get to the boat and grab the large zoom lens, posing nicely for a few minutes before flying off to find it’s dinner.

Buzzard at Tixall Wide

The early part of the week saw a brief spell of wet and windy weather during which my father won the prize for understatement of the decade declaring by text message “yes it can get a little breezy on the wide”. This was at the point where it was blowing badly enough for us to deploy an extra mooring rope. The weather cleared next day and the light on Tixall Wide continued to provide some beautiful images.

Autumn Sunset over Tixall Wide

Tixall Wide is definitely somewhere I will revisit with the camera as it is a wildlife photographers paradise. However, the highlight of the trip was yet to come. With the forecast for Wednesday looking decidedly wet, we had cruised back to just above Fradley Junction on the Tuesday with the intention to hole up and make the final dash back to base on Thursday. It was whilst doing a little “housework” that we spotted a kingfisher perched just yards from the boat. Now I have seen kingfishers on the canal before (or at least I don’t know of anything else that colour that flies up the cut at the speed of Concorde) but never perched with in photography distance. Typically by the time I had grabbed the camera it had flown. I was hopeful it may come back and hubby suggested we watch an Andy Rouse YouTube video on photographing kingfishers. Ironically we were about to sit down to watch and I spotted something orange on the opposite bank. Our kingfisher was back and the camera was right by me. The moral of the tale is always have your camera handy as you never know what you might see.

Once the Kingfisher had flown off and I’d done an initial process of the images, we did sit down and watch the video. Hubby now wants to fit a kingfisher perch to the bow of the boat but I’m not sure our fellow owners would agree. If you are interested in wildlife photography and looking for tips and guidance on techniques then Andy Rouse’s website has proved really useful to me.

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