Friday 11 July 2014

Cygnets Take to the Water.

In mid May a pair of young swans built a nest on one of Norfolk's more remote waterways.  For six weeks the Pen sat on the nest including a scorching hot spell in June.  Along with several others I kept watch over the pair in the hope there might be youngsters.  As the pen is a young bird there were no gaurantees there would be a sucessful outcome - it was simply watch and wait.

The Swans nest on the canal.
On my twice weekly visits to the area my first stop was always the swan's nest in the hope there would be something to film.   Several weeks went by without any significant change apart from the cob letting me know he had his eye on me. This was demonstrated from time to time with some slightly menacing hisses followed by some extravagant wing flapping.

On Monday June 23rd I made an extra trip to the nest site - Surprise! Surprise! there was a group of five fluffy little chicks inspecting the nest. 

Five chicks and one egg.
Mum gently turned the one remaining egg while the five cygnets squeaked continuously as they surveyed  the strange world they found themselves in.  It was sheer luck that I had arrived when I did, even better I was just in time to film the chicks entering the water for the first time. 

At the time of writing the chicks are just two weeks old and seem to be doing okay.  There are dangerous times ahead for them. An RSPB survey states that only half the cygnets born reach maturity, predators and pollution account for most of the fatalities. The chicks are on a secluded, private stretch of water and I believe they are relatively safe from human interference. Even so I have chosen not to disclose their exact location as I have long since lost my faith in many kinds of human behaviour. 

"Vaya con dios" little fellows.

To see a video of the cygnets please click the link below.

Wednesday 9 July 2014

I Shot The Band.

A few days ago we travelled with a local Norfolk band to the Welsh border to film one of their gigs.
Looking For Mango are a talented Norfolk five piece band who were signed up for the Ebstock Music Festival along with other bands from Cardiff and Liverpool.

We stayed overnight in a B and B in the pretty village of Whittington, a few miles from the event, and awoke  to the smell of bacon and eggs and the sound of torrential rain.
Whittington Castle, the view from our Band B

 We arrived at the Ebnal Hall venue where everyone was wearing wellies and carrying umbrellas.  Looking For Mango were booked to do two sets, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.

By evening the programme was over running by an hour and a half. LFM started the final set at about 11pm.  The place was absolutely rocking with three hundred people or so bouncing and jumping to the band from Norfolk.  Filming was a challenge in the midst of a demented smoke machine, illuminated by an impressive light show from the overhead gantry.  
LFM attracted fans like a magnet as they played into the night - in the middle of it all the camera was bounced and barged around in front of the stage.  A great gig.

"Looking for Mango" are a band with a great sound, watch out for them at Norfolk venues.  You will not be disappointed.
"Looking For Mango" Sound Check.

Listen to "Looking For Mango" on the link below.

Follow them on Facebook.