A Walk around Wath

Boxing Day, 26th December 2004
Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

navigation bar
navigation bar
Island, Wath Main site

The RSPB Old Moor Wetlands reserve is closed for just two days each year and we've chosen one of them for our visit. Fortunately there's an attractive circular walk along a bank on the eastern boundary of the reserve and down to the river Dearne, returning via informal parkland surrounding a lake on the restored site of Wath Main Colliery.

We see a flock wigeon grazing on the grassy banks beyond Old Moor and, on the colliery site lake, a smaller number out on the water. There are pochard, ruddy duck and tufted duck, herons, dabchick and redshank.

domestic goose


A Fresh Perspective #2

panorama of Coxley valley.


You might recognise the house on the left from the perspective grid drawing I made the other day. This is the view from my studio window of the lower end of Coxley Valley. The image is stitched together from 6 photographs, a feature of my digital camera that I've never tried before.

After watching Arden putting his digital SLR through its paces yesterday, I decide to ask my friend David Stubbs, who originally recommended the Canon PowerShot to me (as did a number of other keen photographers), to give me some hints on using mine. I'm ashamed to say that I've been using it - with excellent results - on the 'automatic' setting since I bought it 7 or 8 months ago.

David points out that if I wanted just the automatic setting I could have bought myself a cheaper, simpler camera. I chose the PowerShot 5 in part for its macro setting yet I've never got around to reading the manual to find out exactly how it works.

David, who is one half of a canoe-building business in Cumbria, tries it out on some of the bits and pieces on the lunch table. The quality is stunning; these reduced cropped details hint at the photographic quality of the full-sized images. In my opinion, it routinely gives better results than I was able to get with my much-loved Pentax Spotmatic, which I've used since student days.


Christmas decoration
foil dish
Mince pie case

salt-mill top
Salt-mill top



On the originals, the fibres of the beard of the two-inch tall Santa show up crisply in the sunlight, a foil mince pie case looks like Niagara and a salt-mill top like a piece of industrial archaeology. Using the swivelling LCD viewfinder David lines up a shot so that one of the flowers of the cyclamen on our windowsill has a sky blue background: our Suzuki Wagon R that is parked on the driveway.

I'm impressed with the creative possibilities of macro mode as well as its usefulness for recording flowers, rocks, fossils and seashore life. David even shows me how easy it is to take a short movie.

Wild West Yorkshire: the movie. Hmmm. Next Page

Related Link

Solway Dory, David's canoe-building business (the other half of the team is another David, David Poskitt). The solway dory takes a sailing rig and is great for island hopping expeditions on the west coast of Scotland.


Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk

navigation bar
navigation bar