I can honestly say I've never wondered how far a DSLR and big telephoto lens would bounce when it was dropped onto a pavement. Until yesterday. The answer is that they bounce back high enough for me to be able to catch them, one hand one bounce, somewhere around knee height. Of course, the catch is preceded by the sort of smashing, crunching noise that you really never, ever want to hear associated with very expensive camera equipment, making my celebration of the catch somewhat muted. On first inspection I can see that the lens hood has split in two and that there is a small dent on the outside of the telephoto lens. But miraculously everything still appears to work. The crying shame is that the telephoto lens only arrived back from Canon on Friday after a £130 service. And the crying is still continuing.
I continue out into the fields, complete with one year old baby in the backpack who I have unthinkingly dressed with pink hat and gloves, rendering my wearing of a green jacket in order to blend in with the hedgerows useless. Needless to say, the local wildlife keeps it's distance:
Above, Long-tailed Tit. Below, the rarer of the two partridge species this year: the first Red-legged Partridge, after tens of records of Grey Partridge in 2011. Mmm... maybe the camera is damaged after all.
So, after having nearly smashed up my camera equipment and then having spent 90 minutes walking with a pink fluorescent baby on my back, what better way to end the afternoon than a quick visit to the village's sewage works?
The usual fantasies of Siberian Chiffchaff are quickly laid to rest, but the filter beds are playing host to three birds today, one of which is the first Grey Wagtail of the year, bringing the Cuddesdon year list to 66 species. The other two birds don't even get a mention.