I've recently had to do a serious 'sort out' and had to be ruthless in the process, meaning I had to dispose of many images passed on to me by JL over the years, not counted but certainly in excess of 450 prints. However, there were many of these images it was impossible for me to bring myself to 'trash' and I've chosen the following to share on the blog in the hope they might generate some interest.
In fairness to John Leedal I should point out that these photographs are not of professional quality, for starters he didn't use modern technology, had no computer to edit his work, and I've had to photograph them to gain copies for Birds2blog. By the way....neither of us are from the Victorian era you understand!!
JL and I spent many excellent birding hours staked out to see the Honey Buzzards (HB) in the Rusland Valley in Cumbria in the early 2000's, having a good number of sightings over these visits, on one day of good fortune I was able to achieve quite a good recording of a bird calling reminiscent of Golden Plover.
Although the photograph above is a bit fuzzy it clearly illustrates the kind of views these birds could give you even though it required many hours of emptiness in between. This bird shows its outstretched Cuckoo like head, and the tail - especially when folded in - takes on a 'paddle' like shape, and there are some underpart markings to be seen here too.
Bee-Eater. John Leedal.
It was in June 2002 whilst on one of our HB days in Rusland, that I received news of Bee Eaters which had been found just about a half mile away from where we were 'waiting' for the HB's to hopefully show....hows that for good fortune. We had excellent views of up to five birds if my memory serves me well, including one bird feeding an insect to another....amazing stuff. In typical style JL wrote on the back of this photograph he gave me....'A thing of beauty is a joy forever'....Keats
Common Rosefinch. John Leedal.
This Common Rosefinch was present for us at Giggleswick near Settle in North Yorkshire also in June 2002, obviously a good year for us. I recall this bird immediately giving itself away the instant I opened the car door on arrival at the location to hear it singing its head off....more amazing stuff.
Spotted Flycatcher. John Leedal.
And finally....Nothing unusual about this photograph of the young Spotted Flycatcher, other than for two exceptions, for starters it was found at Aldcliffe in the sheep pens by the old railway crossing - obviously bred there....hadn't it - and it was found at the end of August 2002 much later than I would have expected to see such a young Spotted Flycatcher.