Contrary to appearances, I'm as enthusiastic about my photography as ever, but - what with Covid (which has prevented my photography Other Half Mark and I from travelling - or even associating) and fishing (which I've been doing with my pal Chris because we're "bubbled") opportunities have been thin on the ground.
And of course, I haven't been able to jump on a train and spend a week in North Norfolk, or Aviemore, or whatever else might take my fancy.
The icing on the cake (which is to say, the opposite of that...) is that my local part of the world is just awful for birds - there's more "countryside" in the middle of most inner cities than there is surrounding me.
But hope springs eternal. I had a wander along today to a little "country lane" (it really isn't, but it's as good as I've got within walking distance of my front door) which has always been good for warblers at this time of year, if you know where to look.
And - although I'm out of practice, and they could have been more obliging - these Chiffchaffs brightened up my day:
(I am conscious that the legs of these birds - the last one in particular - are rather pale for Chiffchaff, but they were chiffing and chaffing fit to burst right in front of me, so...)
Truth be known there wasn't much else about (unlike yesterday when I was fishing my "local" club pond, surrounded by Willow warblers), but who doesn't like a Tree sparrow, a Robin or a Dunnock?
Tree sparrow, Blyth
There were also loads of Peacock butterflies around: normally I wouldn't, but this one was hard to resist:
Peacock butterfly, Blyth
Nothing special at all really - but it was just nice to have the chance to wave a camera at some birds again.
All taken with the Canon 7D Mk II, 100-400mm Mk II + 1.4x teleconverter.
Converted from Raw with Photo Ninja - the best converter out there in my (not at all humble) opinion.
Pixel editing, watermarking, object removal etc. ("PhotoShopping", if you like) with ACDSee Photo Editor 11, which punches so far above its weight, it's untrue...