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A morning out at the Penrhyn Bird Hide

Hello

Well today is the first time since Christmas that I have found time to get out and do a little Photoshoot.  what with work and illness, it's been difficult.  Anyway, I finished a big bathroom job yesterday and as it was such a nice day, I decided to get my old bones out into the cold but sunny day and visit the bird hide close to Penrhyn Castle just outside Bangor.

Starting off from home and onto the A55 Bangor By-Pass, I spotted this Buzzard proudly sitting on top of a lamp-post.

Took a couple of shots and headed onto the hide.

Much to my delight, Long-Tailed tits were about and a group of 5 were busy at the feeding station

Taking it in turns to feed whilst others kept an eye out for something nasty!!!

When I could, I took a shot of the birds away from the feeders, I think birds ON feeders do look a little un-natural and hey!! anyone can take a bird on a feeder!!! Lol

Looking at the camera or the other way, they are attractive birds with their delicate pink plumage and that elegant long tail that gives them their name.

I managed to take quite a few shots with my 300mm lens but due to it NOT having image stabilisation, quite a lot of them were a bit fuzzy to say the least.

This one came out nice and sharp, just got that bloomin twig in the way though!!!

This one decided not to do acrobatics on the feeders and waited for whole seed to fall to the ground. Long-Tailed tits are quite hard to photograph because they are such flitty little characters. A quick shutter and as much light as you can get, on most of these, I forced the flash.

Looking into the frozen pond from the hide, I could see three Egrets all busy preening and "fishing" Most of the pond was frozen so any areas that had not frozen were a good place to find the Egrets.

This perch is a fave of some of the Egrets, as you may remember from the last shot I took here. Not sure if it's the same bird but it seemed at home for sure

The light, as you can see was very good and this shot was taken at 2000th of a sec, handy when you don't have IS.

The other two decided to take flight and this shot was taken through branches of a three but I think they are diffused enough for you to see the birds in flight

This one had more branch for me to contend with but it's not too bad.

Onto another species that hang around the hide and that is the Chaffinch, a handsome bird, both male and female, nice markings and unlike the Long-Tailed Tits, are not as jumpy and will gladly sit and pose for you.

Here, the female just looks on as you snap away. She almost looks as if she is saying, "how do you want me?"

Another shot of the male.

AND another!!!

Last one of the Chaffinch and only right we should finish off with a lady with a mouthful!!!

On now to the most common of the Tits, the acrobatic little Blue Tit, very common but such delightful birds. I could just sit and watch the antics of these for ages.

A Blackbird makes an appearance, I heard it singing very soon after I got to the hide, a beautiful song, one of the best in the charts I think, that along with the Robin.

Another of the Tit family, the Great Tit, striking markings. Not as brave as the Blue Tit and I think a little less easy to shoot, this is where a little knowledge comes in handy. If you watch the Great Tit, when he comes to a feeder, they will Always land on the same perch, look around and then go to the feeder, some of the Blues, just go straight to the feeder but with the Great Tit, they will never let you down and you can get a good shot, you have to be quick though.

Before you know it....Off they go and you miss your chance.

Remember, watch them, get to know the route they take and you better your chances to get a shot.

Another Finch to stop by is the Greenfinch, a bit bigger than the Chaffinch and you will notice too, a much larger seed crushing bill. A bit of a bully at the feeder though. So be prepared that, if the Greenfinch is on the feeder, the other birds will no doubt have shot off and wait till it's had it's fill.

But even the Greenfinch is no match for the master bully of the feeders, the Nuthatch. With it's menacing beak and large size, ALL vacate the feeder when he arrives.

Moving on from bullies to everyones favourite, the Robin. cheeky, brave and very good looking (a bit like myself really!!!) Lol. This has to be our most popular bird.

Well dressed in all seasons and a wonderful songster, Sitting in the higher most branches singing their little hearts out. The duet of Robin and Blackbird to me, is brilliant.

Always ready to pose too.

So now, away from the hide, I nip into Bangor to the Penrhyn Quay. It's about lunchtime and there are always cars parked with folk eating one of our local deliciouses, Fish and Chips!!!

A good opportunity to take a shot of a bird in flight.

Panning and focus being the key to getting a good shot. This last few here were taken on Auto-Focus with continuous set. The focus would continue to adjust as the subject moved closer or further away.

These shots were taken at 1/2500th of a sec at F5.6. Standing with legs apart and panning to follow the bird.

Once you get the knack, you can get some quite good shots, good focus on the bird and even some interest in the background.

The tussle for scraps of Fish and Chips, does cause some disagreements!!!

The younger ones soon take the hint and fly off

leaving the mob to clear up!!!

Still at the Quayside, I spot a Oyster-Catcher all on his lonesome, pecking away, or rather, sticking his beak right down into the grass on the hunt for worms.

Close by, a Pied Wagtail runs along with that tail in it's distinctive "wag wag" action and then occasionally leaping into the air to grab a midge or fly.

Nearly back home now and just in the field as I come into the village, I spot a few Redwings and stop the van and take a couple of shots.

A thrush sized bird with the distinctive Red markings under the wing.

They often gather in large groups but there were only the two on this occasion

Accompanied with this Mistle Thrush.

Ok ok, so you are fed up with birds. Just for you, I finish off with a sheep. Well I do live in Wales after all!!

I hope you enjoyed the little trip today.  I certainly did and found that at long last, I could get out with the camera, get into the fresh air with good light.

Thanks for popping by if you did, I hope you liked the shots.

Cheers.

0 people like this.

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Date Tue, 07/02/2012 - 19:04
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Kev.

 

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Date Tue, 07/02/2012 - 19:10

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Date Tue, 07/02/2012 - 21:49
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Nice blog Steve - Like the shot of the Nuthatch....   Smile

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Date Tue, 07/02/2012 - 21:51
Comment

Cracking blog Steve some really crisp shots with some good info.

All the best

Please feel free to check my gallery :-    http://www.myfinepix.com/gallery/351672

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Date Tue, 07/02/2012 - 21:54
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Steve thank you thank you for your wonderful blog.  Brilliant tips which I'm going to write down lol.  Never ever get tired of seeing birds just need practice to capture them.  A massive like from me Smile

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Date Tue, 07/02/2012 - 21:55
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What wonderful photos~and what a lovely area you live in!

Mwah, Mwah!

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Date Tue, 07/02/2012 - 21:56
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I wish I'd been with you, I must try and get there one day, but the welsh won't take our bus passes !!!

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Date Tue, 07/02/2012 - 21:59
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A cracking blog Steve with great photos and narrative. Wish we had something like this round here. Ah well I'll just have to put up with the pigeons and 'Jenson Button' the falcon. Still can't get a shot of him.

Dave. 

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Date Tue, 07/02/2012 - 22:14
Comment

Lovely blog Steve, glad you had a bit of down time.

Liked.

ps Love the grumpy Buzzard

Jim

'Bokeh' Competition entry:- http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/competition/entry/697372

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Date Tue, 07/02/2012 - 23:30
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Excellent clear, crisp photos of all your favourite birds, Steve! I am paying close attention to all who capture birds in flight and the necessary camera settings. Thanks for sharing your brilliant photos....

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Date Tue, 07/02/2012 - 23:54
Comment

Like what has already been said - fantastic, clear, crisp shots - well done Smile

What camera/lense do you use ???

 

I have a new Blog called ‘Felixsnow – a snowy winters walk :)’ I hope you like it as I love feedback and comments from all around the world!!!

 

Have added some more pics from a sunny walk at Levington today – please check them out Smile

 

http://www.myfinepix.com/blog/389003/420000

 

http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/competition/entry/416090

http://www.myfinepix.com/gallery/389003

 

 

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 05:29
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Nice bird studies.

See my blog http://www.myfinepix.com/blog/368373/420742 

 

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 05:57
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Lots of great birds here.  You may think getting good shots at the bird feeder is easy, but some of us are still working on it! 

I can't pick a favourite--but I really liked the first shot of the Great Tit.

judypw

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 07:20
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Cracking shots Steve, I have to admire your patience in taking these sorts of shots. I intend to get a couple of feeders up in the garden next week when I'm off to see what I can attract, although I might have to get a cunning disguise to get close enough..

The blue tit was my favourite out of these, such colourful and sprightly things.

Ian

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 07:34
Comment

Brilliant blog. Some great shots, Steve.

They are all great photos but I like the Long-tailed Tit on the feeder best. All I get is fluffy blurs when I try to photograph these pretty birds.

The shutter speed information is useful to those of us trying to improve - thanks.

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 07:42
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A superb selection of images, Steve and all lovely and sharp, too. Bet you're glad you got out and about now!

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 08:44
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Great blog Steve, could that be a mistle thrush?

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 08:50
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the birds in flight shots are simply stunning loved this blog

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 08:50
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Thanks Elaine, I have edited it now, thanks.  I forgot before posting.  XXX

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 08:52
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Sorry excuse my manners.  Thanks to all that have dropped by.  Makes the effort worth it. Ta.

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 08:55
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Top quality photography throughout Steve, a fantastic blog.

Kev.

 

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 09:05
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A terrific blog Steve.Fantastic pictures as usual,well done.

Ron.

My gallery       www.myfinepix.co.uk/gallery/599723

My blog           www.myfinepix.co.uk/blog/599723        

 

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 09:14
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Hi there

Clear blue skies certainly can bring out the best in a photograph, your blog was very enjoyable to look at and read. 

*I noted from your profile you own a Canon 600D, I am giving this consideration at the moment as a treat.

Many thanks, John.

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 09:39
Comment

Nice blog Steve,certanly a lot to see Smile

 

 

Flickr Page

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 10:05
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 Good blog with smashing shots.

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 10:14
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Hi Steve what a stunning photoblog the detail on some of those birds are brilliant you never disappoint. You have taken some wonderful pictures Steve in what must be a haven for these types of birds. Steve a brilliant blog you have posted and many thanks for sharing M8T take care BoB.

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 12:44
Comment

A super blog, Steve, with terrific images. As someone new to shooting birds I appreciate your tips. Thanks for posting.

 

Flickr Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32238909@N04/

 

 

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 16:07
Comment

wonderful blog, beautiful crisp sharp photos and great narrative. Must have been a good day out.

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 16:11
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Well Steve just crawling back after gastric flue so know what you mean, hope to be up a running tomorrow, HUM! have been up and running the last four days and nights Nasty. Well at least this has kept my interest even feeling rough so you must have done a good job as usual, just like some one like your self to help people out, nice one a like from me, regards Leon.

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 17:55
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super blog Steve - good to see you out and about again instead of cheating through the window!! the Buzzard and nuthatch are my faves xxxxx

gallery http://www.myfinepix.com/gallery/62093 ;

Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitedove7/

still checking on you all every now and again !!!

 

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 21:44
Comment

A beautiful gallery of birds Steve. I loved the eye on the Buzzard at the start. There wasn't a pic that I didn't like. But my favourite has to be no 4. That cheeky little look over the shoulder was just lovely. Thanks for sharing.

Christine Smile

  new Blog       http://www.myfinepix.com/blog/1424

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Date Wed, 08/02/2012 - 22:41
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Thanks Steve,....Great Stuff mate !...I don't need to be tellin' you....lol..but I'll say it anyway....Great Shots M8y !...and I really appreciate you giving the tips on how to get a good shot in focus of a bird in flight....I needed that...Brilliant..Thank You !

All The Best.....Ian

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Date Thu, 09/02/2012 - 09:39
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Some great shots in there Steve, love the Redwings - Great to get decent shots of these! Nice oystercatcher too, one of my favourite birds. All round great blog!

Kaz

Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish. John Jakes

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52498776@N02/

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Date Thu, 09/02/2012 - 14:06
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Terrific blog Steve. glad to see you're out and about again....loved the buzzard shots, I've yet to get that close to one!!

Liked

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Date Thu, 09/02/2012 - 19:40
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nice work steve

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Date Thu, 09/02/2012 - 19:46
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Great set of images. Like it.

Ray

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Date Fri, 10/02/2012 - 15:39
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i didnt know what a buzzard looked like apart from seeing them high up and just the undercarriage,

good comprehensive variety there. the robins, as always, my favourites.

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Date Fri, 10/02/2012 - 19:30
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Which camera did you use?

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Date Sat, 11/02/2012 - 04:20
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Hi Steve.  Loved this blog, it is a great story, and you sure can take great pictures.  My favorites were the adorable, cute, long-tailed tit and the birds in flight, especially the one sea gull with its' mouth open!  I thank you so much for sharing this.  I also want to thank you so much for giving me such great comments on the Muttart Conservatory blog.  I was so happy.  I get so discouraged when I look at my gallery and I don't see much in the way of likes or comments.  I take heart from your comments.  Too bad I can never enter competitions because I live in Canada, but when I look at your pictures and some others that look so professional, I know I probably wouldn't have a chance.  But thanks so much.  Elizabeth Smile

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Date Sat, 11/02/2012 - 07:32
Comment

Stunning set of photos Steve, love the long tailed tits, they are so cute, the "in flight" young gulls are brilliant(must keep practising). Rob

 

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Date Sat, 11/02/2012 - 16:03
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brilliant such a variety !!! super blog Steve.............

every day is a new beginning enjoy yours...smile and the world smiles with you - cry and you cry alone :-) 

 

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Date Sat, 11/02/2012 - 16:39
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Well Steve, feeling a lot better not looking it, went to have a shave looked in the mirror think it must be two way, some scrawny old git looked back at me half dead, still I came back to appreciate your blog for what I remember it as, do like that nut hatch, we call them treecreepers we get one or two up next doors oak tree. not changed my opinion on your blog, so good on yer sport, cheers Leon.

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Date Sun, 12/02/2012 - 01:09
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Steve, what a fantastic blog. No stone has been left unturned thanks for the support!

TommyHawkes

 

Check out my competition entry http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/competition/entry/634477

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Date Sun, 12/02/2012 - 03:37
Comment

Very nice!! Well Done, Buzzard is beautiful, what type is it? Looks like the hawks we have here in California, our buzzards mostly have longer necks. yours is great! O' and fish and chips...ummmm, I have to travel a long distance to get good ones here. Sad

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Date Sun, 12/02/2012 - 07:20
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Wow. Great shots. Especially of the birds in flight. 

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Date Sun, 12/02/2012 - 11:00
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 Dear Steve,

       Exemplary bird photography, as always.Photographs of action are amazing!.I am grateful to show me some beautiful feathered friends which are not seen in temperate climate.

This time will pass.

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Date Sat, 18/02/2012 - 08:37
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You always make me jealous with your pictures,but they also inspire me to do better.You get a gold star in my book every time.Thank you for your kind comments on my meagre efforts.Keep up the good work.I think I will hint at a new camera soon,hopefully my husband will get the message(no chance,he's thick skinned and always seems to be deaf when he wants to be LOL)

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Date Sun, 19/02/2012 - 11:44
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Super collection, Steve, some outstanding shots.  Someone recently described buzzards to me as 'lamppost eagles' - spot on.

Best Regards,

Steve

My Gallery:

My Blogs

 Latest Comp.

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Date Mon, 20/02/2012 - 14:40
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Wonderful bird blog Steve. Glad you reminded me to take a peep at this as it was posted on the day we travelled to Malta. (my blog still in process of being compiled. I'm laid up with a cold at the moment) I love your Robin photos and the action shots. I am going to concentrate on birds more this year as I love seeing the different species. I remember seeing loads of Redwings once. Would love to get a Kingfisher (wouldn't we all) Thanks for sharing. Alison x    ps...I'm not sure if you missed seeing my photoblog below I did last month....here is the link.

Alison's 'Smile Say Cheese' Photoblog http://www.myfinepix.com/blog/77182/401471

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Date Tue, 21/02/2012 - 06:01
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Very nice blog steve, some really nice shots very clear and crisp loved the whole blog it's a like from me...

Rex...

why not take a look at my gallery and first blog...

http://www.myfinepix.com/gallery/773922

http://www.myfinepix.com/blog/77

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