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mick

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mick last won the day on November 3

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  1. mick

    My cobbled together layout

    Looking good Griff. Will be nice to see it filled and sanded.
  2. mick

    Worsley Dale Garden Railway

    Don't worry Griff, I'm not about to eradicate my feline intruder but it is extremely annoying when a cat from a good distance away is causing damage to something I've spent a great deal of time putting together. I've only added anti-climb spikes on top of the fence adjacent to the viaduct so if it uses common sense it will jump over a little further up the garden and not end up with sore feet.
  3. mick

    Worsley Dale Garden Railway

    Since I reported on the damage to Stack Gill viaduct, and after having repaired it, I discovered a few days later that it had been damaged again. I now believe it's a cat that's causing the damage and so I've nailed some security spikes along the top of the boundary fence where it seems it's jumping over and down onto the top of the viaduct. It appears to have worked so far. I've not finished work inside the shed so nothing has been replaced and thus there's nothing new to report, however, I have managed to get hold of some new Bachmann MK2F coaches which I'm looking to forward to seeing on track. I've also ordered a Mk2F DBSO which, as far as I'm aware, I've never seen in operation in real life but which appear to offer me a way of running back and forth between the two stations without the need to remove the loco in the terminus station and stick it back on the other end. I'm probably going to be operating a model railway with vehicles and liveries that might never have been seen together at the same time but that's the way I enjoy it.
  4. mick

    Camdale layout

    It feels like where getting close to seeing some action on Camdale now that the transformers have made an appearance. I'm looking forward to seeing a view of the entire layout. Have you had any thoughts regarding scenery or is that looking a bit too far ahead?
  5. mick

    Bird Photographs

    I've not managed to photograph any of those yet Roddy and we see loads of Red Kites but it's always whilst were driving. I thought I'd add a few photos of young Blue Tits this time. I've taken quite a lot though very few are worthy of displaying and just about all of them were taken around the bird feeder which does nothing for the natural setting. The ones below weren't quite ready to feed themselves Youngster and parent. Strange how the young ones have all the markings but not the adults colours. The one below was a quick snap of a youngster that settled on a neighbours fence.
  6. mick

    Bird Photographs

    Hi Tony. The 5D is a full frame Canon Digital SLR, (Canon EOS 5D) the latest version of which I believe is still the MKIV. I have the earlier MKII from a few years ago as well as the MKIV. The largest native bird in the UK is apparently the Sea Eagle (had to Google that one) although we don't get any round these parts. The largest bird we get to see is probably the Heron as it takes an interest in my Koi. I photographed the one below near Long Preston, just outside Settle in the Yorkshire Dales. They have a wingspan of between 1.5 and 2 metres. It's amazing to see just how steady their head remains while they search the streams for food. I have some video, taken on a blustery day, which shows the birds neck swaying about in the breeze but the head absolutely still while they focus on their prey. I've had them stalking my pond on a number of occasions but its covered with a netted frame to keep them out.
  7. mick

    Bird Photographs

    I've taken so many photographs of birds recently that trying to choose a selection to include here is no easy task but the Blue Tit was proving quite an enjoyable challenge. Here's another selection of photos featuring a Blue Tit taken 2-3 weeks after the previous ones. Normally they don't hang around long enough to be able to take a series of photos but when they're searching the tree foliage for caterpillars you get a decent opportunity. I particularly liked the photo below which appears to show the little bird having a great time swinging to and fro. There are more Blue Tit photos to come!
  8. mick

    Bird Photographs

    Very similar to the previous attachments but this one was taken three days later when I noticed the Sparrowhawk for a second time. It looked directly at me but remained there for a good few seconds. Once again it scattered the sparrows but left empty handed. My first photo on Monday was taken at 16:05 and the first one on Thursday was at 16:13 so it's pretty consistent.
  9. mick

    Bird Photographs

    I took the Sparrowhawk photos with a Nikon Coolpix P900 which is described as a 'bridge' camera. It has an 83x optical zoom giving a 135mm equivalent of 24-2000mm. I purchased it to save me having to lug the much heavier DSLRs around when out walking but it's ideal for getting those quick snaps that would otherwise have been lost by the time I'd set up the Canon EOS 5D MkIV which is my favoured camera. For wildlife/birds etc I use the 5D with either a Tamron 150-600 zoom lens or, much better in my opinion, a Sigma 800mm prime lens with 1.4x and 2x tele adaptors. The drawback with the Sigma is the size and weight - it's very big and needs a good solid tripod - but coupled with the 5D it can deliver some really great results depending on the conditions. Very colourful Lorikeets Tony - they'd make some great close up photos.
  10. mick

    Worsley Dale Garden Railway

    Garden railways require frequent repair and maintenance and this morning I've been out trying to put this back together. Perhaps it was the Sparrowhawk or maybe the pigeons perching on it? It's only damaged along one side so it doesn't feel like a cat that's jumped over as I would have expected it to have damaged both sides.
  11. mick

    Bird Photographs

    It's the closest I've ever been to one Roddy and yes, it's a privilege to see one at such close quarters and to be able to capture the photos. We've seen them circling overhead on several occasions recently and it's clear they're aware of the birds feeders so I expect we'll see it again. I've been told it's a female Sparrowhawk.
  12. mick

    Bird Photographs

    I began this thread in order to post my most recently taken photos but started by trying to bring things up to date through a selection of photos taken previously. I still have a number of older photos to add but the ones included here were taken only yesterday. I was sitting at the dining table using the laptop when I noticed a bird outside near the feeders and it wasn't the usual sparrow or blackbird. It darted into the shrubs. Now normally I have a camera to hand but as I had recently arrived home I had to rush into another room, get out my camera bag and get hold of a camera. I removed the lens cap and switched the camera on but there was nothing to be seen - it seemed I'd missed my chance. The vertical blinds were drawn back on the windows so I didn't dare get too close to the window itself but I could see there was still something in the shrubs. I waited and then suddenly this popped out.... I use the dish to feed live mealworms but it wasn't interested in them - only in the sparrows that had been feeding there moments earlier. I quickly took the above photo expecting it to disappear at any moment but then had the chance to zoom in a bit for the following photos although they were taken through double glazed window glass at a distance of 10-12 feet. Now although I enjoy taking bird photos I'm not always certain of their identity but I believe this is a Sparrowhawk, similar to the one Roddy posted a photo of earlier. If anyone can confirm its identity I would be grateful. It left empty handed on this occasion but it's been lurking around before so I expect it will pay another visit sometime soon. Keep that camera handy!
  13. mick

    Worsley Dale Garden Railway

    Well here's a view that hasn't been seen for some time - Shieling Bridge station almost completely devoid of rolling stock and infrastructure! I've done a bit of weatherproofing on the outside of the shed and just had a general tidy round inside so thought I'd grab a photo of the empty station. It shows just how much work I still have to do but at least now it's a much more comfortable environment in which to do it. By the time I'm back up and running there's unlikely to be many opportunities to run anything round the garden but at least if it's cold or wet outside, I should be able to make myself comfy in the shed and get on with finishing the stations. I've not yet got round to altering the far left hand siding which scrapes against the cladding and I've still to repair the damage to my colour light signal, which currently lies on the platform, after it's unfortunate trip up the vacuum cleaner nozzle. But looking at the overall state of play, there was a time when I would have given anything to have been in this position
  14. mick

    Maximilianshafen

    Well you're certainly proving all the doubters wrong and showing that OO/HO in the garden can be very successful and worthwhile. Just wait until you can show them a fully operational layout next year! I think the forum provides the required inspiration and motivation to make a start in OO/HO outdoors. It shows what is possible and provides advice on things that are best avoided. Each individual member introduces their own ideas and you've added some novel methods yourself which should aid others who dare to follow in our footsteps! I think you win the prize for the most expansive OO/HO garden railway featured here so far and it's been very interesting following along. Looking forward to the recommencement of construction in 2019.
  15. mick

    Worsley Dale Garden Railway

    Thanks to everyone for your thoughts regarding the finish of my timber cladding. The consensus appears to be leave it as it is and so I'm in agreement with that as it will save me additional work. I haven't totally ruled out painting the roof white in order to reflect some light back down but I'll see how it goes - it does seem bright enough with the two lights. I've fastened the shelf bracket uprights to the rear wall of the shed but as yet I haven't got any suitable timber boards for the shelves. I've slotted brackets in place but I'm not sure exactly where they'll be going just yet. Once again I've run out of cladding, as you've probably noticed, and there's just a few sections needed to complete the lower part on the non-door end wall. Plastic conduit in place to take electrical cables and once the shelves are installed I'll be able to get rid of the trailing wires and cables too so we're getting there. Once the lower shelf is installed it's going to shield a lot of light from the terminus section but I have a 5 metre LED strip that will fit under the shelf so I'll give that a try.
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