Friday, 27 March 2015

Seeing Double

This week it has seemed more like Spring.There has been warm sunshine but it has been tempered by a nagging cold wind.It is the time of the year when my thoughts turn to photographing great crested grebes. I have probably over the years taken more images of great crested grebes than any other birds.It is now when they perform their elaborate courting and mating rituals.I therefore visited a local nature reserve where the grebes at times perform nicely for the camera.I believe that earlier in the month the pair of resident grebes had been performing the weed dance on a regular basis.However on my two visits this week there was not a lot of action from the pair.

It was still however delightful to observe the grebes and other birds present and to enjoy the fine weather.My second visit was enjoyed with warmer conditions and the nagging wind had subsided.These conditions provided some great opportunities for reflection shots of the grebes and a mallard which with his emerald green head looked stunning in the afternoon light.I was also pleased with shots of the grebes preening with outstretched wings reminiscent of cormorants drying their wings.Hope you enjoy my selection of images from my visits and I will be back soon to capture more images of these delightful birds. Thanks for looking in.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

A Chorus Of Frogs

Yesterday was the nicest day of the year so far.A warm sun shone from a blue sky for most of the day and it was very pleasant to be out and about.I decided to visit some local ponds to see if the frogs had returned for their annual spawning ritual.The ponds are in a park but not all of them are favorable for the frogs to spawn.I did find plenty of frogs in a couple of the ponds,one in particular held many dozens.As well as the wonderful sight of many frogs and frogspawn there was also a constant chorus of croaking from the excited frogs.

I enjoyed myself with the camera for an hour or so with all the activity that was going on.On one of the ponds the frogs were out in the middle and couldn't be reached. The big lens came in handy here and I was able to focus in on the action.On another pond I was able to get much closer to the action by wading into the margins and using a smaller lens.I have posted a few images from the frog session and I may possibly return for more when the weather settles down, it is currently pouring down again.Hope you enjoy the selected images and thanks for looking in.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Out and About

Managed to get out and about one afternoon this week.I visited a couple of local nature reserves.My first port of call was to Longton Brickcroft where I was hoping to see the great crested grebes displaying.The pair of grebes on the main lake were sleeping and did not appear to have started nest building.On the smaller lake there was a lonesome grebe calling for a mate but no other grebes were in sight.What was nice to see were two pairs of goldeneye but I think they are just passing through.

Later I visited Mere Sands nature reserve at Rufford.Again there was no sign of displaying grebes so maybe I am too early at these two locations.Again a nice surprise was a group of little egrets,not a common sight at Mere Sands.They were preening and enjoying the afternoon sun.There is still a lot of disturbance at Mere Sands with workmen cutting down and burning big swathes of woodland.No sign of the kingfishers but a couple of herons and the egrets gave me some opportunities for the camera.I hope for more action in the coming weeks as temperatures rise and nature responds.Thanks for looking in and hope you enjoy this week's images.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

An Excellent Week

I managed three trips out last week and am posting above a few images from the week.The highlight was the appearance of a red throated diver on the lake at Fairhaven.This lovely bird was in immaculate winter plumage and it swam and dived very close to the many photographers and observers present at the lakeside.Two of the many images I took of this super bird head this post.

Another highlight from last week were some very high tides over ten metres.I visited one of my favourite locations near to Southport with Mike. We enjoyed wonderful views of thousands of birds which had been dispersed from the feeding grounds by the very high tides.I was kept very busy with the camera trying to capture the magic that is one of these spectacular wader roosts.

Earlier in the week I visited a well known feeding station close to the River Brock at Brock Bottoms picnic site.This is very handy as you can sit comfortably in your car and photograph the birds which come readily to seed and nuts. It is a particularly good spot to photograph nuthatches and many other common birds.I have shown above a couple of the nuthatch and a hard to resist robin.

Hope you enjoy some of the images above from a busy week with the camera.I will post more from the wader roost in due course.Thanks for looking in and stay tuned for more when the currently very stormy weather settles down again.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Wader Roost

A couple of weeks ago there was a ten metre tide.The big tides are always good for watching wader roosts as the birds are pushed up the beach within range of the big lens.I went to the Southport area to one of my favourite wader watching spots.Mike accompanied me on this occasion and we were to enjoy a fabulous spectacle as the thousands of birds came into the roost.A bonus was the fact that there was very little disturbance from people or dogs and the flocks of birds performed well for the camera.

The usual knots and dunlin were well represented as were many oystercatchers.What was good was the numbers of bar tailed godwits and grey plover present, I was very pleased with the godwit flock shots.I have shown above action shots from the day, which was bright and sunny, giving ideal conditions for flight photography. I hope to return to the same area in a couple of weeks when ten metre high tides again should provide more opportunities for the camera.Thanks for looking in and keep tuned for more accounts of Lancashire's wildlife.