Saturday, 28 November 2015

A Frustrating Week

This last week has been very frustrating mainly because of the awful weather we are currently experiencing.Every day has brought heavy rain and strong winds,frustrating efforts to get out with the camera.Last Sunday I returned from my usual walk via a local area where barn owls are present.As luck would have it one was out hunting and was being harried by a number of magpies.I watched it hunting for around twenty minutes before darkness began to fall. I didn't have any cameras or lenses with me so missed out on this opportunity.I was of course keen to return and was there again on Tuesday with camera gear but more heavy rain arrived.On Wednesday it was drier and I spent an hour waiting but no owls showed I will of course return when conditions allow.

Yesterday I decided on a run out to Fleetwood and Rossall as there was a big lunchtime tide and short eared and barn owls had been reported hunting late afternoon near to Rossall Hospital .The plan was to catch up on some wader watching and then hopefully see some owl action late afternoon.The weather was dry but  very dull and windy and more rain was on the way.I began at Fleetwood Marine Lake where a group of red breasted mergansers were fishing and I was able to take a few shots from the comfort of the car.I then moved on to the promenade at Rossall Point.The very high ten metre tide was beginning to fall and I found a group of sanderling which kept the camera busy for an hour or so.Then I left to sit in the car and await some owl action at Rossall Hospital.I was once again thwarted as very heavy rain and strong winds battered the Lancashire coastline.The journey home was not good through all the spray and traffic on the motorway.It doesn't look much better next week as the unsettled theme continues. Hope you enjoy the above images from the week,jay,robin and blackbird from my garden and sanderling,turnstone and a red breasted merganser from a stormy Fleetwood.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend despite the stormy conditions.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

A Bit Of Colour

Just thought I would put a little bit of colour into what has been a very depressing week.The weather has been abysmal with a lot of rain and strong winds courtesy of "Abigail",a large Atlantic depression which has battered parts of Northern Scotland.To end the week there has been terrible news from Paris where once again Islamic Terrorists have wreaked havoc on the city killing over 120 people.

I managed a trip out,this time to witness the Autumn colours before all the leaves are stripped from the trees.I visited Roddlesworth woods,this was somewhere I hadn't been for around twenty years and it was good to find very little had changed in my absence.It was a dull but dry day and the woods were quiet apart for one or two dog walkers.The only wildlife of note was a young grey heron which was fishing a series of rapid pools and where it managed to catch a trout.It was very wet under foot and wellingtons were the order of the day.On the way back home I had a sighting of a barn owl hunting some rough grassland close to the road but the camera gear wasn't handy. I will have to return at a future date if and when this terrible weather decides to go away.Thanks for looking in and hope you enjoy my efforts above.   

Friday, 6 November 2015

Swans, Geese and a Barn Owl

This week I have again visited the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Reserve at Martin Mere.This time I concentrated on the Whooper Swans which were on the pool in front of the Hale Hide.The weather was still pleasantly warm for November and the swans were flying in to preen and bathe.I was pleased with some of the action shots which you can see above.Pink footed geese were also coming in to feed on the potatoes left nearby.

Afterwards I left mid afternoon to look for any barn owls in the area.It had been some time since I had seen any and I had heard reports of a bird not far from Martin Mere.I couldn't believe my luck when a barn owl flew across the road in front of me.It had appeared from some nearby farm buildings .I managed to park up and await it's reappearance.It duly obliged and I managed a few shots of it perched up on some farm machinery.It flew to some nearby cabins and I decided to leave it in peace and return at a later date.I was very pleased to have found this new location occupied by a barn owl and you can be sure I will return soon .Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend despite the currently very unsettled weather.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Sunset Murmuration

Last week I visited Martin Mere again on a couple of occasions. The main purpose of my visits were to try and capture some images of the starling murmuration currently taking place over the reedbeds. As usual I visited other hides to see the pinkfoots and whooper swans .The swan numbers were building up nicely and again gave nice opportunities for more images.Around mid afternoon I went to the Harrier Hide to get a good spot to witness the starlings.

It was a lovely warm and sunny afternoon as the spell of settled weather continued.Around 4.30pm a few starlings began to appear and it wasn't long before more and more appeared.A good number, possibly around twenty thousand eventually grouped together and flew around the far perimeter of the reserve before settling down. It was a splendid sight as they flew in formation against a lovely background of sunlit clouds. All too soon it was over and darkness rapidly descended over Martin Mere.As I was leaving the reserve car park thousands of pink footed geese were arriving to spend the night on the meres and surrounding fields. It was a magical sound and sight and will long live in the memory.

 Hope you enjoy my images of what was a wonderful experience of one of nature's magical moments. Thanks for looking in.Next on the agenda will be to try and capture some shots of short eared owls.Currently many birds have arrived in the country and I think the mosslands of Lancashire will soon be seeing a few for us to enjoy.The weather needs to improve a bit,this week has been dank and dreary so far .Hopefully the sun will return and I will be out and about again to capture more of Lancashire'sn wonderful wildlife.    

Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Whoopers Are Back

This week I again visited Martin Mere.I found more whooper swans had arrived from Iceland and I think there are now around one hundred birds present. They are magnificent birds to watch and photograph and I got some nice images as they came into land in front of the Hale hide.A load of potatoes had been put down close to the hide and the swans and greylag geese were tucking in.I then moved on to the Ron Barker hide where there was plenty of coming and going from the hundreds of pinkfoots present.The kingfisher showed close to the hide and I managed one or two shots in the warm afternoon sun.The cloud moved in late afternoon and I decided on a move to the Harrier hide where I understood there was a large flock of starlings coming in to roost in the reedbeds. Around 4.30pm the birds began to gather and I got some more decent shots.This murmuration will be the subject of a future post. Hope you enjoy the images above of the swans and stay tuned for more from my travels.