Saturday, 12 April 2014

Deer.. Hares and a Grouse

This last week has seen me going out on the early and late shifts to catch up with the local wildlife.I have been out in my favourite areas of Bowland to photograph brown hares and roe deer.An early start is essential to track down these shy and elusive animals.Roe deer particularly are very shy and vanish at the first signs of human presence.I have been reasonably successful and have managed to obtain a few satisfactory images from the comfort of the car before the deer departed from their early morning forays.The brown hares are a little more reliable and there are certain areas of Bowland where I am guaranteed a few sightings. Again I have found early morning to be best but have also had encounters in the evenings.

It has been worthwhile getting up early to experience the beauty and quiet of this lovely area of Lancashire.It gives me great pleasure to see the magnificent scenery and wildlife before the working day begins. Hope you enjoy my images above of the roe deer and brown hares and also the red grouse which posed nicely on a roadside wall.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Waders and Wheatears

This week on what was probably the warmest day of the year so far,I visited the coast at Southport. This is one of my favourite parts of the Lancashire coastline and I visit frequently particularly at times of high tide.This week there have been more spring tides and as well as the usual assembly of waders I was hoping to see and photograph wheatears. A number of these lovely spring migrants had already graced the coastline and I hoped to catch up with one or two.

It turned out to be a magnificent very warm day with blue skies and little or no wind. As usual at this time of the year and on such a beautiful day the skylarks were out in force pouring out their wonderful songs from the blue skies above.The waders were distant but eventually a good number of knot put in an appearance not too far away and I managed to creep up within camera range and obtained some reasonable images as shown above

I had spotted some wheatears on the way out but they were skittish and kept well out of camera range.However on the return journey I spotted five wheatears around one hundred metres ahead.I decided to stay put and concealed myself behind some vegetation and eventually the birds came closer and closer.Eventually after around twenty minutes they were well within camera range and I fired off many shots of these handsome birds.It had been a very interesting session with the camera and I have posted above a selection of the many images I took. Hope you enjoy my efforts and thanks for looking in.. 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Leighton Harriers

Sounds a bit like an athletics club but I am in fact referring to Leighton Moss and its magnificent marsh harriers.It was quite some time since I had visited Leighton Moss and when I pulled into the car park I found it to be very busy.Undeterred I signed in and proceeded to visit Lilian's Hide.As usual here at this time of the year there were many black headed gulls disputing territorial rites on the small island.I spent some time there and then decided to move on to see what was about elsewhere.

Tim Jackson hide was next ,here was a nice assortment of wildfowl and a few snipe.This gave me some nice opportunities with the camera and I have shown above a snipe,teal and a shoveler all showing off their lovely plumages.Whilst at Tim Jackson I learnt that Marsh Harriers were showing well  from the Grizedale hide.So I headed off to see if I could catch up with the harriers.On the way to Grizedale the loud explosive call of a Cettis warbler could be heard.

On arrival at the Grizedale hide a number of big lenses were in operation firing off rapidly as the marsh harriers performed in front of the hide.I waited my turn to obtain a good spot and caught up with a fellow photographer whom I hadn't seen for some time.I eventually got into a good position looking over the reedbeds and the displaying harriers.It was a hectic half hour or so firing off many salvos of shots as the harriers flew and displayed close to the hide.It looks like they may be prospecting for suitable nest sites and we all look forward to the weeks ahead when hopefully the marsh harriers will be returning with nesting material and we hope they have another successful nesting season.I have shown above a selection of the many shots I took in this exciting session.Hope you enjoy the images of one of Leighton's iconic birds and thanks for looking in.      

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Frosty Hares

Yesterday morning found me out and about in some of my favourite areas of Bowland.I had decided on an early morning visit as I have found that this is the best time to observe the wildlife. My primary objective was the brown hare which can with a bit of luck be approached closely using the comfort of the car as a mobile hide.Yesterday morning was perhaps the coldest so far of what has been a very mild and very wet winter.

It was around -3degrees with a heavy frost adding to the beauty of this lovely part of Lancashire.I have shown above a couple of images of the vale of Chipping seen from on top of Longridge Fell and down at valley level showing the heavy frost whitening the fields.It was quite good for hares with a dozen or so seen on my travels around the quiet lanes and backroads of Bowland.I have shown a few images above of the brown hares and you will be able to see the ice on the hare's whiskers as they waited for the warmth of the early morning sun.I have also included a shot of one of the curlews which are now returning to these upland fields to breed. Hope you enjoy my selection from the first of what I hope are many early morning forays to see the wonderful and varied wildlife of Bowland.Thanks for looking in.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Wirral's Wonderful Waders

These last few months I have visited the Wirral to observe and photograph the huge flocks of waders that make the area their winter home.The numbers of waders present has not been as large as last year but nevertheless provided some memorable trips to witness the spectacle.I have posted previously in January on a couple of my visits but am now showing a few more images taken subsequently.
I visited on a couple of ten metre tides hoping for a close approach from the thousands of waders present.This didn't happen but a nice group of knot,dunlin and sanderling did come close and a bar tailed godwit was with them and I have shown the images above.At one point a splendid male sparrowhawk came dashing through looking for a victim but was not successful..I did manage a quick snap as he passed by.
I have enjoyed visiting the Wirral and am looking forward to the return of the waders this coming winter.
Hope you enjoy my selection of images of the Wirral wader spectacular and thanks for looking in.