Saturday, 2 May 2015

Lakeside and Fells

This last week or so I have revisited my local nature reserve to see how the grebes are progressing and I have also made a trip into Bowland to see if any summer visitors have arrived.The grebes were still sitting on eggs and there was not a lot of activity during my stay.The little grebe gave one or two opportunities for the camera and it was nice to see a waterhen had been successful in rearing four young chicks.I have shown above some of the images from my visit.

I had not visited the Bowland Fells for some time and I was anxious to see what summer visitors were around.It was generally very quiet as I drove the back roads and lanes of Bowland.It was still quite cool and as yet there may not be much food available for the birds. However as I drove along I spotted a very nice male stonechat perched at the roadside on a dead stem of bracken. I hurriedly took some images from the car and then stopped to investigate .There was a pair of stonechats and they did seem to be on territory.The images I obtained were a bit grainy and I will return to the location later for hopefully some better images.On my way back I met up with Martin at Tower Lodge and we watched the pied flycatchers which also are nesting in the boxes provided in the adjacent woodland.I have shown an image of the female pied fly above.There did nor appear to be the usual numbers of lapwings,curlews and redshanks around but a very obliging curlew and lapwing did give me some nice images.Images of stonechat,pied flycatcher,lapwing and curlew are shown above.I will be back in Bowland soon when things warm up a bit.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Intimate Moments

This last week has seen me revisiting a local nature reserve where previously a pair of great crested grebes had been seen prospecting for nest sites.They had indeed paired up and had begun to build the nest amongst the trailing branches of a willow tree overhanging the water.During my visits they were also seen mating at the nest site and a couple of images of the action are shown above.They also performed the head shaking display close to the nest and provided some very nice opportunities for the camera.I have selected a few of my better images of the pair of great crested grebes in action which are shown above.

I was also lucky to photograph one of the pair with a perch it had caught,not as big as the one shown on a previous post,but still nice to see in the afternoon sun.Also showing well again were a pair of little grebes which came close as they patrolled the lake.I think they are nesting on the far side of the lake and well beyond camera range, I did manage a nice flight shot as one of the little grebes flew back to the far side of the lake.It had been good to see that the great crests had set up home and I hope they are successful in bringing up a family and I will return from time to time to keep an eye on their progress.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the current lovely spring weather.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Grebes and Deer

Last week I visited the Wyreside Lakes Estate near Scorton.This is owned by The Duchy Of Lancaster and I have permission to visit for the purposes of wildlife photography.It is a large area of fishing lakes and woodland and the River Wyre runs close by. The lakes have the usual waterfowl plus great crested grebes and are visited by ospreys on migration.The RiverWyre has dippers and kingfishers and the woodland supports a healthy population of roe deer.

It was nice to discover a pair of great crested grebes had built a nest close to one of the lakeside paths.The grebes were sitting on eggs and I was careful not to approach too closely so as not to disturb them.They were not bothered and allowed me to take some very nice portrait shots of them sitting on the nest and of a changeover of incubation duties.I will return in a few weeks when the eggs will hopefully have hatched and the parents will be returning with food for their young.

The roe deer were a different proposition.I had discovered a feeding area where I had seen them on previous visits.As usual with roe deer they hear and see you approaching long before you see them.However a very careful and quiet approach did allow one or two record shots and a shot of them crossing the river and disappearing into the woods.Hope you like my efforts above with the deer and the grebes and I will return soon for more encounters with the wyreside wildlife.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Greedy Grebes

This week I paid a return visit to a local nature reserve.The weather on the day was wintry,cold with heavy and squally showers.However there was some shelter and the sunny intervals made for some excellent conditions for the camera.It was nice to discover a pair of great crested grebes on the lake and they seemed to have bonded and were prospecting for nesting sites.I was treated to a spectacular weed dance but the grebes were about eighty yards away and so I was only able to capture record shots,one of which is shown above.

The grebes did however spend time fishing and both grebes caught large fish.One of the grebes caught a large perch but had great difficulty in swallowing it and it's partner took the fish and hastily beat a retreat and eventually managed to swallow it.Images of the action are shown above and were one of the highlights of the day.Later another large fish,this time a roach was caught and eaten. More record shots are shown above.

Also present on the lake were a pair of little grebes.I hadn't seen or photographed little grebes for a few years.This was an opportunity to grab some images of these delightful little birds as they patrolled the margins of the lake.Wildfowl were also present and a tufted duck and a goldeneye looked stunning in the sunshine.All in all despite cold conditions it had been a memorable session with the camera and I was delighted with the results.Hope you enjoy my efforts to capture the action and you can be sure I will return for more of the same.Thanks for looking in.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Ten Metre Tide

Earlier this month I made a visit to a favourite part of the coastline to witness a ten metre tide.It was one of a series of big tides and I chose one of the better days weatherwise to visit the coast.It was a good decision as the weather was warm and settled .The wind was offshore and so the tide didn't advance as far as I would have wished but still brought the thousands of waders within camera range.As usual about an hour before high tide there was plenty of action as the waders flew in from the feeding grounds out on the Ribble Estuary.There were the usual large numbers of knot and oystercatchers and a decent number of bar tailed godwits and grey plovers.Very few sanderling and dunlin seemed to be around but they could have roosted elsewhere along the coastline.

I was kept very busy with two cameras recording the action and after an hour or so I was satisfied with the results and I returned on the long walk back to the waiting car.I have posted a few images from the day of the flocks of birds and some closer shots of the knots and godwits. Hope you enjoy my efforts to capture the spectacle of a wader roost.I am never satisfied and know I can do better. This spurs me on to return on the next big tide.Next time some of the waders maybe sporting their breeding colours and should make for some nice images. Thanks for looking in and keep tuned for more from my travels with the camera.