Saturday, 3 November 2018

Icelandic Visitors

It had been many weeks since I had visited the Pilling area of Lancs.I made a couple of trips to the area recently to catch up on the birdlife.As expected a number of pink footed geese and whooper swans had arrived from their Icelandic breeding grounds.The Pilling area is a traditional winter haunt for swans and geese and a drive around the lanes will guarantee finding flocks feeding on the fields

A favourite food is the leftover potatoes.The swans in particular seem to make for the fields with unharvested potatoes close to or just under the soil.In the images below the whoopers can be seen enjoying the leftovers.A number of juvenile swans were with the adults and were learning the best areas for food.The geese mostly seem to enjoy grazing the grass.It was nice to see these visitors from Iceland back in Lancs.Also evident were numbers of curlews,a declining species but still in good numbers here in winter.Shown below my better efforts with the camera with the swans,geese and curlews.Thanks for looking in and my next posting will be of the red deer rut in Lakeland.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Yorkshire...Deer and Kites

I recently visited Yorkshire for my annual visit to Studley Royal Deer Park.It was dry and cool with no sun but ideal for photography.I found the deer herds in the usual part of the parkland and they were in groups of reds,sitkas and fallows.I spent a couple of hours or so stalking and photographing the groups of deer.The reds were mostly inactive chewing the cud and were very approachable with care.The sitkas were on the move and can be seen in the fifth image below.I always think they are an odd looking deer a cross between reds and fallows with reds antlers and fallows spotted coats.The fallows were best and suddenly appeared scampering into view.There were a good number on view and they gave me some very nice images.

My second visit to Yorkshire was to the village of Harewood to the north of Leeds were it is possible to see red kites which were introduced to the area a number of years ago and they are thriving with good numbers now present.The well known spot visited by photpgraphers is at the rear of the Muddy Boots Cafe in the village.I could see kites in the air as I approached the cafe.It was warm and lunch was taken at the picnic tables to the rear of the cafe and the kites would periodically drift over the area and gave some very good photographic opportunities.It had been two excellent days in Yorkshire and I was pleased with the results.Hope you also enjoy the images below and thanks for looking in.It looks like a cold weekend is on the cards with a blast of Arctic air on it's way so wrap up well and enjoy the weekend.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Leighton Moss...Egrets and Waders

I hadn't visited Leighton Moss for many months and I was keen to visit again.Autumn had arrived and thankfully the very high temperatures of the Summer were a distant memory.It promised to be a lovely day as I arrived at the Eric Morecambe hide.There were plenty of birds on show especially the egrets and greenshanks.It was greenshanks particularly that I had come to see and I knew that a number were at Leighton Moss.At this time of the year they are passing through on their way to sunnier climes.I think they are one of the most elegant of our waders and I was hoping for some nice images.

Egrets were there in good numbers also and with the little egrets was a splendid Great White Egret.In one of the images below you will see how much bigger the great white is compared to it's smaller cousin.It was a lovely sunny morning and was perfect for photography.Later on as high tide was due in Morecambe Bay an influx of redshanks arrived and gave more excellent opportunities for the camera.Hope you enjoy my better images from the session and on my next visit to Leighton Moss I hope to capture the bearded tits which are visiting the grit trays and are one of the special birds of Leighton Moss.Thanks for looking in and enjoy what looks like a nice sunny day tomorrow.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Pinks..Parasols..and a Phalarope

The weather was warm and settled ideal conditions for the pink footed geese to arrive from Iceland.I like to witness one of nature's spectacles as the geese arrive at Martin Mere for their winter holidays.There were already about seven thousand geese in the area and I was hoping for many more during the day.As it turned out it was relatively quiet with only one skein arriving during my stay,A lot more have arrived since then and there are now many thousands at Martin Mere.Next arrival will be the whooper swans from Iceland and they will be arriving nearer the end of October.It was still a very pleasant day at Martin Mere and it was nice to bump into Tom Charles from Liverpool who I hadn't seen for a number of years.

On the way back driving down one of the country lanes I discovered parasol mushrooms at the side of the road.This was a fungi that I always wanted to find and I made the best of this discovery by taking a number of images the best of which are shown below.I have since returned to the spot and they are still there although not looking quite as fresh.

Finally a grey phalarope turned up at Newton Marsh.A good number of these scarce visitors had been blown inland following recent storms so I felt obliged to twitch this bird as it was on my doorstep.It was a smart little bird and was very busy spinning around as only phalaropes can do.It was a little distant but I managed a few record shots of this scarce visitor to Lancashire.Hope you enjoy my latest images and my next posting will feature the many Egrets and Shanks present at Leighton Moss.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend.