Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Action In The Park

I visited the deer park at Dallam again this week hoping for more action shots from the rutting fallow deer. It was a wonderful bright and sunny morning following a sharp overnight frost. I stopped at the convenient layby adjoining the A6 which looks across the River Bela into the Dallam Estate. All the deer were on show most of them adjoining the deer house which enables the deer to shelter when the weather is bad.This certainly wasn't the case on this fabulous morning.
All the hinds and young deer were under the control of one stag which constantly patrolled up and down keeping his harem together. Eventually he selected one of the hinds and mated with her. The other stags meantime decided to wade across the river and graze close to the main road giving me the opportunity for some nice close up action shots. It was a great sight to watch and a few others were also enjoying the wildlife spectacle. I hope the above shots  selected from the dozens I took give my readers as much pleasure as I had in capturing this action from the deer park.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Following the Fallow

On my wanderings this week I have visited the Deer Park at Dallam Tower just outside Milnthorpe to obtain some images of Fallow Deer. It is the time of year when the bucks gather together the female fallows and their families in the hope of mating with some of them.
On my first visit I found a large group of deer close to the A6 and I was able to approach carefully and obtain some nice close ups and later some action shots as they made their way back across the River Bela into the main area of the Dallam Estate. Another late afternoon visit found the deer on the opposite side of the park close to a minor road that runs through the estate. There wasn't much action as the deer were mostly enjoying the warm afternoon sunshine and I was once again able to obtain some shots taken from inside the car.It is possible to approach much closer on foot on the public footpaths which cross the park, I may visit again and try this method and hopefully obtain some portrait shots of these elegant and delightful animals.

Thursday, 14 October 2010


As promised in my last posting I am showing above a few of the images I managed to capture earlier this week at a high tide roost of sanderling on the beach at Southport. There were good numbers in evidence along the shoreline between Southport and Formby and I concentrated on a small group that allowed a close approach with the camera.
Sanderling really are delightful little waders to observe as they twinkle along the sand and dash about at high speed picking up morsels of food. This group entertained me for an hour or more as another high tide came and went. I returned reluctantly to the car on what had been another splendid afternoon in the pleasant Autumn sunshine. I am already looking forward to my next visit on the next series of high tides when hopefully there will still be plenty of waders on show along this beautiful stretch of the Lancashire coastline.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Ten Metre Tide

Last week and this week there have been some big tides along the Lancashire coastline which coincided with some settled and warm Autumn weather.I am always thrilled to witness the spectacular movements of waders as they fly to various roosting areas adjoining the sands between Southport and Formby. Last week I was in position an hour or so before high tide and managed to conceal myself behind vegetation and obtain some nice images of the various waders as they came and went from their favoured roosting areas.
The small selection of images above are mostly of Knot and Oystercatchers as they performed for the camera on a lovely warm and sunny afternoon. Disturbance is inevitable along this popular coastline but it was kept to a minimum and when the oystercatcher flocks were disturbed they provided some nice opportunities for spectacular group flight shots and I was well pleased with my afternoon's work. I hope my readers enjoy looking at them as much as I did in taking them. My next post will show my favourite shorebirds, sanderling, which were much in evidence on my visit yesterday and again performed very nicely for the camera.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Deer...Dragons...and Beardies.

Managed to get out this week with the long lens and I decided on a visit to Leighton Moss. It was to be a warm and sunny day following recent periods of rain. I began at the causeway where I was lucky to connect with a handsome Bearded Tit. This was the first I had seen for a number of years. Now is a good time to connect with these elusive birds as they come to the grit trays provided for them at the side of the public causeway. I managed a couple of quick shots before the bird dived back into the reeds. It was not the ideal shot perched on the grit tray and showing the coloured leg rings but it will do until I have more time to spend waiting for the ideal reed top pose.
I then teamed up with Phil Tomkinson a well known local photographer and we spent a very enjoyable session in the public hide photographing the many Migrant Hawker dragonflies that were enjoying the warm midday sunshine. I had not tried to photograph dragonflies on the wing before and was well pleased with the results. I then left to hopefully see and photograph Red Deer which was my main objective of the day.
I made for the Griezdale Hide which gives an extensive view over one of the areas favoured by the Red Deer. It was the beginning of the rutting season and the bellowing of the stags could be heard coming from the reed beds. There were two stags on view but one was lying down in dense vegetation and was not performing for the camera and was content to doze away the afternoon. The other stag did however present some nice photographic opportunities standing proudly for all to see and throwing back his fine antlers and bellowing from time to time. Also on view from the hide was a handsome black tailed godwit and many teal showing their fine plumage in the very pleasant afternoon sunshine. I have shown above my efforts to capture the action at Leighton Moss on what was a a lovely Autumnal day and one I hope to repeat again soon.