Saturday, 19 February 2011
MSW and HOM
Here I go again with these abbreviations !! This time they refer not to waxwings but to Mere Sands Wood and Hesketh Out Marsh,two reserves I visited on Wednesday. I hadn't been to Mere Sands Wood for a long time and was anxious to see if the kingfishers had survived the severe winter weather. I had arranged to meet up with Martin at the Rufford Hide which is the area favoured by the kingfishers.
It was going to be a pleasant day for a change and was looking favourable for photography. We were not the only photographers on site and we later bumped into Dave Cookson and Ian Whittle. We spent maybe a couple of hours in the Rufford and Redwing hides and from time to time enjoyed some interesting photography trying to capture decent flight shots of the flocks of teal that were constantly on the move. The light was better at the Redwing Hide and we enjoyed views of displaying goldeneye and great crested grebe.There had not been any sight or sound of kingfishers and nobody had seen any for a long time so they may have fallen victim to the harsh winter we have experienced, only time will tell. We then returned to the visitor centre and enjoyed time photographing the birds coming to the feeders. Finally we visited the Cyril Gibbon's Hide and joined Dave Cookson for an interesting chat.The birds here were distant and the light was not right and after a brief visit from a great crested grebe we headed back to the car park meeting Ian Whittle on the way.
Martin returned home to Preston and I decided on a quick look at Hesketh Out Marsh RSPB on my way home to see if I could get some shots of the barn owl which is seen here on a regular basis. I had a good look out across the reserve which at times can be quite bleak and devoid of birds.So it proved with only sheld ducks in evidence and a very noisy Eurofighter taking to the skies from Warton across the Ribble Estuary. Returning to the car park I noticed a distant barn owl hunting along a ditch and hurried to get nearer as the light was now fading. I did get nearer and manage a few record shots.It was a nice way to end what had been a super day in excellent company in this wildlife rich part of Lancashire. As usual a few shots are shown above of this very pleasant day out with teal, nuthatch, goldeneye and barn owl all performing for the camera.