Friday, 23 September 2011
Shanks and Egrets
This week Mike and I visited Leighton Moss RSPB at Silverdale. It had been a long time since my last visit and I was looking forward to a good day out. The forecast was for more rain and the signs were not good as we drove up the M6 and could see the weather deteriorating as it made it's way in from out at sea. The rain did arrive as we approached Leighton Moss but it was light and patchy so we made our way to some of the nearby hides. It was very windy and the coots and pochard were riding out the oncoming weather on a very choppy lake. From the public hide it was also very exposed and there was not a lot of action. We made our way back to the cafe for a pot of tea and cake and on the way we were lucky to see a brief visit to the grit trays by two bearded tits. On arrival at the shop and cafe the heavens opened and a deluge of rain fell over Leighton Moss. The signs were not good and we were prepared to return home. However on setting off the skies began to clear and better conditions were on the way from the coast.
We therefore decided to stay and visit the Allen and Morecambe hides down at the marsh. It was to be a good decision and we were to enjoy some excellent views of the waders present. On arrival at the Eric Morecambe hide we saw a nice group of redshanks,greenshanks and spotted redshanks all busily feeding close to the hide. The greenshanks and spotted redshanks were wading belly deep and up ending like mallards to obtain food from the bottom of the lake. It was fascinating to watch and I obtained some nice images of this group feeding. Soon the light improved and we enjoyed some super views particularly of the greenshanks showing off thier nicely marked plumage. Egrets too were present and again presented some nice photographic opportunuities as did a lone black tailed godwit resplendent in almost full breeding plumage. It had been a nice ending to what had not been the best of days weatherwise and what was a welcome return to Leighton Moss. Images from the day are shown above of the greenshanks,spotted redshanks and egrets and one of the godwit lit up by the evening sun. Thanks for looking at the blog and I look forward to next week's big tides when I will once again be wader watching on the Lancashire coast.