Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Last Post

This will more than likely be my last post of 2012.The weather is still very disturbed and it is unlikely that I will venture forth until the New Year. Despite the wettest summer on record I have managed to get out on a regular basis and have enjoyed some memorable outings with the camera.I will finish off with yet more owl images.This time the short eared owl features as it hunts over the rough grasslands where plentiful supplies of field voles have kept the owls busy for a number of weeks.A typical hunting area is shown together with close ups and more distant images of the owls as they quarter the rough grassland.Thanks everybody for looking in and I wish you all the very best for 2013.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Winter Whoopers

As the year nears it's end I thought I would post a few images of whooper swans which I have come across on my travels this winter.As the swans were arriving from Iceland a small party dropped in at Leighton Moss R.S.P.B.It is unusual to see whoopers at Leighton Moss and their presence was not welcomed by the resident mute swans.The whoopers were harried and pestered throughout the day by the mute swans and eventually departed. They would probably have headed south for the Lancashire mosslands to join the hundreds already present at places like Martin Mere. The other group I came across were feeding in flooded fields at Cockerham Moss.This large group consisted of around 400 birds and was present for a number of days. They too moved on but are possibly still around the Pilling area as good numbers are still present in the Eagland Hill area.Shown below the whoopers at Leighton Moss under attack from the mute swans and the big flock at Cockerham Moss with the snow covered Lakeland Fells as a backdrop.Thanks for looking in and hopefully I may manage another posting before the end of the year.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Season's Greetings

It doesn't look likely I will be able to do a weekly blog as usual owing to the pending Christmas festivities.So I would just like to say thanks to all my friends,fellow photographers,and followers of my blog for looking in regularly and commenting on my efforts at wildlife photography. I wish you all a very happy Christmas and best wishes for 2013. Let's hope for more sun and less rain next year.I hope to resume normal service as soon as possible.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Hunting Barn Owls

This last week or so has been very cold with hard overnight frosts.During the day we have enjoyed some winter sunshine but it has remained very cold,ideal conditions to see barn owls hunting.With these conditions they often come out to hunt during the day and can be seen in excellent light mid morning and early afternoon.On one visit these perfect conditions occurred and I enjoyed a memorable session with the owls.Short eared owls were also out hunting but these will be the subject of a future post.What was memorable was the quality of the light just before sunset when golden light flooded the field where the barn owl was hunting.The barn owl at this point flew close to the waiting lenses and the photographers present enjoyed some memorable images.I have shown a few shots from the afternoon.The barn owl is shown sunbathing on a field post and wing stretching prior to hunting.The remainder show this beautiful owl flying low amongst the rough grasses looking for voles.The first images show the owl flying by in the golden glow of the late afternoon sun.Hope you enjoy the images and thanks for looking in.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

A Brief Respite

Yesterday the weather briefly improved and the afternoon was actually very sunny with little or no wind.Recently it has been a succession of very wet days and does in fact seem to have been that way for most of the year.I thought it may be good hunting weather for the short eared owls and left home for a hoped for encounter with these special birds.I discovered a shortie sunbathing in a bush but it was awkward to photograph.I waited patiently for it to go hunting which it eventually did and presented some nice opportunities to capture the action. The wonderful golden afternoon light lit up the bird and the rough vegetation of it's territory and made for some nice images.Better still it came closer and perched up in a nearby bush and watched me as I snapped away in the superb light.Later I returned to another spot and a barn owl came out to hunt as the light rapidly deteriorated as the moon made an appearance.All to soon the show was over and I left for home very pleased with the results from this welcome break in the weather. As I write this it has been a very stormy day with more heavy rain and strong winds.Thanks for looking in and hope you enjoy the images below.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Owl Week

Gave the waxwings a rest this week and went looking for owls.It proved to be a good decision as I managed to see three species during the week and managed a few reasonable images which you can see below.The mosslands around Pilling are always a favoured area to see owls and this winter there are a few short eared owls about.The barn owls are resident but can be tricky to photograph as they appear late in the day when the light is poor.The little owl was enjoying the sunshine midday and posed nicely in a roadside tree.Hope you enjoy my attempts to capture the action and I will return to the area again as I am always striving for better and more interesting shots of these very special birds. Thanks for looking in.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Waxwing Invasion

During the last couple of weeks there has been an invasion of waxwings into the country.They have very quickly moved south following their arrival in the north of Scotland.There is possibly a shortage of berries here as well as in Scandanavia and the waxwings have been on the move seeking out their favourite winter food.Preston has been favoured with a large flock of about 150 birds which has been here for a number of days and has been commuting between three or four locations which still have a decent berry supply.I fear they may not be around much longer as this large flock soon makes short work of any available food.The local birdwatchers and photographers have been out in force and we have all enjoyed the thrill and excitement of one of birdwatching's special occasions.The weather was kind for a change and was ideal for photography with excellent light. Shown below are my attempts to capture the magic that is waxwings but it is something that has to be experienced to really appreciate these wonderful visitors from Scandanavia.I may publish more later and hopefully the waxwings will stay a little longer before moving on in their relentless search for food. Thanks for looking in.