Sunday, 5 February 2012
This last week has seen a return to winter with some hard frosts and heavy snowfalls in some parts of the country. Lancashire has escaped the worst of the weather with just hard frosts and during the day there has been some very nice winter sunshine. By way of a change I left the owls and decided to have a look at Leighton Moss. As expected there was plenty of ice particularly in the more shallow areas but still plenty of open water for the birds and the otters.
The otters ,three in number ,were showing well from Lillian's Hide but were distant and not really within photographic range. There was also a distant bittern visible from the Public Hide sunning itself at the edge of a sheltered patch of reeds. I toured the hides looking for photographic opportunities and eventually settled in the Griezdale Hide. The teal and other waterfowl were finding it difficult to walk on the ice and find suitable open areas for feeding.
The highlight of the day came when a little egret landed in front of the hide and looked splendid in the afternoon sun.It struggled with the ice and flew off to try it's luck further away . It hit lucky and caught quite a large perch. This was the first time I had seen a little egret with a large fish. It was unable to swallow the fish and put it down to be immediately attacked by a nearby grey heron which promptly took and swallowed the perch. A case of survival of the fittest. After this bit of action I left for home stopping on the way to photograph the setting sun over Morecambe Bay.
Shown above a few images from my afternoon's session at Leighton Moss. These show the action between the egret and the heron and a couple showing a coot and a waterhen sliding across the ice covered water. The first image shows the setting sun over Morecambe Bay with some of the numerous wind turbines now present off this section of the coastline. Hope you enjoy the images and account and hopefully if the weather improves I can get out again with the camera this week. Thanks for looking in.