Saturday, 28 April 2012

A Family Affair

On visiting one of the Great Crested Grebe nesting sites yesterday I was delighted to discover that four chicks were present. They were riding on the back of one of the parents and were being attended to by both parent grebes. I had not witnessed this behaviour before and was thrilled to record these delightful scenes with the camera.The chicks mostly stayed on the back of the parent bird as this keeps them away from water predators like pike or herons. Another interesting observation was the feeding with feathers,this apparently aids digestion of the small fish that is their main source of food. I have shown below some of the delightful scenes of parents and chicks together and may post more at a later date. Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Intimate Moments

Over the last five or six weeks I have been monitoring developments at four different locations where great crested grebes were nesting. Sadly one of the sites has been deserted despite the birds having two eggs , the others are still occupied and I will visit to monitor progress from time to time. The images shown below are from an upland site not far from home.It's exposed position has meant the grebes have only just begun displaying and mating and setting up home on this windswept lake. I was fortunate this week to be present on a warm and sunny afternoon when the grebes performed for the camera. I felt very privileged to witness this intimate behaviour from the grebes at close quarters and very pleased to record some of the spectacular action. I hope you enjoy these special moments from these beautiful birds and thanks for looking in.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Black Tailed Godwit

Just thought I would post a few images of the black tailed godwits I saw recently at Marshside RSPB Reserve at Southport. There are good numbers present at Marshside and many of them are coming into their full breeding plumage.Very few breed in this country and some of these birds may be of the Icelandic race on their way to Arctic breeding grounds.Some of the birds were feeding very close to the hides and I was able to obtain some nice images of these elegant and very beautiful waders.Hope you enjoy the images below showing the godwits feeding ,preening and in flight. Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Back To Bowland

I returned to the Bowland area of Lancashire this week and was accompanied by good friend Paul Foster.We had a varied and interesting day and images from the day are shown below.We met just after sunrise and enjoyed nice but distant views of a young buck roe deer. I had also seen one on my way as it bounded off across the frosty roadside field. We moved on to Stocks Reservoir where we eventually after a long wait had nice views of male and female crossbills.The finale was a return to the area where I had previously found my first adder. Again we struck lucky with wonderful views of three different male adders which posed nicely on what was a cool day with enough sun to tempt them out of hiding.Hope you enjoy my selection and I look forward to my next outing when things warm up a bit.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Adders and Dippers

I am writing this on a very wet and miserable Bank Holiday. It does give me time however to catch up on editing and blog work.My latest upload therefore is about the search for adders and dippers on a recent trip to the Bowland area of Lancashire. Martin and I enjoyed a super day out in this lovely part of Lancashire and I was thrilled to find and photograph my first adder. The weather at the end of March was more like Summer and the adders were waking from their hibernation. On the way home we called at a spot I know near to Dunsop Bridge where dippers nest alongside a fast flowing river. We enjoyed nice views of the dippers returning with food for their recently hatched young.We kept at a reasonable distance to photograph them and the dippers were unconcerned as they made frequent visits to the nest site with food from the river. Hope you enjoy the images below of the dippers and the female adder I was fortunate to find.When the weather improves I hope to be off again on my travels to bring you more from the Lancashire countryside.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Amphibian Amour

I have been busy this last week or so catching up with editing work and have had problems with redesigning the blog. This has meant I haven't published anything new for a while.I think I may now be back on track so here goes.Last month I witnessed the spectacle of hundreds of common toads spawning at some ponds on a local nature reserve.Shown below are some of the images of this sexual frenzy as dozens of toads vied for the attention of the females. I visited again a few days later and there was not a single toad to be seen.I have made a note to visit earlier next year when I can hopefully obtain better images than those shown below.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the Easter weekend.