Thursday, 31 May 2012

Up With The Sun

Today is very wet and is a welcome relief from the very hot weather of the last week. I found it too uncomfortable during the heat of the day to be out and about with the camera so I opted instead for a very early start.I was up at 4am and away before 5am just as the sun was rising.On previous early morning jaunts I had discovered an area on a local fell frequented by roe deer.Up to this week I had only brief and distant views in poor light. On a beautiful summers morning this week however I was to enjoy some fabulous views of a young buck and doe roe deer feeding not far from the roadside.When I stopped the car they moved away a little but commenced feeding again and for the next forty five minutes I was treated to some wonderful views of these elusive and very shy deer.They were within range of the big lens and I captured hundreds of images.I have shown some of the images below and I hope my followers enjoy them as much as I certainly did in obtaining them. I have since been back to the area and taken more early morning shots and will incorporate them into a future blog about the other wildlife I encountered on these early morning sorties. Thanks for looking in.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Bowland Beauties

This last couple of weeks or so has seen me visiting the Forest of Bowland area of Lancashire to try and catch up with the summer visitors. The weather has suddenly gone from winter to summer and these summer migrants should now be able to find sufficient food to begin breeding. There has been much activity this week with the hot weather and I spent a morning trying to get some reasonable images of a redstart which had set up territory. I was quite satisfied with the results and the first two images show the handsome male redstart posing briefly for me.The redstart is followed by pied flycatcher male and female and a spotted flycatcher which had just arrived in the woodland in Bowland. The final image is of the handsome male whinchat on territory on the fells and is a bird I will be returning to photograph at a later date. Hope you enjoy my efforts,thanks for looking in and enjoy the heat wave !!

Thursday, 17 May 2012


Mike and I visited this lovely little valley last weekend. It is a favourite location for those birders in the know and is a great place to meet other birders.It provides some excellent opportunities to photograph the resident pied flycatchers and redstarts plus many other visiting and resident birds.It was a bright day but with still a cold wind from the north.On arrival we were greeted by the call of a cuckoo plus a singing whinchat at the top of a pathside tree.A pair of cuckoos flew past and there were numbers of singing redstarts and pied flycatchers.We spent a number of interesting hours at this delightful spot and I managed some reasonable images particularly of the pied flycatchers which came close.Shown below are the best of the pied fly shots interspersed with redstarts and the singing whinchat.I look forward to returning to this lovely valley and it's delightful birds at a future date. Thanks for looking in.

Wader Roost

As promised in my last posting I am showing a few close ups of the waders that formed the huge flocks at the high tide wader roost at Southport last week. Knot formed the major part of the roost and formed a huge carpet of birds covering a part of the beach. They were joined by a lot of dunlin and nice numbers of grey plovers. There were also a number of bar tailed godwits one of which was resplendent in almost full summer plumage.As I write this many of the birds present will probably have set off for their Arctic breeding grounds in Iceland,Greenland and northern areas of Europe.The weather here is still very wintry and many of the summer arrivals will be struggling to find food unless the temperatures pick up rapidly.My next posting will feature some of these Summer migrants as I have spent time in the Bowland hills and woods this week photographing their arrival on their breeding territories. Thanks for looking in.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Big Flocks

I have always enjoyed seeing the big flocks of waders that roost at certain points along the Lancashire coastline when there is a suitable high tide.On one of the better days this week I visited the coast near Southport to witness the spectacle of thousands of waders flocking and resting during the high tide period.At first there were few birds about but disturbance further along the coast pushed the waders near to where I was waiting.Fortunately the birds stayed put and gave me some great opportunities to try and capture some of the action. It is difficult to convey the sight of many thousands of waders in words and images and the spectacle must be seen to be fully appreciated.I have however tried with the images below to capture the action and hope my readers enjoy them as much as I did in witnessing the spectacle first hand.The major part of the huge flocks were knot but dunlin,grey plover and bar tailed godwit were also present in good numbers. My next post will show some close ups of the flocking birds and you will see that some of the birds are acquiring their summer plumages prior to their departure for Arctic breeding grounds.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Wheatears and Whinchats

This last week has been a busy one with the camera as the weather has improved a little although it is still on the cool side for early May.I have been visiting the grebe family again and more images of these delightful birds will follow in due course.The beginning of the week was notable for the passage of large numbers of summer migrants and good numbers were stopping off to refuel along the Lancashire coastline.I visited the former sandplant at Marshside Southport as numbers of wheatears were using this area of rough land to stop and feed. They provided some great opportunities for close up photography of their beautiful plumage.You know Spring is here when the wheatears arrive and with them are often whinchats. I was lucky to catch up with one in the sandplant ,a very active bird which I eventually persuaded to pose for me.Another summer visitor on it's way to breed on our northern hills.Hope you enjoy the images below of the wheatears and finally the whinchat which chose some steelwork on which to pose but still looked great in it's summer plumage.