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.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Owl Time

It had been sometime since I had last been owl watching and news of owls showing well locally tempted me out with the camera.Up to three short eared and five barn owls had been spotted hunting the mosslands near to Pilling.I met up with Simon at the location on a rare day of blue skies and sunshine with little or no wind.Simon soon spotted a short eared owl sunning itself on a fence post and we were able to get within camera range by using a hedge for cover.Eventually the shortie had a sortie round the field which was covered with lots of dense grasses which would provide ideal cover for field voles. We didn't see the owl catch any prey but it did give us some lovely views as it flew past in glorious afternoon sunshine.We later moved to another area hoping to see barn owls but none showed whilst we were there. It had however been a fabulous afternoon with great views of two short eared owls and wonderful weather for a change.Hope you enjoy the images below and hope to bring you more in the weeks to come. Thanks for looking in.