Saturday, 14 September 2013

Impressive Numbers

Towards the end of last month I visited a favourite wader roost on the coast near Southport.The high tide was around midday and was over nine metres in height. These high tides push the waders up the beach and make it easier for observation and photography. With a bit of luck there can be large numbers of waders assembled within a reasonable range for some good shots with the camera.
It was a lovely warm and sunny afternoon with little disturbance from passing dog walkers .The birds arrived as hoped for and large flocks came into roost close by.The main constituent of these large flocks were knot,many thousands being present.Also present in impressive numbers were dunlin and sanderling plus ringed plover,grey plover and bar tailed godwits.These large flocks made for some good photography and I was kept busy using two cameras.A large 500mm lens enabled me to isolate sections of the large flocks and a smaller 70-2oomm lens was good for flight shots.
I have shown above a selection from the hundreds of images I took and  hope my readers can get some impression of what I think is one of the most impressive sights along our coastlines.I am looking forward to the next series of high tides when even more waders could be present as they rest and feed along the shoreline. Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Leighton Moss Waders

Leighton Moss R.S.P.B. has recently been enjoying an influx of waders.The pools down at the marsh have been very attractive to migrating waders with the mud providing much needed food. Many of these waders will have traveled long distances to arrive at Leighton Moss.The curlew sandpipers for example will have journeyed south across Europe from their breeding grounds in remote areas of Siberia and spotted redshanks will also have traveled far to reach our shores.Leighton Moss has provided a welcome stop over before the birds move on to winter quarters much further to the south.
In a previous posting I showcased the curlew sandpipers that arrived in good numbers and delighted observers and photographers alike as they gave stunning views very close to the Allen and Morecambe hides.This time I am posting a few images of some of the other waders present and have shown above spotted redshanks ,greenshank,ruff,black tailed godwits and yet another image of a curlew sandpiper.This latter bird has been the star bird for me and I now have many images to remind me of their visit.Currently there are also little stints,a pectoral sandpiper and a wood sandpiper present.This is a wonderful selection of waders and the weather is very wet again which may force even more birds into Leighton Moss for us all to enjoy.  Thanks for looking in and hope you enjoy the images above.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

More Deer

I have made a few visits recently to Leighton Moss to photograph the birds and the red deer. The waders in particular have been excellent and have been showing well down at the marsh hides.One evening after a fruitful session with the waders I moved on to the main part of the reserve and headed for the Grizedale hide.This and the Jackson hide are the best places at Leighton Moss to hopefully see red deer.
It was a lovely warm evening and on entering the hide late was nice to see one or two deer already grazing the grassy areas surrounding the reedbeds. As I and the other photographers waited more red deer emerged from the reedbeds including a couple of young stags with antlers still in velvet.They were aware of our presence but continued on their way around the perimeter of the reedbeds feeding as they went and providing nice opportunities for the camera.Some of my efforts are shown above and I hope you enjoy the results as much as I did in capturing them. My next posting will probably feature some of the many waders that have been showing close to the Eric Morecambe hide in recent weeks.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Curlew Sandpipers

There has recently been a large influx of curlew sandpipers into the country.Lancashire has received good numbers with over two dozen birds present at the Morecambe and Allen hides at Leighton Moss.It was a bird I had always wanted to see and photograph at close quarters,previously only seeing them from beyond camera range.So it was with the excellent news from Leighton Moss that good friend Paul Foster and I visited  last week.It was to prove an excellent decision as the birds were still present and showing just a few feet from the hides.
They were mostly juvenile birds in very fresh plumage and had arrived recently from the breeding grounds in Arctic Russia.They are lovely birds to see with that wonderful curlew like bill and gorgeous feather colours and detail.Paul and I enjoyed a super session with the curlew sands taking hundreds of images a selection of which are shown above.Also present on the food rich mud were godwits ,ruff,dunlin ,redshank,spotted redshank and greenshank.These will be the subject of a future posting.The curlew sandpipers are still present as I write and stocking up on food for their continuing migration further south.Hope you enjoy my selected images from what was a super day out with excellent company and wonderful birds and thanks for looking in.