Monday, 28 October 2013

Thousands Of Pinks

Last week I made a couple of visits to Martin Mere at Burscough.Over twenty thousand pink footed geese were on show,coming and going during the day.It was quite a spectacle to see this number of birds in the air and the sights and sounds of the geese as they arrived in big numbers is difficult to describe in words and images. It is really something to be experienced first hand but I have tried to convey some of the magic with my images above.The geese took over completely one of the meres and fields at the back of the reserve and excellent views could be had particularly from the United Utilities and Ron Barker hides.
Also present at the Ron Barker hide was a kingfisher which gave wonderful views at times and delighted those present in the hide.I have posted a few images above from my visits and hope you enjoy them as much as I certainly did in taking them.If any of my followers get the opportunity to visit Martin Mere it is well worth while at the moment.As well as the flocks of geese there are also a number of raptors present.During my visits I also enjoyed views of peregrine falcon,marsh harrier kestrel and sparrowhawk.Thanks for looking in. This week I am hopefully going fishing,with the camera that is,to try to capture the salmon as they make their way up the rivers following the heavy rain of recent days. 

Friday, 18 October 2013

Glossy Ibis...Horwich

This week I went for a look at the long staying Glossy Ibises present close to Bob's Smithy at Horwich.I had seen some excellent images of these uncommon visitors and decided to try to get some for the portfolio.It was a dry day but the sun never really came out which would have been better but I had an excellent session with these very approachable birds.They were feeding in amongst cattle and were constantly on the move.Their very long bills were used to probe the pasture and wet ground in their search for food which appeared to be mainly earthworms.
They went out of sight but I found them in a rushy area of the hillside and I was able to approach to within a few yards as they moved around me.They were not bothered by me being so close and allowed some nice shots as they fed together.There were two birds feeding around me the other two having departed to a different part of the hillside.
Shown above some of the many images from the day,hope you enjoy my efforts .My only regret was not getting any decent flight shots of these impressive birds.I hope to return on a nice sunny day, that is if the ibises stay in the area. Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend.   

Monday, 7 October 2013

Stag Party

Followers of my blog will know I have made a few visits recently to Leighton Moss hoping to see the red deer stags in action as the rutting season had begun.On previous visits only one distant stag had been seen but last Friday all that changed.I joined a number of other observers and photographers in the Grisedale Hide and awaited the action.Much bellowing had been going on from the reedbeds as the stags advertised their presence.Around 2.30pm a young stag appeared and seemed very nervous,other stags were obviously nearby.Then one by one the big stags came out of hiding and treated us all to some magnificent views as they strutted their stuff in front of the hide.
The young stag thought better of it and retreated to the safety of the reedbeds and left the older stags to compete for dominance.There was no physical contact but plenty of vocal action with much roaring and bellowing from the big males as they faced each other on the island in front of the hide.The stand off lasted about ten minutes or so and then one of the stags retreated back into the reedbeds.The big stag remaining stood by the tree on the island and roared very loudly frightening the teal close by into panic mode.Two other stags were nearby but kept well away. One of them seemed a particularly big stag as his antlers could just be seen above the reeds and it was thought he may be a fourteen pointer.I may be lucky to see this one on a future visit.After half an hour or so the action was over and everybody present went away very happy having seen a wonderful display from the red deer of Leighton Moss.
I have shown a few images above of these magnificent beasts and hope you enjoy them as much as I certainly did in taking them.For those of you who don't know BBC Autumnwatch is coming from Leighton Moss at the end of this month and some of the big boys above may be appearing on our television screens. Thanks for looking in.    

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Watching The Reds

No I haven't turned into a Liverpool FC fan,I am referring to two of our iconic mammals, the red squirrel and the red deer.I visited two locations looking for red squirrels,the first at Formby Point National Trust Squirrel Reserve and the second was at a remote forest location in Northern England. The red squirrels at Formby have suffered in recent years from the pox virus introduced from the grey squirrel.The situation does now seem to be improving and the numbers of reds are on the up again.At Formby on a lovely sunny afternoon  I did find some red squirrels but they were mostly at tree top height and were difficult to photograph but I have shown a couple of my efforts above.
By contrast the squirrels at the remote location were scampering around the forest floor and came readily to the peanuts which I scattered around.They were a delight to photograph and it was made all the better by the brilliant shafts of sunlight that from time to time lit up the forest floor The lovely light showed off to perfection the wonderful detail and colours of their coats and tails.It was difficult to leave the squirrels but I had a long return journey home and I vowed to return again to see these wonderful little animals.
I visited Leighton Moss again to see the red deer.It was now time for the annual rut to begin and I was hoping to see some of the magnificent stags present at Leighton Moss.On this occasion there was only one very distant stag visible and then only his head and antlers were just visible above the dense vegetation.I will return soon to Leighton Moss soon and am sure I will have better sightings as the rut gets underway.Hope you enjoy the images above.I certainly enjoyed the experience and can't wait to return for more encounters with these lovely animals.