Thursday, 23 January 2014

Return To Rossall

It had been a while since I had been to Rossall and with some decent tides last week I decided on a return visit.I met up with Martin at Fleetwood Marine Lake on a wet morning but we were optomistic the weather would improve. It did improve but still with strong winds and showers from time to time.There were a number of red breasted mergansers on the Marine Lake but the heavy rain prevented any useable images before they moved away.
We moved then along the coast to the area where the waders usually roost on a high tide.There was a reasonable number of sanderlings present along with the usual turnstones and ringed plovers.A nice surprise was to find a purple sandpiper in with the sanderlings and I managed a few images before it went back to sleep with bill tucked into wings.There was also a stonechat about,the same one I had shown on a previous post and usually present around the observation tower.
When a couple of heavy showers arrived we were able to shelter at the tower and then return to photograph the birds.On our way back we discovered a number of sanderlings and turnstones feeding furiously on a small patch of beach.Neither Martin or I had observed this feeding frenzy before and we went down onto the beach to get closer to the action.It was an interesting session and some of the images I obtained are shown above.Despite the unpleasant at times weather our decision to go to Rossall proved a good one and we returned happy with more images for the portfolio.Thanks for looking in and hope you enjoy the images above. 

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Godwits Galore

This week I have made a couple of visits to Marshside RSPB at Southport.The weather has been a little kinder than of late and it is beginning to feel like Spring is on the way at last.On my first visit I watched the long tailed duck which has been present for a few weeks but it never came near enough for any decent shots.I was impressed however by the large number of black tailed godwits present and yesterday I returned to Marshside and Nel's Hide where I awaited some action.

I was not to be disappointed and a sparrowhawk disturbed most of the many birds present and they went into panic mode flying around in formation and providing some great flight shots.I was using two cameras, one with the 500mm lens attached and another with a 70-200 zoom lens.The birds provided me with many images some of which are shown above.It was nice to be at one of my favourite locations again with plenty of action to record.Thanks for looking in and hope you enjoy the above images.  

Friday, 10 January 2014

Wirral's Waders

For some time I have been wanting to visit the Wirral to observe and photograph the large numbers of waders that feed and roost along the Dee estuary. It is a well known spot amongst photographers for seeing huge flocks of mainly knot and other waders as they are pushed up the beaches by the high tides.On Tuesday of this week I finally got round to going to see the hoped for spectacle.The Christmas and New Year storms had finally moved on and the weather was beginning to settle down.On arrival however there was a squall and heavy rain and very strong winds persisted for a while.It did settle down but strong winds persisted throughout my stay and made photography difficult at times.
At this location the very big tides push the large wader flocks very close to the promenade and make close up photography possible.On Tuesday however the tides were not as big and the birds didn't come that close but I still managed a few shots the best of which are shown above.Even at this popular location there is disturbance to the  roosting birds by dog walkers who seem to take great delight in flushing the roosting birds,much to the annoyance of birdwatchers and photographers.I have shown one such example above.
I am looking forward to a return visit at the end of the month when more high tides should bring the thousands of knot and dunlin much closer to the lens.Thanks for looking in and I will be out and about again soon looking for more action from our feathered friends.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Great Start to the New Year

The very stormy weather of Christmas continued into the New Year and more storms are forecast for the coming week.However the second day of January saw a break in the weather with calm conditions and some very welcome sunshine.This better weather coincided with the presence of  a Great Northern Diver on the marine lake at Southport. It had been present for a few days so I took the opportunity to see this uncommon visitor to the Lancashire coastline.
Firstly though I walked out onto the marsh at RSPB Marshside to watch the comings and goings as another very high tide rolled in.Many birders were out and about enjoying some much needed fresh air following the festivities.The highlight was discovering a peregrine falcon on a kill.I approached carefully but eventually the bird departed with the remains of a redshank.I have shown above the falcon surrounded by lots of feathers as it plucked it's prey and I have also shown a not too pleasant image of the remains of the poor redshank.Nature is certainly cruel at times but everything must survive during the current disturbed weather.Other images from the marsh show a little egret on a fly past and distant waders following the tide.
 The remainder of this lovely afternoon was spent at the marine lake at Southport where the Great Northern Diver was performing for the assembled birdwatchers.I did manage some images of this uncommon visitor but the bird was always just too far out for better shots.A splendid male goldeneye was close in and gave some nice opportunities for the camera.The ever present mute swans also presented many opportunities for portraits in the pleasant late afternoon sun.It had been a great start to the new year and was enjoyed with excellent company and for a change some very pleasant weather. Thanks for looking in and I hope to be out and about soon with more accounts and images from my travels in Lancashire.