Saturday, 31 January 2015

A Golden Week

This last week has been very wintry with snow showers and very strong north westerly winds.The coastal parts of Lancashire escaped the worst of the weather. East Lancashire bore the brunt with many schools closed and disruption to traffic.I spent time in the Glasson Dock,Pilling and Cockerham areas and did all my photography from the comfort of the car.

The highlight of the week for me was the presence of over fifty goldeneye duck on Glasson Dock basin.This is the most goldeneye I have seen together.I took advantage of the opportunity to take many images of the birds as they fed along the sides of the canal basin.The wind was very strong and frequent wintry showers peppered the birds as they battled the waves.This made for some interesting action shots from these handsome birds.I have shown above a few images of the goldeneye but will probably post more at a later date.

Another golden bird delighted me as I discovered good numbers feeding alongside a busy road between Cockerham and Pilling.I was able to pull in at the side of the road and grab some images as lovely golden plovers fed alongside lapwings,curlews and redshanks.The roadside fields held hundreds of waders and I will post more images of these waders in due course.I hope you enjoy the above images of the goldeneye and golden plovers and thanks for looking in.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Nice and Icy

This last week or so has seen a spell of cold wintry weather throughout the country.There has been snowfall in some parts but Lancashire has escaped the worst of the weather.I have managed a couple of trips out with the camera.The first one was on a nice sunny crisp afternoon when I toured the lanes and backroads around Cockerham and Pilling photographing the scenery and wildlife from the comfort of the car.The following day I visited Leighton Moss hoping for a sighting of the otters on the ice.

The drive around the lanes was fruitful with nice views of brown hare, kestrel,lapwing and late on my first sighting for a while of a barn owl.The barn owl was returning to it's barn with a vole and I managed a few images as the light was fading.There were good numbers of fieldfare and redwing in the fields but they were very skittish and I couldn't get near enough for a decent shot.

The trip to Leighton Moss was less fruitful but still enjoyable.The otters had been seen early on but didn't show themselves whilst I was there.There was hardly any open water and consequently few birds on show.I amused myself with the birds visiting the feeders by the main buildings.On the way to and from the Public Hide there were a few very friendly robins which would come readily onto your hand for seed.On the ice at the Public Hide a waterhen looking for some open water slithered and slipped across the ice providing nice opportunities for the camera.All in all a good week with crisp and bright weather and good to get out and about again.

Shown above the robin and waterhen from a frozen Leighton Moss and kestrel,lapwing,brown hare and barn owl from the Pilling area.The image heading the blog is a shot across the estuary of the River Lune to Sunderland Point with the snow covered mountains of the Lake District in the background.Thanks for looking in and more hopefully to come soon from my travels through Lancashire.

Monday, 5 January 2015

A Colourful Start

The New Year had arrived and it was good to get out for some fresh air to blow the bugs away.I decided on a visit to Yarrow Valley Country Park where the kingfisher was still showing well on most days.On my arrival no one else was there and neither was the kingfisher.I kept myself amused photographing the various birds that were coming to the seed I had put down.The nuthatch is always a nice bird to photograph but they don't hang around and you have to be quick with the shutter.The robin is always a very obliging bird and does pose beautifully for his picture.I have shown above a couple of the robin and nuthatch to add to the colour shown by the overdue kingfisher.

It was a couple of hours before the kingfisher arrived and amazingly it stayed for around two hours.The spot it comes to is always dark and it is not easy to get correct exposures.The bird gave lots of opportunities however and it caught fish on a couple of occasions.It was however partly hidden behind branches as it swallowed the small perch it was catching.My best attempt at a feeding shot is shown above as the perch vanished down the kingfisher's throat.

Where it comes to feed is right beside a very popular footpath around the lake and  there are many people passing by.The kingfisher seems to be used to all the attention and it was nice to see many children and their parents having their first view of one of our most colourful resident birds.Eventually the kingfisher departed and so did I. It had been a super session with one of our enigmatic birds and I am sure I will return soon to try and capture that perfect image of this stunning little bird.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the rest of the New Year.