Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Whoopers and Barnies

The weather is still very up and down. Good days for photography have been rare with most days being dull and dismal or very wet.However a week ago it looked promising with an excellent forecast for blue skies and not much wind.So it turned out and I returned to Martin Mere to hopefully have another close encounter with the barn owl that had been out hunting in the early afternoons.

I began as I often do with a look at the whooper swans which now numbered well over a thousand birds present at Martin Mere.I began from the Swan Link hide which is I understand to be demolished.It has been replaced by the excellent brand new Discovery Hide.This provides excellent facilities for experienced and less experienced bird watchers and photographers.The Swan Link hide was deserted and I enjoyed some excellent views of the whooper swans.They were enjoying the wonderful sunshine which has been lacking recently and they were bathing and preening in the warm sunshine.This made for some nice images which are shown below.

Another birder advised me that the barn owl had been showing well down at the Ron Barker hide. I made my way to the hide to find that the owl had gone back into hiding.It was still not midday so there was every chance the barn owl would return later.I had to wait until around 3pm for the owl to return but it was certainly worth the wait.It hunted in exactly the same way as when I had last seen it at the beginning of the year.It used the fence posts to perch as it made it's way along the perimeter of the field.It was exciting watching it get ever nearer to the hide and it gave some great opportunities for the waiting cameras.

It had been a great day at Martin Mere with great weather for a change .The birds responded and all the birdwatchers and photographers went away with some great memories,images and videos particularly of the resident barn owl.I hope it continues it's hunting routine and you can be sure I will return for more close encounters with this special bird.Thanks for looking in and I will be back soon with more of Lancashire's wonderful wildlife.


  1. Another great day out at the Mere Brian,you`ve caught the whoopers in wonderful light [something that has been in short supply around here for along time now]

  2. Yeah,totally agree with Martin!
    I remember watching the whooper swans in Iceland when I was out there last!
    Marvellous to think that those very same birds are only a matter of 25 miles away at the mere!

  3. Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India and was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tiger. It is located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand and was named after Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishment. The park was the first to come under the Project Tiger initiative.
    The park has sub-Himalayan belt geographical and ecological characteristics. An ecotourism destination, it contains 488 different species of plants and a diverse variety of fauna. The increase in tourist activities, among other problems, continues to present a serious challenge to the park's ecological balance.
    Corbett has been a haunt for tourists and wildlife lovers for a long time. Tourism activity is only allowed in selected areas of Corbett Tiger Reserve so that people get an opportunity to see its splendid landscape and the diverse wildlife. In recent years the number of people coming here has increased dramatically. Presently, every season more than 70,000 visitors come to the park.
    Corbett National Park comprises 520.8 km (201.1 sq mi) area of hills, riverine belts, marshy depressions, grasslands and a large lake. The elevation ranges from 1,300 to 4,000 ft (400 to 1,220 m). Winter nights are cold but the days are bright and sunny. It rains from July to September.
    Dense moist deciduous forest mainly consists of sal, haldu, peepal, rohini and mango trees. Forest covers almost 73% of the park, 10% of the area consists of grasslands. It houses around 110 tree species, 50 species of mammals, 580 bird species and 25 reptile species.