Saturday, 26 March 2016

Displaying and Mating Grebes

As mentioned in my previous post I am now posting more grebe images taken during this week.It was a privilege to spend time with the great crested grebes as they performed their exciting and elaborate courting and mating rituals.They never came really close at this time but were still at a reasonable range for the camera to record the action.Only on one of the days did they mate at the nest site but did so three times whilst I was present.I understand from staff at the nature reserve and from other people that have observed this pair of grebes over the years that they have never raised a family.There would therefore appear to be some sort of infertility problem.However they keep trying and maybe one year they may be successful.

Shown below are some of my better efforts from the week.I will no doubt be returning to the nature reserve in due course and may get lucky with images of the weed dance.I have witnessed it in previous years but it would be very nice to see it again. Thanks for looking in and enjoy the rest of the Easter break.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Fishing Grebes

This last week or so I have made a number of visits to a local nature reserve to observe and photograph great crested grebes.This is one of my favourite times of the year when great crested grebes perform their elaborate and exciting courtship and mating displays. I was fairly successful and obtained many useable images.

In between the courtship displays the grebes were busy patrolling the lake to catch fish.In this post I have shown the grebes with some of the roach they caught,some of which were caught close to the hide.None of the fish were very large and the grebes managed to swallow them down without too much trouble .I still had to be quick however with the camera to catch the action.I have shown below some of my better efforts.

I did of course manage some images of the courtship and mating displays and these will be the subject of my next posting.The grebes didn't perform the famous weed dance whilst I was present but you can be sure I will return to try and capture this exciting event.Thanks for looking in and return soon for more from the spectacular great crested grebes.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

More Owls and an Egret

This last week has again seen some very nice settled weather.Frosty mornings have given way to blue skies and at times it felt almost springlike.Once more I have been watching barn owls as they came out early afternoons to hunt.I have become addicted lately as it is a very special experience to watch these magnificent birds quartering the rough fields as they search for any unsuspecting prey.

Paul Foster again joined me on one of the afternoons and we filled the memory cards with yet more and more images.By doing this you can be very selective at the editing stage and you should have more keepers.On one of the afternoons before visiting the owls I had a trip to the coast at Knott End.It was high tide and the expected waders were not there but a little egret obliged with nice close views and some nice reflection shots.

I have shown below some of my better efforts from the week and hope you enjoy them as much as I did in taking them.This next week with more settled weather promised I will probably go to see if the great crested grebes are performing their elaborate courtship rituals.Thanks for looking in

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Owls and Starlings

 Following on from my recent visits to the barn owls I am posting more barn owl images plus some of the large flock of starlings present in the area.It was a wonderful week with excellent weather for the birds and good light for the camera.Two barn owls patrolled the large field of rough grass from time to time throughout the afternoon.I was accompanied by Andy and we enjoyed some close encounters with the barn owls and excellent views of the large starling flock.

Again I have posted a selection of images from the afternoon and hope you enjoy them as much as we did in taking them.Barn owls have been seen regularly hunting in the afternoons all over the area. It would seem that prey is hard to come by and the owls are having to work very hard for whatever they manage to catch.From time to time they would look as if they had pounced on a vole but we didn't see any prey carried away.

I haven't been out with the camera this week but if this settled and cold weather continues I will be on the trail of more barn owls next week. Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend.