Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Sunderland Point

I recently had a couple of visits to Sunderland Point on the Lune Estuary.This is a remote and beautiful part of Lancashire and requires an amount of planning before any visit.It is a finger of land surrounded on one side by the estuary of the River Lune and on the other by part of Morecambe Bay.Access is very much dependant on the tides and on most high tides the only access road is impassable.Consequently it is an unspoilt and very peaceful area to visit.

It is an excellent area to visit with the camera as just as the tide is beginning to uncover the access road waders can be seen feeding very close to the road and can be photographed from the comfort of the car.At the end of the road parking is available on the shingle beach.I made a couple of very enjoyable visits recently and came away with a nice selection of images to remind me of this very special location.

Before visiting Sunderland Point I called in at Middleton Sands high tide wader roost.A tricky walk out onto the salt marsh got me within range of some of the flocks of waders and I managed some shots before making my way to Sunderland Point as the tide was ebbing fast.The road into Sunderland Point was very wet and muddy but I managed to get the hoped for shots of redshanks,curlews and egrets posing by the roadside.As the tide ebbed more of the mud was exposed  numbers of redshanks,egrets and herons came into feed in the pools left by the tide.The local fisherfolk who live and work in this delightful spot were busy loading their catch of whitebait onto their trailer and quad bike.They told me later the catch was destined for Blackpool Zoo.The egrets particularly were very busy and up to a dozen birds were present.

Shown below are a selection of images from my visits to remind me of this wonderful part of the Lancashire coastline.I am looking forward to returning again soon,tides and weather permitting. Thanks for looking in and as I write this account the weather is clearing up after a day of heavy rain and prospects are good for warmer and settled weather for the weekend.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Snipe and Others

I am posting some images from recent trips to Leighton Moss and into Bowland.My main objective was to photograph purple heron and red grouse.My efforts were shown in earlier postings.At Leighton Moss whilst waiting for the heron to show a trip down to the Eric Morecambe hide was good for snipe. Four snipe were very close to the hide and gave great opportunities for close up shots of this beautifully marked bird. I have included an image showing the superb cryptic plumage on the snipe's back.

Trips into Bowland looking for grouse gave me some nice images of a common buzzard close to the roadside which stayed long enough for me to take its photo.Also on the Bowland trip a stonechat and brown hare close to the road were very nice to see and photograph.The final two images were from Mere Sands Wood Nature Reserve where I hadn't been for some time.It was generally very quiet but a kingfisher and kestrel showed well in front of the Rufford hide.That's all for now to keep the blog ticking over.Hopefully I will be out and about again in due course and bring you more of Lancashire's wildlife.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Grouse Shooting

Recently I made a couple of trips into Bowland looking for some opportunities to photograph Red Grouse in amongst the purple heather.It didn't quite work out as there was much activity from grouse shooters with guns and dogs.The large estates in Bowland are very busy at this time of the year with shooting parties who pay large amounts of money to kill a few brace of grouse.I would much rather shoot the grouse with my camera and have a permanent record of my day out leaving the grouse free to fly another day.The grouse in Bowland were keeping their heads down and although I managed a few shots I was not satisfied with the results so I decided to visit the Yorkshire grouse moors between Wensleydale and Swaledale.

Wednesday of this week promised some better weather so I made the two hour journey to the moors up above Reeth and Redmire.It proved to be a good decision and I enjoyed a four hour session photographing the good numbers of red grouse that were showing well up on the heathery tops.This part of the moors is well known amongst photographers as being a good location to see the grouse.There is a military rifle range nearby but I got the impression that maybe these moors adjoining major roads connecting the dales are not shot over too frequently.It was cool and windy on the tops but all my photography was done from the comfort of the car.Shown below are some of my better efforts at grouse shooting.I was particularly pleased with the flight shot that heads this post.Hope you enjoy the images I have shown of the grouse and the magnificent scenery in this part of the Yorkshire Dales.Thanks for looking in and tune in again for more from my travels.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

A Purple Patch

A purple heron has been present at Leighton Moss for a couple of weeks or so and as I had never seen one I was keen to add some images to my portfolio.Mike and I arrived at the Grizedale Hide where the heron had been showing well.We did see it but all too briefly and we therefore decided to visit  the Morecambe and Allen hides and return later.It was not good at the marsh hides with a distinct lack of water at the Morecambe hide and only redshanks at the Allen Hide.Four very nice looking snipe were close to the Morecambe Hide and made for some nice images which I will post at a later date.

Mike and I returned to the Grizedale Hide where after a two hour wait the purple heron duly returned.I made the most of this opportunity and took many images of this very scarce visitor to Lancashire.Some of my better efforts are shown below.The local moorland in Bowland has also been turning purple recently and a couple of trips looking for grouse posing in the heather proved difficult.It was of course the beginning of the grouse shooting season and the birds were keeping their heads down and were difficult to find.I did eventually come across a couple of birds after many miles of moorland roads and made the best of the opportunity for some images.

The garden buddleia had also turned a nice purple colour and was attracting many red admirals.It was nice to see a number of butterflies again as they seem to have been absent this summer.I have also shown some images of the Bowland moorland which was looking lovely in it's purple covering.I intend to visit some more heather moorland over the next few weeks still looking for the perfect red grouse image posing amongst the purple heather.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend.