Friday, 30 June 2017

Drama at the Docks

I have recently visited the tern colony at the former Preston Docks site.This is now a marina and has become home to well over one hundred pairs of common terns plus a few arctic terns.It is a wonderful place to spend a couple of hours and observe the daily dramas that take place.The chicks are now hatching and there is much activity with the comings and goings of the adults as they try to feed their hungry youngsters.Some of the young are now more advanced and appear to be well fed and being protected by the adult birds.

Some of the very young ones however are in danger of being attacked by other terns and some have been predated by the ever present gulls.The second to fifth images below show one of the very young chicks being pecked to death by an adult.Obviously not its parent and overcrowding may be the cause of this unpleasant way to die.In my couple of visits I have seen this behaviour from a couple of adult terns and it is not very nice to see happening.Other chicks however seem to be doing well and the parents return frequently with fresh fish from the nearby River Ribble.

Also shown below a couple of general views of the marina and some of the pontoons with their nest boxes being used by the terns.It is a great place to meet up with other photographers and discuss equipment and tactics.Frequent visitors to the terns are David and Jackie Moreton from Cleveleys who take some excellent images of the terns and who are shown enjoying the afternoon sunshine.Sunshine has been in short supply this week and it has been unsettled and cool.Hopefully next week we will return to more summery weather.Thanks for looking in and as promised I hope to post some images next time of my visit to Bempton Cliffs.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

More Egrets

A recent post showed little egrets at Leighton Moss.I am now posting more images of little egrets and two cattle egrets which were on show at RSPB Marshside.The little egrets were showing well in front of Nel's Hide and made for some nice images.Some nice take off and landing images were obtained as the egrets came in from time to time to fish close to the hide.

A nice surprise was to discover that two cattle egrets were also present but at some distance from the hide.These two cattle egrets have been around at Marshside for some time.They may even be breeding nearby and are part of a recent influx into the country.This is yet another sign of a warming climate and it would be nice to see them here on a permanent basis.The last two images show the distant cattle egrets with their nice orangey crowns and bills.Hope you enjoy the images above and thanks for looking in.This week I visited RSPB Bempton Cliffs on the Yorkshire Coast and enjoyed a fabulous day watching and photographing the thousands of sea birds present at this " Seabird City ".
Tune in again for a full report and pictures from Bempton Cliffs.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Swans and Terns

I recently visited the tern colony at the former Preston Dock site.This colony gets larger every year and now has well over one hundred pairs of terns,mostly common,but also a few arctic terns.It is a wonderful location to observe and photograph tern behaviour and is especially good when the tern chicks arrive. As yet the birds are still incubating but very soon now their will be much activity as the young terns demand a constant supply of fish.

On this visit the mute swan family were still occupying their large nest on one of the pontoons.This is a regular nesting site for the swans and provides wonderful views of the adults and young.One of the terns also had a nest very close to the swans and was constantly harassing the female on the nest.She shrugged off the constant attacks and eventually the male swan came and took four of the cygnets out onto the marina and presumably they will not now return to the nest.The female meanwhile still seems to be incubating a further three eggs but I would think by now it is unlikely that they will hatch.Hope you enjoy my images from the action down at the docks.Hopefully next week will bring some better weather as currently it is pouring down and has been a very unsettled week.Thanks for looking in and I will be back soon with more of Lancashire's wonderful wildlife.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Dragons and Grebes

This week has at times been very hot and it has been ideal conditions for observing dragonflies.I visited a local nature reserve where a healthy population of broad bodied chaser dragonflies were on the wing.A couple of males were seen but they were very mobile and I didn't get any suitable images. The females however were very obliging and posed nicely for me particularly on a patch of bramble.I will return at a later date to photograph the males.

I then moved on to another local nature reserve where on a previous visit I had discovered the location of a pair of nesting great crested grebes.The nest and female grebe were very well hidden in bankside vegetation and the male was patrolling and looking for fish in the vicinity.The male came quite close and was posing in amongst the amphibious bistort which was covering the lake surface and provided for some nice images.Whilst I was there he didn't catch any fish but will I am sure be kept busy in the coming weeks when he has chicks to feed.

I will of course be returning to catch up on the progress and will hopefully be able to post images of the delightful baby grebes.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend.