Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Good News and Bad News

First the bad news,currently the weather is very unsettled with plenty of rain and very cold for June.This recent bad weather brought disaster to the local nesting great crested grebes.They had constructed their nest and were incubating three eggs as previously reported. A subsequent visit found no sign of nest or eggs.They will have been submerged and lost during the recent very disturbed weather.The nest site was in a vulnerable position open to the strong winds on this upland reservoir.The birds are still around and they may just attempt to breed again if and when Summer returns.Otherwise it will seem a long wait till next Spring when hopefully they will breed again.

Now for some good news.The Southern Lake District is now home to six pairs of ospreys and there could be more as each year more young birds are returning to this part of the Lake District.Early last Sunday I headed for one of these locations to see what was happening.It was a bright but cold start to the day and promised some much needed sunshine.I began well just before 6am watching a nice group of roe deer feeding in a meadow close to the road.I took many images of them from the comfort of the car and they were not disturbed by my presence.There were two bucks and four females present giving me nice opportunities for the camera. One of the bucks is just getting his antlers as can be seen in image no 5.After this excellent start to the day I made my way up the valley to observe the ospreys.

Most of the ospreys are now feeding very young chicks and I discovered the pair I was watching are also feeding one or more chicks.It was nice to watch the nest site from a distance so as not to cause any disturbance.I was probably four hundred yards away and concealed in camouflage on the edge of woodland.After a couple of hours it was cold out of the sun and I left for home to arrive early afternoon.I will return in a few weeks when the young ospreys will be visible on the nest and the parents will be busy looking after them.Hope you enjoy my efforts and thanks for looking in.

Friday, 31 May 2019

Out and About..May 2019

I am now becoming more active and I have been able to get out and about during May.It has been a dry month and at times quite warm.There has also been a northerly element to the wind and this has slowed growth and activity particularly in the North of the country.Towards the end of the month some much needed rain arrived.The month is ending on a cloudy but muggy note.

I visited the local great crested grebes again to find that they are now incubating three eggs.I will not visit again for a while so as not to disturb the birds. Hopefully the young will hatch and fledge and I look forward to my next visit to see what progress has been made.A walk along the Lune Valley from Caton was excellent and I enjoyed nice views of a dipper which had a nest close by and a family of goosanders,six beautifully marked chicks accompanied by mum. A nice Little Ringed Plover was on view at RSPB Marshside and gave excellent photographic opportunities.Finally a visit to a wader roost at Plover Scar Cockerham was superb with many dunlin and Ringed Plover allowing a close approach and some nice flight shots.The sea wall at Cockerham Abbey looked magnificent being covered in Thrift and other flowers. I have shown images below from these outings and hope you enjoy them as much as I did when taking them.I have also visited the Lake District to keep up to date with the expanding population of ospreys and I will post images at a later date when the chicks have grown and keeping the parents busy with feeding duties.Also shown below summer plumaged sanderling at Rossall.

Thanks for looking in and I will be out and about soon to bring you more of our wonderful wildlife.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Stonechats.. Longridge Fell.

On my recent travels around Longridge Fell I have come across some stonechats.These beautiful little birds can often be seen perching in prominent positions and announcing their presence with their distinctive calls.They are a lovely little bird to photograph and I was lucky to be able to capture some nice images of the stonechats.The stonechat is the favourite bird of a birdwatching friend and I hope he has a look at my blog and enjoys my efforts with the camera to capture these handsome residents of the fells.

It is a lovely time to be out and about in our springtime countryside when everything is at it's best.This has been helped by the wonderful warm and dry conditions of late.Lots of insects and grubs this Spring to feed the many little mouths.I have also shown some images of a singing robin,willow warbler,curlew and lapwing.The curlew is sadly in decline due mainly to loss of habitat and farming practices.I must say I have noticed a lack of curlews this Spring in my travels.The final images show orange tip butterfly on a dandelion,bluebell and a couple showing the local scenery from Longridge Fell. Thanks for looking in and I will be back soon with more from my travels.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Great Crested Grebes

I think I have taken more images of Great Crested Grebes over the years than any other bird.Now that I am able to get about more I have been able to visit locations where I have previously enjoyed looking at and photographing grebes.It is that time of the year when they perform their elaborate courtship and mating rituals.I visited a location not far from home where there had been recent activity from the grebes.

The weather although cold was ideal for photography with brilliant spring sunshine to light up the activity.The grebes were nest building and mating close to a quiet country lane.It was possible to be concealed from the grebes and they went about their business without being disturbed.Shown below are a sequence of images showing the grebes mating,nest building and I was pleased to see on my last visit that one egg had been laid.

I will of course be visiting on a regular basis and hopefully more eggs will be laid and eventually the baby grebes will be seen out and about riding on their mother's back and being fed by their father.So if all goes well I will be able to bring you more images of these delightful birds.