Saturday, 9 December 2017

Pinks Galore

Following on from my last posting I am now showing some of the many images I took last week highlighting the large numbers of pink footed geese present at the the very large gathering of pinkfeet and whooper swans at Pilling.I have never seen as many geese occupying a field.The images cannot show all of the geese but there were certainly many many thousands.It was an incredible sight and the sound of them all when they took to the air was memorable.

I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to capture the spectacle and I made the most of the wonderful opportunity by taking a camera full of images.Hope you like the selection below but it was one of those occasions where you have to be there to fully appreciate what was happening.I will of course return to the location over the coming months hoping for more wonderful encounters with the geese and swans.Thanks for looking in and enjoy what looks like being a very wintry weekend with snow forecast for tomorrow.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Super Whoopers

At the end of last month I visited the Pilling and Cockerham area of Lancashire.This area is visited in the winter months by large flocks of pink footed geese and whooper swans.There are rich pickings to be had in the fields with left over remains of potato and other vegetable crops.This winter in particular has been very wet and many farmers have been unable to harvest their crops.On my wanderings around the lanes and back roads I came across a very large number of geese and swans gathering in a roadside field prior to roosting out on Pilling Sands.The birds were coming in large groups particularly the geese and were settling in the field giving me some wonderful opportunities with the camera.

It was a bright cold and sunny afternoon and was ideal for photography and I was able to stay in the comfort of the car using it as a mobile hide.I was amazed at the numbers of birds and can only say that there were many thousands of pink footed geese and many hundreds of whooper swans.For this post I have concentrated on the whooper swans.The pink footed geese will be the subject of my next post.I took about two and a half thousand images  over two days and have spent a week or so sifting and sorting.I hope you enjoy my selection of these magnificent visitors from Iceland.It was a most memorable experience and one I will be unlikely to repeat for some time.Thanks for looking in and stay tuned for the next instalment.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Murmaration...Martin Mere

I usually visit Martin Mere around this time of the year to see the North West Birdwatching Festival.It's a time to look at all the wonderful books for sale and to visit the local exhibitors and to bump into old friends and catch up on the birdy news. This year the Birdfair coincided with a large murmaration of starlings which were coming into roost at Martin Mere's large reedbed.So after a good look round the books etc I made for the Harrier Hide around 4pm which was when the starlings began to arrive.

The event had been well publicised and many birdwatchers were already in position at the edge of the reedbeds in front of the Harrier Hide.It took a while to build up but eventually approx fifty thousand starlings were putting on a flying display for the assembled audience.I have shown below my efforts at capturing the spectacle.Twenty minutes or so later and it was all over as the birds dived into the reedbeds.Equally impressive were the large skeins of geese coming in to roost at Martin Mere following their day feeding in the fields of West Lancs.It had been a memorable experience and I may return again to witness one of Nature's special moments. Thanks for looking in and I will be back soon with more of Lancashire's wildlife.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Whoopers and a Buzzard

This last week in between various medical appointments I was able to get out for a much needed change of scenery.I visited the Pilling and Cockerham areas to see what was about.It was an excellent decision as good numbers of whooper swans had arrived at various sites.I began at Eagland Hill where a few dozen swans were feeding on the wet and muddy fields.The next location where I found more swans was down Gulf Lane at Moss Edge Farm.Here the whoopers were with some pinkfooted geese and numerous assorted gulls feeding again in the very wet fields.The third location held around three hundred swans together with plenty of starlings and all were enjoying the rich pickings in the fields.This large group were in fields not far from the Cockerham Sands caravan park.I enjoyed photographing the swans from the comfort of the car and was pleased with the results.

However better was to come as on the way back near to Lane Ends at Pilling I saw a buzzard sat on a roadside fence post.More often than not when this happens the buzzard soon flies away but on this occasion it stayed put and I couldn't believe my luck at this golden opportunity.Needless  to say I filled my boots and took many images of this close encounter and again was very pleased with the results.Shown below are some of my better efforts from this splendid afternoon around the lanes of Pilling and Cockerham.Thanks for looking in and enjoy what looks like being a bright and sunny weekend.