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.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Osprey Update

A while ago I posted about the new osprey site in the Southern Lake District.I have visited again recently to see what progress if any had been made.It is good news that this latest pair of ospreys seems to have mated successfully and the female bird is sat tight on the nest.This would indicate that eggs have been laid and it is now a matter of time to see if they hatch into osprey chicks.

I observed the nest from some distance away so as not to disturb the birds and I will return in a few weeks to see what progress there has been.Whilst observing the nest location the male osprey returned from time to time.I didn't see him bring in any fish for him or his mate I can only hope that  he will be a good fisher when he hopefully has many more mouths to feed.I managed a few shots of the male as he perched up in nearby trees and generally flew around the area.It was nice to see a female roe deer that passed by and posed for it's portrait.

Most of the images are record shots and I hope for better results in a few weeks time when there is more action going on.Currently the weather has been very uncomfortable with very high temperatures and very muggy conditions.A little thunder and rain arrived as I wrote this blog and I am hoping it will cool things down.Most of all this week our thoughts are with the victims and families of those tragically killed in the Manchester terrorist attack.Thanks for looking in.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Leighton Moss...Egrets and a Stag

This week I visited Leighton Moss where I hadn't been for some time.All was quiet at Lilian's Hide but later there was much more going on at the Grizedale Hide. Lots of black tailed godwits were feeding close to the hide and there were five or six little egrets coming close to the hide.I concentrated on the egrets and took many images as they performed in the very warm afternoon sun.

A group of red deer hinds were seen feeding but distantly.However much to my surprise a rather handsome stag showed himself as he came out of the reedbed to the right of the hide.He was indeed a smart looking animal and was sporting a fine set of antlers which were covered in velvet as they grew prior to the rut later in the year.

The egrets were also very smart as they showed off their breeding plumage to full effect in the strong and  very welcome breeze.A nice return to Leighton Moss and as at Marshside earlier in the month the little egrets were on top form performing for the camera.As I write this post the temperatures have reached the high seventies and it is muggy and uncomfortable.I am hoping for an early morning outing tomorrow to avoid what promises to be another very hot day.So stay tuned for more from my travels and thanks for looking in.